"Harrison Bergernon" is a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. It is considered one of his more accessible works because it is so short, and because the themes of enforced equality are more related than his dystopia of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and the satirical "Cat's Cradle".
If you've been told to write a Harrison Bergeron essay, what would you choose?
Topics for a Harrison Bergeron Thesis
Creeping Enforcement of Equality Today
Are highly curious children being forced to take psychotropic drugs today to moderate their behavior? In some schools, up to a quarter of all boys are taking drugs for ADHD. Is this due to an actual rise in medical diagnosis or a subtle discrimination against boys because they do not act like girls? In the name of racial equality, gifted and talented courses are being forced to admit children who are not as gifted but are more racially diverse.
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Harrison Bergeron and the College Bubble
College used to be the purview of the elite. One subject for a Harrison Bergeron thesis is the correlation between intelligence, college attendance and wealth. Was college the purview of the wealthy because of its cost, or was the wealth effect because the most intelligent were the most likely to afford college or earn scholarships to attend?
Conversely, an essay could look at how grade inflation and "college for all" regardless of academic ability has undermined the value of a college degree.
Stereotypes of the Nerd New and Old
How have modern day billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Larry Page of Google and Jeff Bezos of Amazon reformed the image of the geeky and despised nerd? One topic for a Harrison Bergeron essay would be how the Internet revolution and its accompanying wealth created the new stereotype of the wealthy techie. Was Harrison Bergeron a modern satire of the 1960s liberal hatred for the classical learned elite? And many other questions will be answered.