Mrs. Gomez English 2CP 4, October, 2011 Were the struggles for individuality that Equality and Harrison had to face, as difficult as they thought it was? In the novella Anthem and the short story “Harrison Bergeron,” Rand and Vonnegut use the theme of individualism vs. collectivism to show the oppression of each society, the fear used to control its citizens and the characters that rebel. In both stories, oppression is used to make everyone equal. The government in Anthem takes away its citizens’ individuality to make a part of the group.
In both stories, oppression is used to make everyone equal. “For the word ‘We’ must never be spoken, save by one’s choice and as a second thought” This shows that the word “We” was no longer used to describe people. They were their own person. “We” was determined as “I”, the word “we” took away their individuality. To take away their individuality, they assigned people jobs, like street sweeper or doctor, gave them no choices, because they did not let them choose their names or jobs, and put them into groups so they would not be alone.
George is athletic, so he wears weights on him that slow him down, also being extremely intelligent, George wears an ear radio that goes off every 20 seconds, and the ballerinas wear masks in the story because they are beautiful. “Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was or quicker than anybody else. ” Nobody was better than anyone else. Everyone was equal. They used handicaps to make everyone the same. The Handicapper General, Diana Moon Glampers, assigns the characters handicaps to make everyone equal in the short story “Harrison Bergeron”.
Harrison fought for his and everyone else’s individuality. Fear was used to control the characters in both societies. The Uncharted Forrest and The Transgressor were used to scare the society in Anthem. The Transgressor was used as an example for all people who thought they could be an individual. The Uncharted Forrest made the society feel like they were trapped. “We had not thought of coming here, but our legs had carried our wisdom, and our legs had brought us to the Uncharted Forrest against our will. ” Equality did not want to be in the Uncharted Forrest because he did not know what was in there.
Since the whole society was afraid of the Uncharted Forrest, Equality did not want to be there when he first entered. Diana Moon Glampers filled the society with fear by assigning people handicaps and shooting Harrison and the ballerina. The punishment for taking out the lead balls on the weights was time in jail and a fine of $2000. “It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shot gun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and Empress were dead before they hit the floor. Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again.
She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on. ”After shooting the Emperor and Empress, she tried to scare the musicians by aiming the gun at them. The fear of being shot like the Emperor and Empress scared the other people. Harrison made an example of what not to do because Diana Moon Glampers shot him for disobeying her authority. In both stories, there were characters that rebelled against their society. In Anthem, Equality rebelled against his society by sneaking away. Equality snuck out of the group meetings and created electricity in a tunnel. So when the oldest of them asked us: