Fahrenheit 451 Equality
Why is equality difficult? In both Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, the government’s shot to reduce liberty by calling it equality. Both the characters, Guy Montag and Harrison Bergeron try to oppose their government’s idea of equality. They show that there will constantly be individuals who rebel, are not the same, and attempt to start their own society to combat versus the government. In these readings, both authors, Bradbury and Vonnegut, suggest that equality is unattainable because there will continuously be people that challenge the idea of individuals being the same in everyway possible.
Even as the federal government hid knowledge in both readings, individuals rebelled in order to get understanding. Harrison Bergeron challenged the government, all while he wore a significant pair of earphones that psychologically handicaps smart individuals. Nevertheless he refused to sit still and live his life like everyone else on the planet. Instead he wanted to be emperor of the world and combated up until his death attempting to attain his vision. Harrison announces on television, “‘I am the emperor! … Do you hear?
I am the emperor … Even as I stand here … maimed, hobbled, sickened- I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! ‘”(Vonnegut 3). Despite the reality that Harrison is just fourteen years of ages and brought three hundred pounds, he rebelled versus the government on account that he loathed the world he presently remains in. This reveals that even if the government forces people into being equal, individuals will rise and rebel against them. In Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag also rebelled versus his federal government. He was not enabled to check out or owned books since it protested the law.
Knowing this, Guy still rebelled by smuggling books home from his firefighter job. Bradbury composes,” Without looking at [the book, Person] dropped it to the floor … He kept moving his hand and dropping books on the flooring … When he was done he looked down upon some twenty books lying at his wife’s feet” (65-66). Though Man was a firefighter and books for a living, he began to doubt and rebel against his government’s concept of equality. As the federal government charred books, citizens that typically complied with the law began to rebel versus it and collected books.
This shows that even individuals who enforce the law may rebel versus it, if they start the doubt it. No matter how hard the governments attempt to suppress understanding, daily people who want knowledge will find a way to obtain it. Even worldwide where everybody is apparently equivalent, there will be people that are above others. In “Harrison Bergeron”, everybody in the world is the exact same, no one is prettier than anybody else and no one is smarter than anyone else. This is false because Diana Moon Glampers, the United States Handicap General, is able kill people.
Vonnegut writes,” Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicap General, entered into the studio with a double- barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired two times, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead prior to they struck the flooring” (Vonnegut 4). Although everybody is supposedly equal, the Handicap General has more power than everybody else. She holds the power of life and death in her hands since she is not the same as the other residents. This shows that there will always be someone that has more power than the rest; thus showing that individuals will never ever be perfectly equivalent.
In Fahrenheit 451, the government avoids anybody to possess more intelligence than the remainder of the population. Individuals who attempt to get more understanding through books are sent to an asylum and their books are burnt to the ground. Montag asks, “‘ I-I have actually been believing. About the fire recently. About the guy whose library we repaired. What happened to him?’ [Beatty responses] ‘They took him shouting off to the asylum'” (Bradbury 33). When people try to read more than others, the federal government ensures that they are removed so that no one is smarter than anyone else.
Despite the fact that they send out people in belongings of books to an asylum, it does not stop people who want to obtain knowledge from collecting books. This reveals that no matter how much the government tries to impose equality, there will be people that strive to obtain understanding. No matter just how much censorship is utilized to make everyone the same, certain individuals will constantly have more knowledge and power than others. As people disagreed with the government’s concept of equality, they unite and form their own society.
In “Harrsion Bergeron”, Harrison Burgeron wished to start his own empire. He disagreed with the present federal government and wanted to rule the world. Harrison Bergeron states, “‘I am the emperor! … I am a greater ruler than any guy'”(Vonnegut 3). This shows that Harrison Burgeron wants to create his own world. He opposes the federal government’s law and plans on creating a different society prior to he was shot down. Harrsison Bergeron shows that even in the most regulated world, human beings who want distinction will try to make their own world.
When Man Montag escaped from the society he knew, he encountered a group of individuals that opposed the way the federal government works. This group thought that books and understanding are very important unlike the federal government. Granger states, “‘We’ll pass the books on to our children, by word of mouth, and let our children wait, in turn, on the other people'” (Bradbury 153). Granger and his group felt that books are important and that private understanding is more important than everybody being perfectly equivalent. They thought that the world is not prepared for their understanding.
By having their own group with different concepts from the government’s, they have actually started a society where individuals can appreciate books instead of burning them. They have produced a society that directly opposes what he government is attempting to achieve. When individuals do not agree with the federal government, they will unite and form a society intending to topple the law. Equality is an unachievable idea due to the truth that there are individuals who will rebel, be smarter or more effective than others, and people that unite to form their own perfect society.
The more a government forces their residents to be equal, the more likely people will oppose what the government is doing. In both “Harrison Bergeron” and Fahrenheit 451, the government attempts to censor the amount of liberty and knowledge every individual has, by calling it equality, however people had still rebelled against the federal government. Both stories show that equality is a really impossible since certain individuals will constantly challenge what equality truly is.