Kurt Vonnegut's Short Stories


Here, Vonnegut is influenced by his early work as a journalist. His sentences are short and easily understood so as to be largely accessible.[4] A dystopian setting enhances his social and political critique by imagining a future world founded on absolute equality through handicaps assigned to various above-average people to counter their natural advantages. A similar subject can be found in L. P. Hartley's dystopian novel Facial Justice from the previous year of 1960.

Yet Vonnegut also punctuates his dystopia with humor. Even the most horrifying scenes are underlined by jokes or absurdity. When the news announcer is supposed to read a news bulletin he has to hand it to a nearby ballerina because of his speech impediment, and the ballerina then alters her voice to a "grackle squawk" because it would be "unfair" to use her natural voice, described as a "warm, luminous, timeless melody". This absurdity highlights the madness of the world of "Harrison Bergeron".

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