Kurt Vonnegut's Short Stories
Contextual Study of Science Fiction Texts, and Intertextual Ideas that Transcend Time: "The Pedestrian," "Harrison Bergeron," and Equilibrium 11th Grade
Comparing texts from different contexts has enhanced our understanding of intertextual ideas, by continuing to engage with modern audience. Stories revolving around science fiction have remained timeless by discussing the various dangers of technology. Ray Bradbury’s short story, The Pedestrian (1951) depicts technology’s detrimental effects on human interaction in regards to consumerism and television, whereas Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron discusses how potential rebellion occurs under the oppression of freedom, in reference to the Civil Rights Movement. Furthermore, despite a different context, Kurt Wimmer’s Equilibrium (2002), explores both these ideas by alluding to the disasters of 9/11 and the First Chechen War, hence demonstrating how common ideas have connected texts of different times.
In The Pedestrian, Bradbury condemns over-reliance on technology as leading to a loss of human connection. This reflects the rise of consumerism in the 1950s that led to over 60% of American homes owning a television, and developed the belief that society would be pacified by technology. Mr Leonard Mead takes his nightly walk in a city where humans are hypnotised by television and is arrested by an automated car. His initial...
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