Language

Style of language

The language used by Kurt Vonnegut in the short story “Harrison Bergeron” is simple and resembles a journalistic account. When it comes to the choice of words, the author uses common words and phrases, which gain new meanings in the dystopian society of the story. The “government transmitter”, “bags of birdshot”, or “scrap metal” are elements which gain a negative meaning when connected to the egalitarian society of 2081. 

The dialogue between Hazel and George is fragmented, as they cannot have a proper conversation. Because of the radio transmitter, George is often confused and cannot remember what he was talking about: “ ‘That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did,’ said Hazel. ‘Huh’ said George. ‘That dance-it was nice,’ said Hazel. ‘Yup,’ said George”. Furthermore, because of Hazel’s low intelligence, the conversation seems to have no purpose: “ ’Gee - I could tell that one was a doozy,’ said Hazel. ‘You can say that again,’ said George. ‘Gee - ’ said Hazel, ‘I could tell that one was a doozy’ ”. 

The previous example is a...

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