Harrison Bergeron: Movie vs. Short Story – Blog Post #3

I believe that the most effective medium for telling the “Harrison Bergeron” narrative was the film that we watched. One big reason for this is that I am a visual learner. When reading the short story, I could imagine and visualize some things, but some parts confused me and I couldn’t picture the whole context. However, when I was watching the video, I could see everything in front of me and the story seemed more realistic. Another reason I liked the video better is because you could sympathize with the characters. and especially with Harrison. In the written version, Harrison is just an escaped prisoner that doesn’t want to be imprisoned anymore. He wants to be free, and have power, and that’s his only goal, which he shows when he says “I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!” (4). In the movie however, his goal is to expose the handicapper general and change the whole society they are in. He recognizes that it is a bad system, and tells everyone this when he says “I have been held prisoner by the state, sentenced without trial” (10:50). He also creates the fake bomb that is actually something to put the handicapper general on air to expose her. This allows the reader to agree with what Harrison is doing and to realize what a sacrifice he is making when he dies for his cause. You also realize how sad it is when the airing doesn’t make a difference. One final reason that I liked the movie better than the written short story is that some of the basics make more sense in the movie. For example, in the written version the weights are “47 pounds of bird-shot in a canvas bag,” and I was quite confused how that would be put on without swinging every which way when you do something (2). In the movie however, the weights were metal bricks that were securely strapped to the person so that they wouldn’t swing around or fall off. Because of the visual effect, ability to sympathize with the characters, and the basics of the story, I found the movie to be a better telling of the “Harrison Bergeron” story.

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