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2. When changing the world- which do you think is most motivational- stories of the past, present, or possible future? Why?
Stories of the past, because they can show us the success that blood and sweat and hard work pay off to be. They let us know that it is possible to achieve what we are shooting for.
I think that stories from the future are the most motivational because they can give us glimpses of what could happen to our society. For example in the two stories we read last night the alarming circumstances that were happening due to the control of the government.
I agree with Taylor. Honestly, the past has happened, and won't come back, but the future is directly related to us. It is one thing that we have control of. Therefore, the future is the most motivating because it is in our power.
Most authors usually use futuristic stories to motivate change. This is effective because they serve as a warning for people, like in The Pedestrian where people watch TV 24/7. Futuristic stories are effective by making people think about where their society is heading. Though, I think it would be really interesting to see what the impact of stories of the past and present could be. Stories of the past could warn people that something can't that happened before shouldn't happen again. Stories of the present could inform people of directions society is taking that should be fixed before it's too late.
I think the most motivational stories are from the future because people don't know whether something from the future will happen or not. Because there's that feeling of suspense, not knowing what to do. Like a while ago, there was this crazy guy who predicted, "Judgement Day" the end of the world. A lot of people sold their houses and everything and did things on their bucket list. But it was all a waste, because judgement never came. Those people did that because they were in panic, something that hadn't happened yet made them do something.
Great question! I believe that this is a personal question and that it says a lot about an individual. I think stories of the past are more motivational because they often highlight the struggles of others and what they did to overcome diversity.
The past always is interesting to me, you can learn so many things from the mistakes of the past. You can only learn from the past not from the future because it has not happened yet.
Stories of the future are harder to relate with, as there are so many possibilities. I think stories of the present can be influential in motivating social change, as different writing perspectives can expose situations and inspire readers in different ways. However, stories of the past can influence us in the present as well, as we can learn from mistakes and achievements. In this way, I think stories of the past could have more opportunity for being motivational.
Possible future - people fear for what they might become or what situation they might eventually be in. They also fear for what their children's situation might be or what their children might become.
That is a great point, but there is also a popular saying that ignorance is bliss. If more people were optimistic would the future, based on your opinion, be less motivational.
In "Harrison Beregon" do you think that, even though the society it took place in was "equal", was it fair? Why?
Even thought the society was "equal" in Harrison Beregon I don't think that it was fair because of the limits put upon people. Even though the government was trying to make everyone equal, it made the people who were above average limited and not be able to perform to the very best they could.
I don't think so. Each person has their individual talents, their subject where they shine, and that's what makes everyone unique in their own way. People need to realize that they have their own place to shine, and that its ok if someone is better in one area of life then they are.
I don't think it was fair. For example, the ballerina who was extraordinarily beautiful had to wear a mask and carry as much weight as a grown man would wear. This didn't seem very fair to me. I also thought it was unfair how the father in the story had to wear that hearing aid as well as carry the weight. He was incredibly intelligent, but couldn't use his intelligence (obviously that was the point, but still.) It seemed pretty cruel and didn't seem like it made people equal.
No, I do not believe that the society in "Harrison Bergeron" is fair because the people with immense talent and potential were brought down and destroyed. They never were able to do anything to the best of their abilities, which isn't fair.
It is not fair that everyone is equal or not equal because no one every can be the same. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves from being different so nothing is fair or equal.
Exactly, the different burdens made people unequal in one way, while trying to make it equal in another. Do you think it is actually equal?
I do not think the society was fair. People who had talent couldn't use it. So to those who were talented they were being dragged down, chained to a ball.
The society definitely wasn't fair. For the less "gifted" population, it would have seemed fair to them. But for the handicapped, they were restricted so that they couldn't succeed or reach their full potential, all for the sake of equality. It wasn't all that equal either, because the handicapped had to feel pain, like George, who always had terrible sounds going off in his head. The "normal" people didn't have to feel that.
Well, what we have to consider is that fair and equal are different. Even though no one was "better" than others, some people still had to have the handicaps which made it much more inconvenient for them. So, even though people were "equal" the way the society worked gave some people asier lives than others.
No, it wasn't fair. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. If people didn't know what life could really be like, then they would be perfectly fine with having a less than normal life.
Why was Harrison only in jail for the month of April?
I think Harrison was only left in jail for a month because she only lasted that long before breaking free.
In these short stories, what is the "normal"? How does the government make the people "equal"?
They are called dystopias for a reason. The authors are showing us that there is no normal. No matter how hard we try, there is no escaping the fact that we are all different and some people are better at things than others.
I think that the normal is just being boring. I think that the government to make people equal because it will end things like suicide and things like that. Which is a good thing, but the complete lack of individualism would make life so... unlivable.
Both stories have different "normals" in them. In Harrison Beregon, the "normal" is essentially the lowest form of intelligence human kind can stoop to. While in Pedestrian, "normal" is being secluded to the rest of the world. The government makes the people in both stories "equal" by forcing everyone to stoop to the lowest level, because its easier to have them do that than to have them rise to the highest level, since not everyone can do that.
No, it was not fair. People's weaknesses caused others to lose their strengths. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, they should be able to keep those.
In today's society, present stories are the most effective in motivating social and cultural changes because we as society are very self-centered. Thus, we like to focus on what is going on in our lives, today, right now. Also, that means the stories are more relate able.
People hear about present stories all the time threw news sources, be it a newspaper, tv show, etc. However, despite seeing stories about murders and crime and the worst of society, people change very little.
In the pedestrian, do you think it was realistic that crime rate had gone down? Why do you think that the author chose to portray the future like this?
I think the author chose to say that the crime rate had gone down because most futuristic stories seem to be about creating the 'perfect' world and having a world with low crime would be a factor to strive for.
I don' think that it was realistic that the crime rate went down, because it seems to me that if anything crime rate has only gone up in recent years. I think that the author chose to portray the future like this to prove that the social standard doesn't always have to be the standard.
I think it might have been because people so rarely left their houses that the cop thought that there was no reason for him to be out-and-about except to commit a crime
The future is portrayed like this because they are trying to describe an utopian society.
how would you respond to such a controlled environment?
I personally would not have responded well. We don't know the purpose of our lives yet, but if we all do the same thing, what is the point of having people exist at all?
I would want to rebel, but that's just me right now. If I was a kid, or a person who was born in that era, I wouldn't know a difference. I wouldn't know what it would be like in a world where the people are not equal and totally different. It depends on your background.
If I was born into a society where being controlled like that was such a norm, then I would probably go along with it. I wouldn't know anything better, so that's obviously what I would think is right. However, if I was now thrown into a controlled environment like the ones in the stories, then I would respond pretty badly. I would probably be very confused and I would also probably try to rebel.
I would have had the worst possible response possible - maybe to the point of some insanity similar to that of Harrison.
Riley that's a really good point. Why do you think that they took away every opportunity to be individualistic? What would you do to counteract that?
I agree with Riley. I would not respond very well either. Part of that is because society has evolved so well because of every person in that society being different. Without those differences, alternate perspectives, and geniuses that invent and make society better, where would our society be today? It would still be as undeveloped as it was in the 1700's or 1800's.
I wouldn't respond well because a controlled environment like this because they government could control everything and they could not be protested. This means the government could censor information and arrest anyone for any reason and no one could question them.
Living in those circumstances, I would not be happy. I have a feeling I would want to rebel, but at the same time if the government had so much power I would be scared to. If someone rebelled the government would punish them. So even if we tried, our efforts would be worthless and we would just be moving in circles
It depends on what kind of education I had. With the parents I have now, I would probably know more than the average child about the innerworkings of the dystopian society so I would probably develop rebel views. However, in this kind of situation, there is no mass communication so I don't know how I would respond.
I think it was realistic that crime had gone down. If TV is the biggest desire that people have, then that will replace the greed that causes crime.
But what if the TV still shows crime and violence? Then, just like today, people would be exposed to that idea and think its ok or want to attempt something bad
Also, since the TV kind of numbs your mind, maybe criminals would feel less remorse by committing crime. That would make crime rates go up, not down.
The TV would probably be censored so the people are so addicted to their TVs that they could not do anything else. If they don't even go for walks outside they wouldn't even think of committing a crime.
I agree, as society progresses, especially today, we are becoming more and more open to violence and other "inappropriate" themes. So,naturally wouldn't people become more and more violent as society progresses. Therefore, spiking the crime rate.
Would you want to live in the 'equal' world displayed in Harrison Bergeron?
No, I think that there are much better ways to live our lives and that we wouldn't be able to live them to the fullest in that type of environment.
I don't want to live in a world like that because "equality" in that society makes everything boring, when in reality society's differences make society effective and exciting.
In reality, I don't think we ever can achieve an equal world, there will always be the kind of people in society who are power hungry and desire to be on top. As long as human nature exists, it nearly impossible to have an equal society.
No, I think it would be a complete waste of life. What are you doing with your life? Just watching television? What is the purpose?
No, because everyone has a certain handicap that restricts their abilities. Say if you are someone with a mind with more potential than that of a normal citizen, you would have to get a handicap. The government tries to control/calm everyone with the TV and they don't want you to think outside of the box. They do not want you plotting against the government like Harrison did. You would live a very dull and pointless life
No, I wouldn't want to live in an equal world because we are all meant to be different. We are all different for a reason and in Harrison Bergeron, the government is trying to change what is just meant to be. Also, they are trying to create a world that is all equal by covering beautiful people in masks and other things, but that doesn't make them equal. Those people still stand out against others no matter what; either with a pretty face or an ugly mask. People still know that they are different and potentially better than them.
No. I don't think people really know what they want- they have an idea but don't necessarily think it through. In Harrison Bergeron, George and Hazel didn't seem to love their lifestyle, as they were inconvenienced by their handicaps. However, they made it clear that they didn't want to go back to the 'dark ages'. With this in mind, I wouldn't want to live in an equal world, because I wouldn't want to live where the gain of equality has ended up in the loss of creativity, individuality, uniqueness, etc. It would be nice to be rid of some of the extreme envy and competition in the world, but not so much as to the extent as in Harrison Bergeron.
I would hate living in a world that was so equal like in Harrison's world, because of the lack of freedom that was displayed. I know that know people are who they are because they are different from everyone else. If we lived in a world like this no one would be unique and no one stand out, so we wouldn't have anyone to look up to, or any goals.
No it would be a terrible place to live. Anyone who had worked to become smart or worked to become stronger would have that taken away be the government. Society would not get anywhere by having everyone be equal. There would be no competition for anything and no inventions or ideas would come about because no one is smarter than anyone else, and the basis for 'smart' is the least smart person.
It is rally just a society where the government takes advantage of its people.
I think a world that's portrayed in Harrison Bergeron could exist. I think this kind of book could only exist in a book because it's not possible. Certain things (things as defined in noun) can't exist without an opposite. Ying yang, harmony. But there is just 1 thing in this world.
How do the common people feel about/react to their world and lifestyle in Harrison Bergeron? (Do they enjoy the laws on equality or do they disagree?)
I think that they've been so brainwashed into believing these ideas that they don't really know how to agree. I don't think they are happy with it, because obviously some of the handicaps are cruel and painful, but they don't really know anything different. They've lived in this society their whole life, and that's all they know. They don't think they have any way to stop what is happening, so they just continue going along with it.
I think that since the government has already gone so far with their power and controlling the people, that they really couldn't think about it. I know that it annoyed some of them and I'm sure they wished that this wasn't happening to them, but I think that they were either to afraid of what would happen if they stood up, or didn't have the power to even try.
They enjoy the laws of equality. However, this is because it's all the have ever known. The government has brainwashed them into thinking that competition is a bad thing. The people thing the government is doing them a favor by disabling them.
They believe that competition is unhealthy and resulted in a lack of progress, when it is a actually the reverse.
Why did mead get in the car after he learned where they were taking him?
I don't think that it was his choice. I think that the government was somehow controlling him.
Perhaps he was afraid, he had never encountered a police car before and he wasn't sure what it could do to him.
I think he got in the car before he was told were he was being taken, so he really didn't have much choice but to go.
He was also threatened to be shot. That is generally enough to make somebody do what you want them to.
I bet he didn't know how to react. He probably had never seen a police car before, and was too overwhelmed to even think. He might have also been scared because he had never gotten "pulled over". It seemed like there were never any crimes in that town, so the fact that he might have just committed a crime, scared him.
So, pretty much, not everyone was equal in "Harrison Bergeron" because someone has to be smarter, stronger, etc to make everyone equal. How is this ironic to the craft of the society?
Referring to the Government or people of power, that make everyone else the same.
The Government is obviously run by a few select people who want to keep their power and use the handicaps to keep the population in line.
I also wonder why some people were on TV and others weren't. Don't some interpret their fame as superiority, therefore not everyone was equal?
Yes, agreeing with the original comment, there always has to be one or more great ruler to create the equality that is in that society.
What point do you think Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was trying to get across through writing Harrison Bergeron?
I think he was trying to say that if society continues in the path that we are going in today (striving for equality, letting technology take over, etc) then this is the type of world that will exist one day. It was basically just an exaggeration of our society today. It was almost like a warning for the future.
I think he was trying to get across that our society will never be equal, and what it might be like if we were equal. The parents don't get to remember their own child getting shot, which is extremely depressing, and should never happen.
How do you think that the extraordinary people in Harrison Bergeron felt? Do you think that if Harrison wasn't killed he would have stopped all the problems with the government that was happening about forcing equality?
I think that he would have taken power, loved it so much that he wouldn't share it with others. He would most likely take power and make it worse.
I think that he would have. I feel like he was smart enough, strong enough, and brave enough to stand up and rebel. Most of the time, if people see one person doing something, that many fallow in the footsteps of the first.
I think by that time that Harrison tried to "fix the system" that society was too far gone and governments control was too great that even if he hadn't been killed, he wouldn't have had enough power to change anything
Do you think that the people who handicapped people ever realized that the handicaps were only making people stronger? Like how maybe the people that had the physical weights got stronger because of the weights, or that the mental weights only made people want to become smarter so that they can over come their handicaps.
That's a really good point. I hadn't really thought of it that way, but it is really true. I don't think that the US Handicapper General didn't realize that and didn't think of it in that way. How do you think this connects to our own lives and our problems/situations that we face?
I think only the physical handicaps made people stronger, in which case they would add more lead balls. The mental handicap, however, prevents them from having the mental power to process through the rebellion.
How do the two stories, Harrison Bergeron and The Pedestrian, connect?
Both are futuristic and showed the reader what life would be like in a society that seems likely relative to what our world is like today.
Like Nate both of the stories are set in the future, but I feel like they connect in the way that they both have some sort of restrictions put upon the public.
Were the people that put people under restraints, also handicapped? Or were they the only exceptions?
Why were the people handicapped? Why didn't the government just make people better, why did they have to disable the people when they could have just enabled them to be better or stronger? Is it because the government wants to take advantage of its people?
Some people are naturally more beautiful or talented then it is not fair to the people who are brought up to the level because they weren't made that way naturally.
So, in Harrison Bergeron, where everyone is supposedly equal, I was just curious about the Handicapper General, because usually, generals are higher rank, and they're in charge. Also, the government officials who make the laws - they're in charge of everyone's lives too. Wouldn't that make it sort of unequal?