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Kurt Vonnegut Jr was depicting the life and the struggles of African-Americans in the United States in the 1960s and not a futuristic someday society in his short story Harrison Bergeron Harrison Bergeron is really an account of a black who showed extra-ordinary talent and yet was shunned and suppressed by society because he was different and therefore regarded as dangerous Vonnegut Jr who was named one of 100 AUTHORS WHO SHAPED WORLDHISTORY Perkins 84 often used his short story forum to share his views on political issues In order to understand Kurt Vonnegut a self-acknowledged pessimist Literature 784 we must review the climate of America during the late fifties and early sixties During this period America was in turmoil After the Korean War Americans were faced with the threat of being labeled anti-American and Communist McCarthyism accusations of communist loyalties Comptons Interactive left many authors actors and public officials fearful about publicly speaking out about American Policy Any criticism during this time may have been exploited and the author blacklisted Authors tried to find imaginative ways of criticizing without jeopardizing themselves Kurt Vonnegut Jr like many active authors during the late 1950s and 60s used a supposed fictitious stage to express his disdain Vonnegut Jr in order to express his ideas chose a future time setting The reader can assume that this short story takes place in America since there is reference to Constitutional Amendments The theme of this short story is that the government while passing more laws toward equality is neglecting the fact that the original laws already cover these items Also the government has handicapped its most intelligent and strongest people who would possibly be able to be our countrys greatest leaders The authors tone is astonishment at the irony and lunacy of the situation America was a segregated country until the late fifties In 1955 Rosa Parks a middle aged African-American woman refused to
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