Disobedience and Dystopias Violence, rebellion, and civil disobedience in Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron




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TitleDisobedience and Dystopias Violence, rebellion, and civil disobedience in Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron
Date21.07.2013
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Disobedience and Dystopias

  • Violence, rebellion, and civil disobedience in Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron.

  • Day 1


Watch the following trailer:

  • Robin Hood Trailer

  • Is Robin Hood an example of someone who committed civil disobedience?

  • Why or why not?



Can civil disobedience be violent?

  • Does it become something else when violence is involved?

  • What does it become?



Civil disobedience vs.. Rebellion

  • C.D. is usually non-violent

  • C.D. involves one or more individuals

  • Individuals practicing C.D. accept punishment to appeal to the conscience of the public



Commonalities…



Today we’re going to read a story called Harrison Bergeron

  • It was written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.



We’re going to do an activity called a Problematic Situation





Try to answer the following questions:



What will you do? Write your ideas on your Problematic Situation worksheet.

  • Problems:

  • _________________

  • _________________

  • _________________



Now, begin reading Harrison Bergeron . . .

  • As you read, keep your answers and ideas from the Problematic Situation activity in mind.

  • When you’re done reading, think about whether or not you would change anything about your responses.

  • Is what you decided to do different from or similar to what actually happens in the text?



Disobedience and Dystopias

  • Day 2



Look at the following images:



Answer:

  • John Stewart, Southpark, and Charlie Chaplin have all used satire.



Watch the following educational video clip:





These are the four techniques that satirists often employ:

  • Exaggeration - representing something as bigger, larger, better, or worse than it really is.

  • Incongruity - when something is not in harmony or keeping with the other surroundings/aspects of something.

  • Reversal - a change to an opposite position, direction, action, or state.

  • Parody - an imitation of the style of a particular artist, writer, genre, or period.



Is Harrison Bergeron satirical?

  • Why or why not?

  • Use what you know about satire to explain your reasoning.

  • Go back to the text and underline any examples of the four techniques.



Watch the following trailer:

  • 2081

  • This is a trailer for a film called 2081. It is an adaptation of the story, Harrison Bergeron.

  • *As you watch, write down one key word that relates to the story.



How does the trailer compare to the story?

  • Based on the trailer, do you think the film is an accurate portrayal of the story?

  • What similarities or differences did you notice between the story and the trailer?

  • What key word did you write down?



Here’s another word that could be used to describe the story:

  • DYSTOPIA

  • What is a dystopia?

  • What are the characteristics of a dystopian society?



A dystopia is . . .

  • “A very unpleasant imaginary world in which ominous tendencies of our present social, political, and technological order are projected into a disastrous future culmination”.



How is Harrison Bergeron an example of a dystopia?

  • What characteristics of the society Vonnegut describes make it dystopian?

  • *Refer back to the text and cite specific examples.

  • Why might an author create a story about a dystopian society? To make what kinds of statements? About what?

  • What statement, if any, is the story making?



Now we’re going to do some creative writing! But first . . .

  • Let’s brainstorm and come up with a list of ideals/beliefs/things that our society (American society) values.

  • What is considered important in our culture? Pair share to come up with ideas.



Examples:



Your assignment:

  • You are going to create your own version of a dystopian society and describe it in writing.

  • Your description should be 1-2 pages, typed.

  • *One way to begin is to pick one of the values from the previous slide and think about how, if that value were to be taken to the extreme, it could become frightening and oppressive.

  • This assignment will be due at the beginning of the next class period.

  • Sentence Starter: “The year was ________ and the government had become obsessed with _____________.”



Resources:



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