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“Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut

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1 “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut
English I Bryan Station High School

2 Agenda Bell Work Word Work Skill Focus Characterization and Dialect
What is Satire? Preview of vocabulary in story Pre-Reading: Context of “Harrison Bergeron” Reading: “Harrison Bergeron” pages Post Reading Questions Connecting HB and F451 HB Activity: Odd Angle on Perfection Exit Slip: Dialect and Characterization

3 Bell Ringer #10: (A) 5/5 & (B) 5/6
How do students in your school feel the pressure to be “the same”—to act, think or dress the same way others do? Does this pressure come from outside forces or from personal desires? Do you think being the same makes most people happy, or would they really prefer to act on their own?

4 Word Work #10 What do these words have in common? Find the definition of THREE words. How are they related? They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun. turn

5 Characterization and Dialect
Skill Focus: Characterization and Dialect

6 What is Characterization?
What is the difference between DIRECT and INDIRECT characterization? Which do you think it used more in literature? Why?

7 Specialized Vocabulary
Specific words used by people belonging to the same group: region (urban vs. rural, North vs. South) ethnicity economic class time period/era or age career field knowledge-base activity

8 What is Dialect? Dialect is the SPOKEN LANGUAGE used by a large group of people. It is not specialized language, but the WAY in which language or words are SPOKEN (said). (religion, age, GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION, gender, ECONOMIC LEVEL.)

9 Think: Who might use language like this?
“y’all” “binkie” “Do you want a coke?” (meaning ANY soft drink, not just coca-cola) “Put the Ca– in the ga—rashe” “Poke” or “sack” for BAG “I wanna go nite-nite.” “I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Thank you again for having us to your gracious abode.” “I am worried about paying the bills.” “I don’t know how I will get dinner on the table, get the laundry done, and get my husband’s shirt ironed for his meeting tonight while I get Susie to ballet and Joey to soccer practice.” Genuflect, kneeler, Father, cathedral, altar boy, the “host”

10 Literary Focus: Satire – any kind of writing, speaking, or art that ridicules some weakness in individuals or in society. Look at the first paragraph of the short story (page 99). What is funny, in a mocking or critical way, in this opening paragraph? The idea that everyone can be precisely equal; the idea that equality in intelligence, appearance, and talent can be achieved by constitutional amendments; the exaggerated number of amendments.

11 “Harrison Bergeron” By Kurt Vonnegut
Reading “Harrison Bergeron” By Kurt Vonnegut

12 Pre-Reading Context

13 Introduction "Harrison Bergeron" was first published in the October, 1961, issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It was Vonnegut's third publication in a science fiction magazine following the drying up of the once-lucrative weekly family magazine market where he had published more than twenty stories between 1950 and The story did not receive any critical attention, however, until 1968 when it appeared in Vonnegut's collection

14 Author Biography (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
Author Biography (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., was born in 1922, the youngest of three children of Edith and Kurt Vonnegut, in Indianapolis, Indiana. His siblings had attended private schools, but financial difficulties during the Great Depression meant that Vonnegut had to attend public schools. He has said that he gleaned the basis of his political and social beliefs from his junior civics class.

15 His novels are mostly social satires that raise questions about morality, freedom and what we should value. During World War II, he was held captive in the underground meat locker of a slaughterhouse in Dresden, Germany. This inspired his most famous novel, Slaughterhouse-Five.

16 Vocabulary

17 ball-peen hammer Noun: hammer with a ball-shaped head

18 calibrated Verb (used as an adjective): marked with measurements

19 hindrances Noun: obstacles; things that restrain or prevent an activity

20 symmetry Noun: balanced arrangement

21 consternation Noun: fear; bewilderment

22 cowered Verb: drew back or crouched in fear and helplessness

23 synchronizing Verb: causing to occur at the same rate or time

24 1. What has guaranteed equality in the story?
2. How old is Harrison? 3. What has happened to Harrison and why? 4. How has the government made George and Hazel equal? What does George have to wear? And what does this do? 5. What does Hazel say she would do if she were Handicap General? 6. What is the name of the Handicap General? 7. What is the consequence for taking lessening the weight of the handicap bag?

25 8. What reason does George give for not trying to cheat
8. What reason does George give for not trying to cheat? Because of this reason, what can we infer about George’s opinion of the current laws? 9. Why wasn’t the news bulletin clear at first to the George and Hazel and other viewers? 10. Why did the ballerina apologize about her voice? 11. What is the news bulletin? 12. Describe Harrison Bergeron with all of his handicaps? 13. What does Harrison declare on television? 14. What happens to Harrison? Be specific.

26 Connecting “HB” to F451 In the two pieces of literature we are currently reading, both the main characters are on their own in some way. Compare and Contrast the ways in which the characters are on their own or assert their individuality. You could do this in small groups or as a whole class –draw diagram on board.

27 Characterization Practice
Post-Reading Characterization Practice

28 Characterization Characterization is the process of revealing the personality of a character in a story. A writer can real a character by: Letting us hear the character speak Describing how they look and dress Letting us listen to their inner thoughts Revealing what other characters in the story think or say about the character Show us what the character does—how they act. Telling us directly what the character’s personality is like: cruel, kind, sneaky

29 Connect to Reading If you lived in Harrison Bergeron’s world, what sorts of handicaps do you think that you might be given? Why? Why do you think these are your strengths? What sort of weaknesses do you have that would force other people to be given handicaps, to bring them down to your level?

30 Harrison Bergeron Project An Odd Angle on Perfection
Part One: For this first part of the project take a hard, honest look at yourself. Take off the rose colored glasses and see yourself for what you really are. You will need to decide what traits/talents you have that need to be handicapped for equality purposes. You will also need to decide what traits/talents of yours would be the standard for others to be handicapped to. 1. Find 5 traits that will be handicapped. Only 2 of which can be physical attributes. 2. Find 5 traits that are the new standard of equality. Only 2 of which can be physical attributes. 3. Create a visual of yourself with your new handicaps including a legend of the explanation. 4. Create a visual of your partner with their new handicaps based on your standard of equality. Include a legend with an explanation.

31 Part Two: For the second part of the project, along with your partner, pick a well-known figure who is at the “top of their game”. Choose someone whose accomplishments could never be described as being equal or average. 1. Describe 5 traits of this person that has allowed them to rise to the top. 2. Find 5 specific examples how we as a society have tried to handicap them. 3. Create a visual of your figure with their handicaps. Make sure to include a legend detailing your choices.

32 Part Three: 1.The third part of the assignment is a reflection of you. Think about an ordinary day in your life. 2. Find 5 examples of you handicapping someone around you, either directly or indirectly. 3. Organize these examples into a written form, and include a reflection of what you have learned doing this project.

33 Dialect and Characterization
Exit Slip Dialect and Characterization

34 Using the “Handicap” Chart you created for yourself complete the following:
Personality Traits What would you the writer reveal about your character? 1. What would you sound like? 2. What do you look like; dress like? 3. What are some of your inner most thoughts? 4. What do others say or think about you? 5. How do you act—show us in writing? 6. Tell us directly what you are like…kind, cruel

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