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“The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else.” (Kurt Vonnegut Jr.) These familiar words are a direct representation of the similarities between the story “Harrison Bergeron” and the movie “2081”. They illustrate the problem of equality that is characteristic of both of these works. This essay meticulously details the comparison and contrast of both undoubtedly unforgettable works.
The key storyline differences in two works
Initially, the short story “Bergeron” and the movie are quite alike, but there are several minor distinctions between these two pieces. The two plots maintain the identical general narrative line: Harrison is withdrawn from his home, escapes from prison, and reappears on stage during a live ballet. The key difference in the story is the adaptation, where George stares down the hallway at Harrison’s former bedroom where he was picked up from, but struggles to recall due to his handicaps, which conceivably make him overlook that Harrison was their son at all. The broadest distinction is the inclusion of a bomb in the movie’s plot. In the movie, Harrison demands the audience not to move with the trigger to the bomb, which is evidently under the stage. The handicap general is forced to send a crew to defuse the bomb before they can execute Harrison. Subsequently, we learn that the detonator was switched back on live after being deactivated so that the audience would not witness Harrison being gunned down. There was no reference to the bomb in the story. In the movie, the reporter was disrupted by a man with a terribly bad voice, and then another man seized his place and delivered the news properly. In the story, a man with a terrible voice entered the ballet stage, but was beaten to the punch by one of the ballerinas, who was described as having an incredible voice.
Distinguished representation of characters in the story and the movie
In addition, the characters in the story and the movie are similar, but the functions they perform are slightly distinct. In the story, George is the one who stands up and goes to the kitchen at the beginning, but in the movie, Hazel goes to do the dishes and George remains to watch the TV. This is crucial because in the movie, it was George who watched the whole broadcast of everything that happened at the ballet, even when their son Harrison was executed. In the book, Hazel does not recall her son’s death because the live broadcast was interrupted. Simultaneously, in the movie, Harrison switched on the live stream, but George couldn’t recall, which we can assume is his handicap. Another illustration is the previous episode, when George had memories of Harrison being picked up, but he couldn’t recall it. The distinction in the characters’ parts is equally related to the narrative when they break the news of Harrison’s breakout from prison. In the story, a ballerina assumes the report on stage after the reporter is unable to communicate effectively. However, in the movie, instead of the ballet dancer, another guy who appeared to be a producer or director who was in the ballet took over the report on the TV station. The narrative clarified that Harrison was a fourteen-year-old seven-foot giant when he was withdrawn from his home and broke out of prison that same year, but the movie reveals that Harrison was removed at fourteen and released six years later, and it is also strongly implied that he is not 7 feet tall. Another distinction is that Harrison is proved to be less disfigured in the movie, as in the story he has a clown nose, shaved eyebrows, glasses, and false teeth.
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The basic distinctions in the dialogues of the two pieces
The ultimate comparison definitely would be the dialog between the characters. There are only a couple of minor variations in the dialogues as the movie repeats the plot of the story precisely. The first crucial dissimilarity we should mention came when Hazel and George were discussing how George relaxes through wearing his handicaps. In the narrative, Hazel asks George to have a break because he is exhausted and says that she is okay with it if it means they are not equal, while George responds that he does not want to remove them because he will get used to not wearing them. Other than that, the plot, dialogues, and narrative remain virtually unchanged up to this point, but the distinction in the dialogues is what Harrison speaks when he enters the ballet. He firstly has no words regarding the bomb under the stage because it was not in the plot, unlike in the movie where it acquired a greater significance. In addition, there was additionally no indication in the movie that Harrison was an emperor and was picking out an empress.