1-2 pages Comparison/Contrast brief writing-Movies based on “Harrison Bergeron”

Choose ONE of the movies based on “Harrison Bergeron” to compare/contrast to the short story. You are answering this question: Which movie better represents Vonnegut’s story? Think about the 1) atmosphere (the music, the brightness/darkness of the lighting), 2) the setting (time and place the story is set), 3) the story line (plot), 4) the character development (what is Harrison like?), 5) moral or message, and 6) the ending. Choose TWO of those to compare (finding similarities) OR contrast (finding differences) and create a 1-2 page thesis-driven essay. You must use TWO quotations from the short story (one for each main point) and CITE the page numbers where you found them. Here’s an outline to help you.


  1. Introduction + thesis: Short summary of the story + thesis: “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. is about……………..The long movie better represents Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” based on the characters and the message (or the ending, the setting, the atmosphere, etc.). This can be very brief–3-4 sentences.


  1. Main idea 1 (this is where you will choose setting or characters or the ending, etc.).


Even though the long movie has a brighter tone and setting, the character of Harrison seems closer to what Vonnegut had in mind. In the story, Harrison says, “……….” (14). His parents in the story are also similar (or different) to the parents in the long movie.


  1. Main idea 2 — You’ll do the same thing as the first main idea just using the other category stated in your thesis. (transition) Another element that is similar (or different) to the story is that of the setting (or atmosphere or message, etc.).


You’ll want to bring in another quote from the short story that relates to your idea. Use a lead-in to introduce your quotation: Vonnegut provides us with a message that equality can never really be achieved when he writes, “…………………………” (25).


4) Brief conclusion–you may bring yourself into this paragraph:


I found the long movie to be very entertaining, and even though the tone is a bit too light for Vonnegut’s story, it is still effective in addressing the problems of equality. In the movie, Harrison states that the government is not striving for us to be equal; they’re trying to make us all the same. I think that’s what Vonnegut was warning us about in his story.


Transitions: Transitions are very important in comparing and contrasting.  Try to use some of these to connect your thoughts:  similarly, likewise, also, at the same time, however, but, on the other hand, in contrast, despite, in spite of, even though, regardless, etc.


Prewrite for CC paper (OPTIONAL)

Collapse Prewrite for CC paper (OPTIONAL)

I have a few suggestions regarding pre-writing of the comparison/contrast short writing: do this on a separate piece of paper. You do not have to submit this, but if you have questions, please ask. I’ve given an example here with atmosphere, but yours should be filled out with details–specifics, quotations, etc.


Short story                              Long film                                           Short film


atmosphere/mood          dark, depressing                          happy music/light-hearted                  dreary/dark lighting










the ending


^^Fill out everything.


Once you have completed this, choose TWO of the elements in the left column that you would like to examine. Remember that you are NOT comparing and contrasting the movies: rather, you are comparing or contrasting ONE of the movies to Vonnegut’s short story.

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