Tuesday, December 13, 2011

exam study guide part 3

Harrison Bergeron-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.- Themes: government control, american identity, conformity, total equality

This story is set in the future.  Every one looks the same and has the same intelligence level.  This society is controlled by the government.  This story plays with the idea of total physical and mental equality.  Harrison Bergeron is determined not to conform and he gets killed for it.

"George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains."

"She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous."

These two sections of the story shows you how the government was controlling people.  George is Harrisons father. The second quote is talking about the ballerina. 

Allen Ginsberg- Howl- themes- Mental illness, american identity, alienation/isolation

this poem is very dark.  Electrotherapy was mentioned specifically.  the poem talks about how patients were tortured using electrotherapy.  the first line of the poem reads:

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
              madness, starving hysterical naked,
       dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
              looking for an angry fix"

This poem is about a mental hospital.  Ginsberg says in the first line that the he saw the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness.  I think he is saying that the people in the mental hospital are smarter than everybody else. 

"who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall"

this quote gives you a negative image in your head.  I got the idea that someone was going crazy because why would you burn your own money in wastebaskets.   

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