Science Fiction usually is focused on imagined future advances in science and engineering or major social and environmental modifications, frequently showing space and time travel or life on other world or earth. The short stories “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut and “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury are good examples of how technology with excessive government control. . Science fiction often discusses the potential consequences of science and other developments. Common themes include the downfalls of man’s world; hence, technology destroys the environment. Both stories include what it would be like to give too much power to the government in the future.
The short story ‘The Pedestrian’ by Ray Bradbury is a compelling plot that takes place in the future. The story suggests that if the planet continues to make advances as it is now, the population would become nothing more than human beings who do nothing in our lives. Ray Bradbury uses the setting to represent the empty and lonely world in a powerful way to show how isolated and abandoned towns will be when technology dominates the human population. The residents have nothing to do but watch TV because all the jobs are done by technology. The author is trying to send out the warning and show the world what will happen if there is an advancement in technological power. Despite government control and innovation, this story explores what the future could look like. Bradbury’s short story suggests that an individual can be separated from nature and the environment by too much technology. In this story a character by the name Mr. Mead’s who doesn’t always do the same thing as everyone else. He enjoys being out side and breathing fresh air. Mr. Mead takes long night walks waiting to see no one because they’re all watching television in their dark homes. “The street was silent and long and empty, with only his shadow moving like the shadow of a hawk in midcountry. If he closed his eyes and stood very still, frozen, he could imagine himself upon the center of a plain, a wintry, windless Arizona desert with no house in a thousand miles, and only dry riverbeds, the streets, for company”. He is then stopped by a cop, Mr. Mead got into the car and realized that inside there’s no one, it’s automatic. In the story, we learn that Mr. Mead was taken in the police car to a psychiatric research center on regressive trends. It’s ironic that technology, which is supposed to give someone more freedom and opportunities, can take all rights away and have almost complete control over a person. The people have lost their rights and must now be viewing tv by eight o’clock inside the house. The meaningless T.V. shows are brainwashing the citizens. Technology is forced to take up and complete human jobs. It shows how people can disconnect from others and stop taking care of others. Bradbury predicts what could happen if this technology got into the wrong hands. Technology can evolve and inevitably force people to have no purpose in life.
‘Harrison Bergeron,’ published by Kurt Vonnegut, describes reasons why equality is not what everyone believes it to be equality is a dangerous goal to achieve . The government in Vonnegut’s story tortures its people in an effort to achieve physical and mental equality among all Citizens. Just like in “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury television is a big part of both stories. Television is an immensely powerful power that sedates, controls and terrorizes the characters of ‘Harrison Bergeron.’ To stress the role of television to civilization, Vonnegut makes it a persistent feature in his novel: the whole story takes place as George and Hazel sit in front of the screen. Television is a very powerful power that sedates, controls and terrorizes the characters of ‘Harrison Bergeron.’ Television is used by the government as a way to enforce the regulations. “Even as I stand here’ he bellowed, ‘crippled, hobbled, sickened-I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!’ Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds”. Of instance, the government publishes information about people with the of more capacity because they can’t be fully controlled and need the use of handicap harness. People like Harrison are on the “loose”. Handicap ear piece is put in their ears acting like a shock mechanism to keep them controlled. This gives us with a clear demonstration of the limitations placed on those who do not inhibit their ability. Therefore, television becomes a way of terrorizing the people as Harrison is killed Handicapper General. Live execution is an efficient way to show us what’s going to happen to those who would disobey the law.
Both of these stories “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury and “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut describe the way of life that the future might be like if too much power is given to the government through technology. It shows us that we should have limits on what the government should be able to do. Harrison Bergeron was an extreme example of advanced technology. It was believed in his culture that no one should be more educated, smarter, and richer than anyone else. The Handicapper General made sure that anyone with any ability was granted a handicap to obstruct and cover their skill in order to lower everyone’s ability and actions. In “The Pedestrian” discusses society’s reliance on innovation and what it will become slowly but surely. People have become dependent on television and technology to give up all their emotional and physical control. All of these restrictions apply equally to predictions of non-fiction, as our hopes and fears for real-world technology are equally limited by our ties to the present.