Literature has always been part of our daily lives. Authors from different parts of the world make each composition part of the civilization or the whole society. In whatever story that we read, we try to understand its social perspectives and the ideologies of the characters. Some of the fictitious narratives talks about the ignorance, immoralities, and illogical thinking of the society towards good and evil. Because of power, some of us tend become irrational with our actions just to prove that we are the authority.
This is what the two stories entitled “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut and “Saboteur” by Ha Jin wants to impose to sits readers. From these two stories, it can be said that even if we wants to make our lives equal and perfect, there are still certain situations that will tests our individuality – to become heroes or antiheroes of the society. The main character in Vonnegut’s story is George Bergeron. His family lives a normal life before but because they were imprisoned by the military for a special case, their lives were ruined.
George dreams of his son every night but it’s all a dream. He wants to see Harrison but he knows he could not. George as the protagonist in the story is a depiction of social imprisonment and injustices. He is a combination of a concept of hero and anti-hero. He is a hero of his family but an antihero of his enemies or the antagonists of his life. Harrison rebels against the government and the system. He escapes from the jail in order to turn down the government. It can be said as a form of individualism because Harrison thinks of his own resolution and not on the idea of fixing an issue.
He wants to turndown the government for personal interest and to create his own monarchy. Through this, he became an antihero because he choose to become his own personality and not for the betterment of his society. However, the readers could not blame the characters for they are hopeless and helpless. “They were burdened with sash weights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in (Vonnegut).
” They struggle in a immoral society just because they are good citizens and having a normal life. That is why even if they strive hard to become peaceful and work for their community, they still suffer. The equality did not exist right through their environment. On the other way around, Ha Jin’s story is a depiction of social immorality. The authority made irrational attacks towards other people to prove their power and strength; to show that they are right – even if not. Mr.
Chui, the main character of the story is a lecturer in a University in his community. He works hard and opens the eyes of many people for the betterment of their country and to prove their rights against immorality and social injustices. Mr. Chui is doing his jobs and responsibilities as citizen of his state. However, because it is not right for the authority who is implementing the ‘immoral policy,’ they are seeing him as a convict of a crime, which he did not. “On the glass desktop was a folder containing information on his case.
He felt it bizarre that in just a matter of hours they had accumulates a small pile of writing about him. On second thought he began to wonder whether they had kept a file on him all the time (Ha). ” Mr. Chui’s characterization in the first part is heroic but as the story reveals the main point of his character, it starts to work to become antihero because he needs to sacrifice his ideologies and beliefs for his friend and own identity. At the end of the story, he chooses to accept his ‘crime’ just to be free.
He turns down his beliefs and signs the confession in order to help his ex-student lawyer Fenjinto be stopped from being tortured by the police officers. In connection of the two characters in the story, both Harrison and Mr. Chui, their selfish egos win. Mr. Chui spreads the hepatitis in Muji. He becomes the Saboteur; they accuse him at the very beginning. They both rebel against the system but then pursue their own interests. At the end of it all, the two stories leave the readers some initiatives and learning about the real situation of the society.
The two stories are created in different form of culture but they are somehow identical to one another. The authorities are immoral and unjustified with their actions. They want happiness and ego without serving their people. The characters who suffer from all the threats and violence remain hopeless and helpless. What they have to do is to surrender. They were heroes of their own cause but they became antiheroes of their own dignity. The authors of the stories made a significant attack against the authority of the society.
They must know their limitations to make their society a better one for they are the implementers of law and they are treated as respectful individuals who make their people secured and free from harm – so they must also bring back the respect for they are the authority. In conclusion to this, it can be said that the two characters in the stories are antiheroes. In the beginning of the narratives, they were imprisoned and they sacrifice more than what they expected because they have their own ideologies and beliefs.
However, as they experience the threats and sacrifices within their path, they started to think for revenge against the system who tortured their character. If we look at the lighter perspective, we could not blame them from all the experiences that they have gone through. However, if we try to seek the deeper perspective of case, they will remain as antiheroes of the society because they work for their own monarchy and satisfaction and not for the betterment of their whole society. Works Cited Ha, Jin. Saboteur. Vonnegut, Kurt. Harrison Bergeron.
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