In my opinion, the film 2081 was a more effective way of telling the narrative “Harrison Bergeron”. The film creates a sort of realism in the story because it has to be realistic enough that people can act it out, it also it gives me better visuals for what the handicaps look like.
In the story “Harrison Bergeron” written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Harrison is a 7 foot tall 14 year old who has the guts and the strength to rip off 300 pounds of handicaps with his bare hands, defy gravity, and jump as high as the ceiling. In a way this alienates the readers by making exaggerating Harrison’s super human qualities. However in the film 2081, there is no person who can physically do that so there is an added realism to it where we can see that Harrison doesn’t have these unrealistic qualities to him. Another difference between Harrison’s character in the story versus the film is his wants and motives. In the story, Harrison says, “I am the Emperor! Do you hear? I am the emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!” (4). Whereas in the film Harrison says, “and I say to you, that if it is greatness we must destroy, then let us drag our enemy out of the darkness, where it has been hiding. Let us shine a light so, at last, all the world can see!” (11:42). We can see from this that in the story Harrison is more self centered and only concerned that he gets to show the world how great of a man he is. In the film, Harrison wants to expose Diana Moon Glampers for all the evil things she does which is why he broadcasts himself dying. He risks his life to show others that the government is evil. These are two different motives for the same actions and I believe the second one is more interesting for me.
However, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the films story line and realism if I hadn’t read the story before hand so I believe rather one over the other they should come as a pair. Reading the story before watching the film let me be imaginative, thinking about what the handicaps could look like, how they were attached etc. I think the sequence in which we learnt the story of Harrison Bergeron (short story and then the film) led me to deeper thinking about each story line.