In your opinion, what is the most effective medium for telling the “Harrison Bergeron” narrative: film or text? Explain your answer using specific details that relate to each version, as well as thoughtful reasoning.
There have been many novel to movie adaptations, and most of the time, people are disappointed with how the movie was compared to the book. However, there aren’t as many short story adaptations, which sparks the question of how good those movies are compared to the stories. This leads to the short story adaptation that we saw in class: 2081, and adaptation of “Harrison Bergeron”. After seeing the movie, I think that the short story “Harrison Bergeron” is better than 2081. I think this because of how the story lets the reader infer a lot about the setting and world that the characters live in. The movie gives you a fixed perspective, setting and characters. A reader can infer the setting due to the lack of information given about the world that the characters live in. The only information for setting the author gave us is that “the year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal”, that George and Hazel were in the living room, and every other character was seen in a ballet/news place through the TV (pg. 1). Due to this lack of setting, the reader can only guess, speculate and infer what goes on outside of George and Hazel’s living room, and what they see on TV. The reader can imagine what that world is like and think about how it would be like to live in that world. Letting the reader think and infer more about the book lets them be more involved and interested in the story. On the other hand, in the movie, the audience is given a fixed setting, with more setting spaces than in the short story. For example, there was only one news/ballet room in the short story, however, in the movie they split it into two different settings. In the story, the one news/ballet setting is seen only through the TV, however, in the movie, the audience can see things that George and Hazel cannot see through their TV. Examples of this include when there were scenes of HG men defusing the bomb, or when there was the large HG force waiting outside of the ballet theatre. This extra information about setting and characters doesn’t let the audience infer as much about what happens outside of the setting spaces. For these reasons, I believe that the short story “Harrison Bergeron” is more intriguing and engaging than 2081 which makes it more entertaining and overall a better medium for conveying this story.