Science and Technology in LiteratureEssay title: Science and Technology in LiteratureJust an Analog Boy in a Digital WorldIn the short story вЂњHarrison Bergeron,вЂќ societal equality has been achieved by handicapping the most intelligent, athletic or beautiful members of society down to the level of the highest common endowment. To do so process central to the society which is overseen by the United States Handicapper General. At the time of the story, the office of Handicapper General is filled by the shotgun-toting Diana Moon Glampers. Harrison Bergeron, the protagonist of the story, has exceptional intelligence, height, strength and beauty, and as a result he has to bear enormous handicaps. These include distracting noises, three hundred pounds of excess weight, eyeglasses to give him headaches and cosmetic changes to make him ugly. Despite these societal handicaps, he is able to invade a television station and declare himself emperor. As he strips himself of his handicaps, then dances with a ballerina whose handicaps he has also discarded, but both are shot dead by the Handicapper General. The story explains that everyone is equal in intelligence due to the constitution and agents of the United States Handicapper General. This information proves that everyone in VonnegutвЂ™s story cannot accurately be tested to see how smart he or she are in order to put a handicap on him or her that makes them completely equal to every other person. The equality of humans does not stop at their physical features but also include mental capacity. One may think a person is beautiful when another may not; therefore, one person is not capable of deciding who is beautiful or not precisely. It is shown that humans only use approximately ten percent of their brain. It is illustrated when HarrisonвЂ™s parents are watching the dancers on the television, вЂњShe must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideousвЂќ (***). The characters, George and Hazel talk about ballerinas they see on the television and express the fact that the ballerinas are wearing masks in order to hide their beauty. The United States Handicapper General puts handicaps on people who have intelligence that is above average. Because physical attractiveness is an opinion, one cannot make such a decision for everyone as to whether one person is beautiful or not. It is also impossible to test one hundred percent of someoneвЂ™s brain in order to figure out if they are above the average intelligence. The вЂњHarrison BergeronвЂќ idea of a perfectly equal society is a good concept but it is not completely accurate. A major theme in the short story is rebellion and how the main character, Harrison, channels his rebellion.
Rebellion is open opposition to authority or tradition. Usually the word rebellion implies disobedience when there should be obedience. The ancient French word for rebel is rebelle, which means “to wage war again” (Rebellion). These symptoms describe what is commonly called a “conduct disorder,” or “Oppositional Defiant Disorder,” which is a behavioral problem characterized by uncontrolled anger, rebellion, resistance to discipline and a pattern of violating the rights of others and the laws set by society (Bain). Conduct disorders like ODD are becoming more common these days for both girls and guys. When behaviors like these are left untreated they dont get better by themselves, in fact they get a lot worse, even life threatening in some cases. Psychologists and psychiatrists generally separate disruptive disorders into two main categories: oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorders (Bain). The term “Oppositional Defiant Disorder” or ODD for short, is used to describe a young person whose symptoms include uncontrolled anger, resistance to discipline, and open defiance; the teen with a conduct disorder displays these symptoms as well, but also behaves in a way that often violates the rights of others (Bain).
For a generation now, disruptive young Americans who rebel against authority figures have been increasingly diagnosed with mental illnesses and medicated with psychiatric drugs. Disruptive young people who are medicated with Ritalin, Adderall and other amphetamines routinely report that these drugs make them “care less” about their boredom, resentments and other negative emotions, thus making them more compliant and manageable. And so-called atypical antipsychotics such as Risperdal and Zyprexa (powerful tranquilizing drugs) are increasingly prescribed to disruptive young Americans, even though in most cases they are not displaying any psychotic symptoms. Young people diagnosed with ODD, by definition, are doing nothing illegal (illegal behaviors are a symptom of another mental illness called conduct disorder). In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) created oppositional defiant disorder, defining it as “a pattern
of having one self-defeating non-violent, non-aggressive and non-violent thoughts. During the 1930s a similar program was started for a number of young groups in the United States, such as Black Studies, Politics, Religion and the Civil Rights Movement. But that is not really related to the APA’s definition of the disorder; the history of the original program has been quite different. In 1933 some 100 to 400 young people who had failed to achieve success as a group had self-doubt that they could not live up to their educational and professional aspirations and were worried that such a goal could possibly lead to the end of their lives and perhaps even to death. In 1934 the APA began to define it as a diagnosis that might be of help to a depressed, depressed or suicidal person of the same or similar age group, since its main aim was to be able to treat depressed or anxious self and their parents as if that the end of their lives were imminent rather than merely a temporary period. The Associated Press’ American Youth is Not Crazy: And Other People’s Misdiagnoses of Mental Illness – “The Most Violent Year of Illness in America” (AARP News) – “A National Study Finds Children with Mental Health Impairments Remain Nearly Half as Likely to Be Diagnosed With a Depression During the Same Year.” (Roughly 709,532 Americans had a reported history of mental illness in the year 2000. By that measure nearly 9,000 adolescents who lived in the U.S. have a diagnosis for mental illness. The U.S. is home to the highest number of mental illness in the world. And as of 1994, 542 young people with a history of mental illness (over twice as many as were diagnosed in 1990) met an early diagnostic threshold of mental illness in the year 2000. The prevalence of mental illness among young people with a mental illness has also declined steadily since the early 2000s.”) This has been done at the grassroots level in places like the AARP. In 1983 the National Foundation of Mental Health (NFMH) conducted a Survey on The Relationship Between Psychological Symptoms and Psychological Symptoms in Young People. The findings were that of the 19.7 million people in the USA in 1980, 14.1 million have the condition, more than 2.2 million have no diagnosis, and 7.5 million have no psychotic symptoms. Most people are still able to communicate their mental problems to others, and even though most are on psychosocial counseling, and while some have developed a sense of humor or self-assessment, or even a sense of self through a certain activity, many of those who are diagnosed with psychological disorders only have one or two psychotic symptoms. This results in the following breakdown: In 1981, 1.07 million people with schizophrenia were diagnosed. Among those with psychotic disorders, 1.12 million with no psychosis were found to be healthy enough to use psychiatric drugs; one in eight (24 %) would be healthy enough to use treatment for the condition, and 4.9 % would not even attempt to use a medication. During the 1980s this number was at its lowest levels; by 1983 nearly 40 percent of the American population had a diagnosis of one or more of the 10 conditions understudied. According to the 1980 Association of American Geriatric Psychiatry (AAJP), “there was a gradual decline in the incidence of psychotic symptoms amongst the American population over the past decade, and it continued.” This increase began with the introduction of psychosocial treatment.
In 1986 a meta-analysis of 12,842 studies on depression and psychosocial disorders found no correlation between psychological symptoms and mental illness at any age, other than in adolescence.
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