Literary Analysis of 2BRO2B Essay Example



Many of us strive to present the best version of ourselves through actions, speech or appearance. At times this want for the best can cause people to take extreme measures in order to reach that unattainable standard of perfection. This can lead to misery and uncontrollable suffering for those we care about and others that encounter us. Whole societies even try to change themselves to reach these standards at the expense of their citizens. Kurt Vonnegut’s story “2BR02B” examines a society that takes the idea of perfection to another level. Through this use of Irony and Symbolism the author also supports the idea that perfection is unattainable by any society.

As the story progresses Irony can be seen throughout the story to further the idea of perfection being impossible to reach. First, this is seen when Dr. Hitz meets with Wehling to tell him the healthy condition of his newly born children to which Wehling replies “Hooray” in an empty voice. The contrast in his tone of voice and what he says shows that Wehling is quite unhappy about their birth since he knows he must kill 2 of them and his grandfather or kill all his children for the sake of his society.

This highlights how the society’s regulation of population fails to provide enough freedom to its citizens, thus it fails to be the utopia it describes itself as. As you get to the near end of the story, you also see the old painter request “How soon could I get an appointment?” to the Federal Bureau of Termination to end his life after witnessing the deaths of Hitz, Nurse Duncan and Wehling, despite his opposition to the Bureau earlier. His sudden change reflects his unhappiness with the rules and ideals set forth by his society. This shows that the society has not only failed to provide enough freedom, but it also fails at taking proper care of its citizens, giving another reason to why it fails to be perfect.

Symbolism is another factor that emphasizes perfection’s ruinous nature. If you backtrack to the very beginning of the story, the old man is painting a mural of people who are tending to a garden. To keep this garden neat the people dressed in white “turned the soil” and “planted seedlings” while the people in purple “pulled up weeds'' and cut down plants that were old and sickly”. These people are supposed to represent the various hospital staff that help in regulating the population, with the people in purple specifically representing the hospital staff involved in ending people's lives.

This mural paints a rosy picture of the hospital's role by describing it as though they are providing a public service to the people. However, there should be no reason for people to want to end their lives if it is a perfect society. If a society is perfect, then the people would be emotionally well so no problems would arise. Except, 2BR02B’s society doesn’t pay attention to individual people’s emotional and mental stability, providing the final reason why 2BR02B’s society is imperfect and their actions to try and make it perfect only cause the citizens to suffer.

2BR02B is one of many examples that shows how a society’s ideal of perfection can negatively affect its people. Many of the actions enforced by the government to regulate population only brought down the spirits and emotional, as well as, mental stability of its people. We, as people, must look for these toxic signs and patterns in order to steer clear of this dangerous path. If societies and people continue to idolize them, however, many more will suffer.