Theme Connection Project

By: Arthur Berry and Spencer Lewis

Poem Connecting to Harrison Bergeron:

Speak UP by Teri Hopkins

When you take a stand and say what you choose,
Without hesitation, or being confused,
Not holding a fear of what others may say,
But to say what you mean in every way,
It liberates your soul, by setting you free,
No longer a prisoner of insecurity,
But a teacher to others who sometimes hold back,
By seeing in you the strength that they lack,
Releases their fears and doubts that they hold,
And helps them now see its ok to speak bold,
Just do it with dignity, kindness and love,
Give all of your fears to our friends up above,
Don’t compromise yourself to collude with the rest,
Speak truth in your words and remain at your best,
If others don’t like the control that they lack,
Because of your strength to speak truth and talk back,
Let that be their issue, don’t lose who you are,
Keep making that stand and you’re sure to go far.
We all have the right to express our beliefs,
Our ideas, opinions, happiness and grief,
But we must allow others to do just the same,
Respect them and their wishes without drama and pain.
To allow them to shame you or belittle your voice,
Says “It's ok, I don’t mind” like you don’t have a choice,
And the more you keep quiet, the more they control,
Giving up who you are so that they can feel whole.
It just doesn’t make sense to allow this to be,
I'm no better than you, but you're no better than me.
So keep trying hard to find that strength deep within,
And let old habits go, so new ones can begin.

Pictures of the annotations for this poem are below:

Current Event connecting to the short story and poem:

The current event selected here to connect to the short story, Harrison Bergeron, and the poem, Speak Up, deals with the ongoing anti-government protests taking place in Venezuela. Due to the increasing crime rate and crumbling economy, many protesters have taken to the streets to protest against the Venezuelan government. Most of these protesters are university students who are concerned with the current conditions of their country. Like Harrison Bergeron in the short story Harrison Bergeron, these university students and other protesters feel the need to take a stand and act upon their beliefs. Though Harrison Bergeron protested the government in his own way of dancing on television while he was a fugitive, these Venezuelan protesters have turned to violent means in order for their voice to be heard. It also seems as if these protesters have listened closely to the words written in the poem titled Speak Up. This poem discusses the importance of standing up and talking out for your beliefs while also encouraging others to do the same in the process.Similar to Harrison Bergeron, the protesters have decided to listen to the words discussed in Speak Up. Theywant their voices to be heard despite what any government says they can or can not do and will continue to speak and act out their beliefs in an appropriate manner .  

The poem Speak Up, the short story Harrison Bergeron, the world event in Venezuela, and the book Fahrenheit 451 are all connected. each one focuses on events which the government suppresses the people and they are all stories of people taking a stand for what they think is right. In Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag realizes that their society might not be as perfect as previously believed. This is shown in Harrison Bergeron, when Harrison realizes that his society is messed up and that maybe equality is not they best thing. Both of these stories show men of action who do not passively stand by when they know what is wrong with the world. The poem Speak Up emphasizes on individuality and thinking for yourself. This is portrayed in Fahrenheit 451 when Montag sees the woman kill herself in her house with her books. This teaches Montag to think for himself and be his own individual person because the government might not always be right. The protesters in Venezuela where feed up with not being heard so they had to move on to more violent means of protest. This is exemplified in Fahrenheit 451 when Montag kills Beatty, his fireman captain. Beatty didn't take Montag seriously so the only way to get his point across to everyone that he is serious was to burn Beatty to death. The moral of all of these stories is to think for yourself and to go to any lengths to get what is right.

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