After reading Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” and watching Chandler Tuttle’s “2081”, I can safely say that both forms of media told the story effectively in their own ways. However, when asked which medium is the best based on both works, I find myself unable to make a decision one way or another. Fortunately for me, I don’t think I need to. Instead, I believe that both form of media told their own stories equally as effectively as one another, but were both superior to each other in certain aspects.
The difference in media causes an immediate change in the approach taken towards description. The film uses images to add depth to characters by showing Diana Moon Glampers’ unwavering robotic expression, while the text uses imagery to add depth to the situation when it describes the ballerina making her voice sound like a “grackle squawk” (3). However, the text and film do much more than simply change the way the story is told – they change the plot and underlying ideas behind it; the essence of the story itself. The text is a satire, and treats its plot in a blatantly ironic manner. In the text, Harrison and the ballerina exhibit superhuman strength, blinding beauty, and the ability to remain “suspended in air” through “love and pure will” (5). Immediately afterwards, in a great act of situational irony, Diana Moon Glampers comes in and shoots them both dead, quickly erasing any impact Harrison had made. However, the film interprets this scene very differently, sacrificing much of its satirical value for drama and a bittersweet ending. In the film, Harrison and the ballerina perform an elegant dance before getting shot by Diana. However, Harrison secretly turns the television signal to the studio on so that the entire country sees Diana shooting them in their moment of freedom. He also seems to take no notice of the H-G men entering the studio, suggesting that their arrival was all part of the plan. The film makes it look like Harrison expected to be shot, and was using himself as a martyr to expose the true nature of the handicapper-general.
These differences play a vital role in comparing the two forms of media. Though the main plot of both stories remained mostly the same, the ideas, actions, and motives behind both stories are drastically different at times. While both of them tell the same basic story, neither of them tell the same “single story”. If the two forms of media each tell different stories, one cannot be proven superior to the other based on medium alone.