Imagine if you could live in a perfect world. A world where there was no crime, no diseases, no evil and where people could live eternally. What if you could live in utopia? In Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, 2BRO2B, people are immortal, and the people in this society cannot have all the children they want because of the population control. Is living in this utopia a good thing, and is immortality a curse or a blessing? These are just a couple of the questions that are hypothetically asked in Kurt Vonnegut’s short story. This short story is written in a third person narrator.
The fact that it is a third person narrator, makes us unable to now what the different characters are thinking and feeling. We also have a switching point of view between Mr. Wehling and the painter. At the beginning of the story the point of view lies with Mr. Wehling, it then switches to the painter, again back to Mr. Wehling, and finally at the end of the story, the point of view is back with the painter. It is quite important to point out that the story starts out with a prologue. This is typical for a story which setting and environment takes place in the far future. The story has three main characters. The first one is called Edward K.
Wehling. He is in the hospital because of the fact that his wife is about to give birth to his three children. He is fifty-six years old. He dos not seem happy about the fact that he is becoming a father. He is described as colourless, rumpled and demoralized and has his face buried in his hands. (L. 15+16 P. 1). At the end of the story Mr. Wehling kills himself and two other persons because he realizes that he can’t keep all of them. He simply cannot choose between his children. The two other people that Mr. Wehling kills are Doctor Hitz and a woman called Laura. The second important main character is doctor Benjamin Hitz.
He is 240 years old, and is a blindingly handsome man. He is almost described as Zeus. He is on the other hand very happy with the new society. He was also one of the first guys to invent the gas chambers. The gas chambers are called the Federal Bureau of Termination and this is where people go to get killed. To book an appointment you have to dial 2BRO2B, which is the title of the text. Vonnegut probably chooses to use gas chambers to make his readers think of the holocaust. The tired and last main character is the painter. He is painting a mural on one of the walls in the hospital.
The mural he is painting depicts men and women in purple uniforms, but they do not have any faces. The painter is unhappy with his panting. He thinks the painting is not honest, because it doesn’t represent the real world, and the painter is a strong opponent of the new society he lives in. The mural almost seems like political propaganda. At the end of the story the painter tries to kill himself, but he fails. Instead he call’s the Federal Bureau of Termination and books an appointment for his own assassination. I think there is a major symbol in this text and that is Doctor Benjamin Hitz.
He is the perfect poster -child for the society they all live in. He is described as a hero, with the perfect look, and job. He is a symbol of the world they live in. After analyzing and interpreting Kurt Vonnegut’s short story 2BRO2B, I think that the message Mr. Vonnegut wants to send is that it is not a blessing to be immortal, it is more of a curse. You cannot live in a perfect world, because no matter how perfect the world gets there will always be consequences. There has to be a little bit of good, and a little bit of bad to even out the world. I think that this is the message he is trying to send.