Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Ebook: 15 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
2BR02B is a satiric short story that imagines life & death in a future world where aging has been “cured” & population control is mandated and administered by the government.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
This is a quick short story that focuses on a dystopian universe where death and aging are a thing of the past, and now people have to choose to die before any more can be born, leading to the government creating strict population control laws. Now, when people want to die, they call the number: 2BR02B to set an appointment. I really enjoyed this story for how well Vonnegut creates this strange world; it seems happy and perfect, (or, at least, you know that it’s supposed to be) but there’s definitely a creepy element to it right from the beginning. The hospitals are pretty much abandoned except for a painter working on a mural and a man pacing in the waiting room; that alone was enough to make me shiver.
For teachers, I think it’d be an amazing companion to 1984 by George Orwell. It’s a quick read and it gives a nice introduction to the idea of government control. Also, there’s a lot to talk about in regards to ethics of scientific discovery and unintended consequences that certain discoveries may have, which offers options for pairing with a science teacher to do a collaborative unit on inventions and discovery. A lot of good discussion topics here and you don’t have to invest a whole lot of time to go through it, which is great.
Aside from teachers, though, any dystopia or science fiction fan will enjoy this story, it’s well crafted and one of my very favorites by Vonnegut.