Harrison Bergeron Summary and Response

Topics: Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut, Dystopia Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: April 3, 2013
Harrison Bergeron

Kurt Vonnegut’s Jr.’s short science-fiction story “Harrison Bergeron” proves exactly why the government should never be allowed total control over a nation’s freedoms or actions. When the government plays a bigger role than they should, they cause controversy amongst citizens. In “Harrison Bergeron”, they corrupted an entire nation to believe that they needed to live a specific lifestyle. “Harrison Bergeron” goes into greater detail with a specific family.

In 2081, Amendments 211, 212, and 213 were added to the United States Constitution. The Amendments ensured that every citizen was equal. This meant that no person was more intelligent, better-looking, or more athletic than the other. In order to make sure the Amendments were being upheld, the Handicapper General and his team of agents were in full force. In April of 2081, Harrison Bergeron is taken away from his parents (George and Hazel) by the Handicapper General. Because of the equality laws, his parents did not have the intelligence to recall the tragedy. Those with above average intelligence wore a radio in which the government could broadcast a noise to interrupt the thoughts of those who had been thinking for extended periods of time. One night, George and Hazel are watching ballerinas dance on television. Hazel is crying but can’t exactly remember why. ‘“That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did,” said Hazel. “Huh?” said George. “That dance, it was nice,” said Hazel’ (Vonnegut, 1). Suddenly, Harrison’s picture is shown on the television, claiming that he has escaped from prison. The government felt as if they were in danger because of Harrison. He was very intelligent, an athlete, and is under-handicapped (Vonnegut, 3). ‘”Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick, wavy lenses besides. The spectacles were intended not only to make him half-blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides....

Cited: National Review Online. National Review Online, 30 Aug. 2010. Web. 31 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nationalreview.com/nroriginals/?q=MDllNmVmNGU1NDVjY2IzODBlMjYzNDljZTMzNzFlZjc=#more>.
SparkNotes. SparkNotes LLC, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2013. <http://www.sparknotes.com/short-stories/harrison-bergeron/summary.html>.
Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc., 31 Mar. 2013. Web. 31 Mar. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron>.
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