Summary

The short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut takes place in the year 2081, in the United States. All people are supposed to be equal, so the Constitution demands beautiful, strong, and intelligent people to wear physical handicaps. 

One day, Harrison Bergeron, the 14-year-old son of Hazel and George, is taken away by the authorities. Hazel is barely aware of the event, as she has an average intelligence, while George – whose intelligence is above average – is handicapped with a radio transmitter that constantly interrupts his thoughts. 

Hazel and George are watching some ballerinas dancing on TV. When George thinks about the ballerinas’ handicaps – which hide their beauty and prevent them from dancing gracefully– his thoughts are interrupted by noises emitted by the radio transmitter. Hazel then advises George to rest, so as not to feel the weight of his handicap ...

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