Harrison Bergeron

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Harrison Bergeron is a 1961 dystopic short story by Kurt Vonnegut, which describes a future in which radical egalitarianism is enforced by the "Handicapper General".

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.[1]

It was required that any abilities, beyond the human average, had to be brought back to the average level by applied handicapping devices. George Bergeron, a man of high intelligence, had to wear a radio that distracted his thinking with noise bursts.

The title character, Harrison Bergeron, is a fourteen-year old boy, who is seven feet tall, has genius intelligence, immense physical strength, and a determination to defy the Handicapper General.


  1. Kurt Vonnegut (1961), Harrison Bergeron