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Analysis

Literary Devices in Harrison Bergeron

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

If George & Hazel Bergeron have any Jetsons-esque devices in their home, like a motorized walkway, a robo-maid, or a suitcase that changes into a car, we don't get to see it. Even their TV seem...

Narrator Point of View

Penny for Your ThoughtsIt's a good thing we're not inside the minds of the characters, since those sirens and loud noises would get annoying really fast. But that's not the only reason Vonnegut cho...

Genre

On the surface, the world of 2081 seems like the most dysfunctional of dystopias. But think about it: would it be that bad to just sit around and watch TV and never be sad? Who wants to worry about...

Tone

"Harrison Bergeron" is so calm and deadpan, it's hard to know whether we're supposed to be laughing at it or not. Like, say, this guy: doing something totally absurd with a totally straight face. W...

Writing Style

Vonnegut's style is simple and plain. It's journalistic, even, in the quick, concise way it gets the facts of the story to us at about a fourth-grade reading level. This sparse style emphasizes jus...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of the story is also the name of the character who tries—and fails—to change the society in which he lives. It sounds like a great title, but it really doesn't tell you anything about...

What's Up With the Ending?

"Harrison Bergeron" ends with a happy little joke. Haha, just another evening at home with the Bergerons. Oh, what's that you say? Hazel just saw her son shot on television? Yeah, that happened. Lu...

Tough-o-Meter

"Harrison Bergeron" is deceptively easy to read. Pretty much the largest, most complicated phrase you'll have to read is the title of the story. So if you've got that down, you're golden. If they h...

Plot Analysis

The Future is Here! And It's Kind of Boring!In the first couple paragraphs, we learn that the America of 2081 is a world with hundreds more rules and regulations than we have now. We also meet Geor...

Trivia

Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper-General of "Harrison Bergeron" makes a cameo appearance in Vonnegut's novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, which prompted the New York Times article "Do Human Be...

Steaminess Rating

There is no sex or nudity of any kind in "Harrison Bergeron." Even the beautiful ballerinas are forced to wear masks. With everyone so gosh-darn equal, and strength and beauty punished, we wonder h...

Allusions

The Constitution of the United States of America (1)Thor (59)
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