by Kurt Vonnegut
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
George Bergeron's handicapping ear radio blares all sorts of annoying noises into his ear, and we don't mean Nickelback songs.
Does the Noise in His Head Bother You?
Nope, we means noises like—bottles breaking. A riveting gun. There's even a car crash, which occurs right when Harrison, his son, appears on television. Not to mention the sirens.
Our thoughts? It's almost like fantasy and reality are meeting in real life, causing a giant accident in George's head that he can't deal with.
Check out the way that the sirens seem to go off at thematically appropriate times, like when the ballet starts or George and Hazel are talking about bending the rules. The sirens are giant, auditory red flags that might as well be saying, "YO! GEORGE! Something is not right here! This is not okay!" But instead of a call to action, they're a call to inaction for poor George, keeping him from doing anything other than clutching his head in pain.
If it weren't for all the noise in his head (and the weights around his neck, but more on that later), George might be the guy sitting at home on his couch, watching cable news, aghast at the way the country is headed, but doing absolutely nothing about it.
These noises symbolize a subconscious feeling that something isn't right, like a great big buzz, but what? Is George the guy who falls for everything the talking heads say, or is he the guy that sees through the leadership's bull-honky? Either way, until George gets off his keister, he's not a good role model for anyone.