Harrison Bergeron 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.
When Harrison escapes, the TV reporter tries to read a bulletin on the air, but "It wasn't clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment" (37). Or when George experiences a crippling noise, Hazel can only say "Boy […] that was a doozy, wasn't it?" (22).
Seriously, we're not sure whether to laugh or wince.
Or how about watching masked ballerinas who are weighted down with iron pellets around their necks trying to do a graceful dance? Or Harrison winging musicians around like batons?
Hilarious, right? But the tone isn't even tongue-in-cheek. It's deathly serious. Real. Which makes us think: maybe Vonnegut is warning us that this stuff could actually happen.