Study Guide

Diana Moon Glampers in Harrison Bergeron

By Kurt Vonnegut

Diana Moon Glampers

Diana Moon Glampers is the Handicapper General and a crack-shot, kind of like a female Dick Cheney.

We're not sure how one gets to be Handicapper General. A vote? Nominated by Congress? Blowing away all the competition with a double-barreled shotgun? One thing is for certain: the Handicapper General is one person who is not equal in a society where everyone is supposed to be. She is clearly running the show, but why?

Shoot the Moon

Diana, like Hazel, is completely and totally average. In fact, we learn that Hazel "bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General" (16). But there's one difference: Diana has a mission. Although we only see her in a whopping two sentences, she means business in each of them: first, she shoots Harrison and the ballerina dead in two shots. Second, she reloads her shotgun and threatens to do the same to the orchestra if they don't get their handicaps back on ASAP. This is a woman with a job to do.

Her job might be clear, but her purpose in the story is a little murkier. In a story filled with politically muddy waters, Diana Moon Glampers could represent anything. It's likely she's the personification of the fear that people in power—like a president—could become a brutal dictator.

But the question is, is this a straight-faced personification or a parody? Could society really head down this path if it pursues socialist methods and ideologies? Or is it a grotesque joke, intended to tell people, "Get a grip! Government control will never be this ludicrous"?

So what's the deal with her weirdo name? Could her name be derived from Diana, the huntress? Possibly. Since Diana was associated with the moon, that's a pretty compelling interpretation. But what would it mean? And what about "Glampers"?

Maybe she just likes camping in style.

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