About Harrison Bergeron
Harrison Bergeron is a short story and was published in October 1961. It is classified as satirical science fiction. Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut draws a strange picture of the future United States.
The book first appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and later appeared in Welcome to the Monkey House. Harrison Bergeron proudly received the recognition of the Prometheus award for Best Classic Fiction.
The story opens with the narrator claiming that the time had come when every individual had attained the same status. They were not only equal in the eyes of the creator and law but also made equal in every other aspect.
It happens because of the amendments being brought in the constitution of the United States. And every individual was subjected to such a plan, and no one was meant to violate the law. It would have been a serious offense to the government if anyone did.
Several things about such a plan were out of normal as the time when a fourteen-year-old boy (Harrison Bergeron) was taken away from his parents by the Handicapper agents. The parents could not think much about the tragedy because the higher authorities were artificially controlling them.
If they had intelligence, they would be kept busy by the noise of the transmitters to keep them distracted and not using their brains. While George and his wife Hazel are conversing in front of the television, the news of Harrison Bergeron’s escape from prison is announced. In a short period, Harrison appears in the room (after the news is announced), and George’s transmitter activates, and he gets distracted.
Harrison claims to be the emperor and removes all the handicaps from him and the ballerina – an attempt to choose his empress. They join hands and dance in the studio. Everything goes well until Diana, the handicapper agent, appears with a gun and claims the lives of Harrison and his empress. And the musicians are threatened to wear their handicaps back. At this stage, the television darkens, and George does not recall the event. However, Hazel remembers something sad had occurred.
Harrison Bergeron revolves around the theme of equality and the use of media to control minds where people are curbed and made equal by forcefully handicapping them. They are made equal at the cost of attaining their free will. We hope this Harrison Bergeron Summary will help the students write the essay later.
Harrison Bergeron Characters:
The following are some characters in Harrison Bergeron:
● Harrison Bergeron
He is the fourteen-year-old son of George and Hazel Bergeron. The government jailed him. He was blessed with physical and mental strength, and he has a free will that he exhausts to break the shackles and set himself free. We get a vague indication that he is a hope for the future of America.
● George Bergeron
George Bergeron is the father of Harrison Bergeron. He is intelligent and handicapped by the government. The radio transmitter that George wears arrests him from thinking rationally. He cannot be considered an outlaw, for he obeys the authorities without any doubt, thus making him a timid character.
● Hazel Bergeron
Hazel Bergeron is the mother of Harrison Bergeron. She has a short-term memory. She is not as sharp as her husband or her son. Her intelligence could be gauged by her inability to recall her memories. She is very gentle and bears a soft corner in her heart.
● Diana Moon Glampers
Diana Moon Glampers is the chief United States Handicapper General. Her job is to handicap the public to bring them all to the same level regarding their intelligence, beauty, strength, etc. She considers it her job to make the people keep wearing the handicaps.
Besides these major characters, other characters include the television announcers, the ballerina turned announcer, and many others.
Harrison Bergeron Quotes:
Some important quotes from the short story are as under.
- “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.”
- “I am the Emperor!” cried Harrison. “Do you hear? I am the emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!” He stamped his foot, and the studio shook.
- “Even as I stand here,” he bellowed, “crippled, hobbled, sickened – I am a Greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!”
Essay Structure on Harrison Bergeron:
After learning about the theme of Harrison Bergeron, short story and its characters, you will find yourself in the position to write an essay on any topic provided to you. Before moving further, we are confident that the thoughts of writing an essay and how to write a compelling essay would have crossed your mind, right?
Please do not get worried because you will be educated on the basics of writing an essay, its structure, format, and tips for writing a good essay. So, what are you waiting for? Let us learn the structure of writing an essay.
The introduction is the most important part of your essay because it enlightens the readers about the whole essay. A good parallel could be drawn by imagining that you are asked to introduce yourself in front of the interview panel.
If you are distracted and off-topic, the listeners will lose interest and get a bad impression. The same goes for writing. Your introduction should be powerful enough to grasp your readers’ attention.
There are many ways of writing an introduction. But the best idea is to avoid directly stating the thesis statement. It repels the readers as they find it dry and boring.
The body of your essay is the major part where you express your ideas where you justify your thesis statement. The body of the essay is written in the form of paragraphs. Never add headings in the body of your essay.
Every paragraph must discuss only one fact and should be supported by facts, figures, and textual evidence. Logically arrange the ideas in your body in a sequence. It should be loaded with ample transitional devices so fluency is maintained in the paragraphs and one part ends smoothly and blends into the other.
The conclusion is the last part of your essay, where you will wrap up your work. There are many ways of writing conclusions, but the simplest of all is summarizing the main opinions of your essay and restating the thesis statement. Ensure that your conclusion is relevant and reflects the crux of your essay. It is concise and brief.
6 Tips to Consider While writing an Essay on Harrison Bergeron:
When you decide on writing an essay on Harrison Bergeron, the following simple tips will be very helpful for you:
Read The Book Thoroughly
It is believed that to be a good writer, you must be a good reader. The same goes for writing your essay because if you do not know the text, how come you will be writing a powerful essay? It is why reading the text once or twice is mandatory, so your concepts are clear.
Find A Compelling Topic
After you have read your text, you are clear about the theme, characters, and plot. Then comes the second thing, which is finding a compelling topic. Usually, the readers wish to learn something new. They would not want to stay with the years-old analysis or a redundant topic repeated, just words changed.
Hence, finding a compelling topic becomes the demand. Make sure your topic has food for thought. It allured the reader to read further. It has supporting details that will make your standpoint stronger.
Create The Outline
After reading the text thoroughly and choosing a topic, the next step would be creating an outline. An outline will help you get new ideas and accommodate the new ideas in your essay.
Through a general outline, you will come to know which ideas are needed to be included and which one should be discarded. (If brainstorming and clustering of ideas are done beforehand)
Write The Thesis Statement
Your thesis statement educates the reader on what your essay is based on. The more specific you are, the less likely the reader gets lost in finding out the purpose. When he is provided with what he wants to read, he will read it with interest.
A thesis statement is the main theme around which your essay will revolve. If it is more general, the essay will be confusing. Therefore, meticulous thought should be given to narrowing down the topic for the essay, and only then will you be successful in formulating an attractive thesis statement.
Include A Lesson Or A Moral In Your Essay
The purpose of adding moral value is to elucidate how we can become a better society. It allows one to self-introspect and realizes the virtues and vices. Our moral values are a means to improve ourselves. And it creates a lasting effect on the readers’ minds. So, it is a good idea to add a moral or a lesson in your essay to make it more interesting for the reader.
Conclusion: Proofread Your Work
After writing your essay’s conclusion, go through your work several times. Look for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and punctuations correction if required. Where possible, change the sentence structure for more clarity of ideas.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Main Message Of Harrison Bergeron?
Harrison Bergeron is based on the concept that total equality is not possible. Any attempt to procure equality is unnatural, and idealizing this notion is not worth struggling for.
What Is The Story Harrison Bergeron Really About?
Harrison Bergeron is based on the perception of the government to attain absolute equality by controlling the minds of the masses and making it illegal for any attempt to violate the rules set by the handicappers.
Who Kills Harrison Bergeron?
After Harrison Bergeron’s prison break, he is advertised as a wanted criminal. He is found in the ballerina studio. Diana Moon Glampers shoot him because he violates the rules set by the HG.
What Happened To Harrison Bergeron And Why?
When the story reaches the climax, Harrison Bergeron is seen using his intellect. He shuns the orders of the government and removes all the handicappers, including his red nose. This attempt instigates Diana Moon Glampers to finish him off. She shoots him with her double-barrel shotgun.