“Harrison Bergeron” is a short story written by Kurt Vonnegut. It was first published in 1961 and is a dystopian tale set in a future society where everyone is made equal through the use of handicaps. In this society, anyone who is above average in intelligence, beauty, strength, or any other desirable trait is given handicaps to level the playing field and prevent anyone from standing out.
The story’s protagonist, Harrison Bergeron, is an exceptionally intelligent and strong young man who is burdened with a variety of handicaps to suppress his abilities. Despite these handicaps, he is determined to break free from the oppressive society and express himself as an individual.
The story explores themes of conformity, the consequences of extreme equality, and the suppression of individuality in the name of sameness. It raises questions about the nature of true equality and the cost of sacrificing individual potential for the sake of societal uniformity.
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