Describe the character of Harrison in terms of both his physical qualities and his personality traits.

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Physically, Harrison Bergeron is a very impressive specimen. Strong, good-looking, and extremely tall for his age, Harrison is blessed with a naturally athletic physique. He's not too shabby in the brains department, either. Harrison takes after his father in that he's a highly intelligent young man with the capacity to think deeply about the world around him.

Unfortunately, Harrison's brain and brawn are considered dangerous in this radically egalitarian society. Under the dictatorial rule of Diana Moon Glampers, everyone must be completely equal. This means that those blessed with physical and/or intellectual superiority are forced to wear handicaps that drag them down to the same general level of mediocrity as everyone else.

In Harrison's case, this means having to wear weights to curb his natural athleticism. He's also lumbered with large headphones that emit white noise at regular intervals to stop him from thinking; massive, outsize spectacles that impair his vision; and a red rubber ball for a nose and black caps on his teeth that make him look deeply unattractive.

However, despite the best efforts of the regime, Harrison's spirit cannot be broken. He's a romantic, adventurous soul, and it comes as no surprise when Harrison escapes from prison, casts off his handicaps, declares himself Emperor, and dances with a ballerina on live national TV. When all's said and done, Harrison has the soul of an artist, and it is this, more than anything else, that allows him to enjoy his all-too-brief taste of freedom. The artistic soul, in all its creative, imaginative depth, is ultimately impervious to any attempt by the Handicapper General to break it.

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There is something unrealistic, it should be noted, at the heart of Harrison Bergeron's character: everything about him is larger than life. He is only fourteen years old, and yet he is already an enemy of the state—seven feet tall with superhuman strength, genius-level intellect, and the grace and coordination of a trained ballet dancer. Much like the world he inhabits, he pushes the limits of plausibility (and that may be entirely the point).

In this story, Vonnegut crafts a world in which the ideal of equality has been pushed beyond all rational limits, in which those who exhibit above average or exceptional ability must handicap themselves so that they would no longer stand out from anybody else. It is a society that would impose mediocrity through the government's monopoly of force. Harrison (on the other hand), with his almost superhuman abilities, is the absolute antithesis of everything this society values and represents. In taking over the television studio and dancing with the ballerina, he is engaged in a significant act of rebellion against the State (and for that act, he is executed at the end of the story).

In terms of personality traits, one of the most extraordinary factors to keep in mind is his age: he's only fourteen years old, and yet he's already engaged in an act of political resistance, and has a coherent political ideology which he espouses. At the same time, he displays fearlessness in his willingness to defy this imagined United States of the year 2081 and no small degree of brashness in how he goes about doing so.

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