Harrison Bergeron Questions and Answers
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Harrison Bergeron book cover
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In "Harrison Bergeron," describe how the writer makes us feel through language (metaphor, simile, decriptive language and personification).

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You might want to think about a specific part of this great short story to analyse rather than the story as a whole. For example the use of language towards the end of the novel when Harrison Bergeron makes his sudden appearance as the "Emperor" is designed to create a hopeful, happy mood as we see somebody successfully rebelling against the rules and restrictions imposed on this society of equality. Consider the following use of language:

Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well.

They reeled, whirled, swivelled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and span.

They leaped like deer on the moon.

Note how language here is used to emphasise their grace and beauty as they dance. The simile at the end compares them to deer who are able to leap uninhibited (in sharp contrast to the rest of the dancers with their hindrances) and the beauty of their motions enables them to defy the laws of motion and gravity. Consider the list of verbs that describe their movements, highlighting their skill and grace.

Unfortunately, however, this hopeful mood is brought to a sudden stop when both the Emperor and the Empress meet an untimely demise at the hand of Diana Moon Glampers.

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