Please explain what the simile "Harrison looked like a walking junkyard" means?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The simile that compares Harrison Bergeron to a "walking junkyard" illuminates the young man's physical appearance as he wears all of the handicaps forced upon him.

In the dystopian society of Kurt Vonneguts's science-fiction fantasy in which "everybody was finally equal," individuality is sacrificed for sameness, or "equality," as it is termed. Harrison, son of George and Hazel Bergeron, is a fourteen-year-old genius and athlete; because he is so talented, he is made to wear tremendous handicaps that limit his exceptionality. So, "in the race of life," Harrison carries three hundred pounds of handicaps:

He wears spectacles, intended to greatly hinder his eyesight, and headphones that sting him with sharp sounds intended to inflict headaches. Added to these, Harrison carries three hundred pounds, some which may be bags of birdshot. In order to prevent his being too handsome, there is so much paraphernalia that he must wear that he becomes ludricrous with all the weights around his neck, a red rubber ball on his nose, and black caps on his even white teeth to make them seem snaggle-toothed.

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Harrison Bergeron

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