Harrison Bergeron Questions and Answers
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Harrison Bergeron book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Give two reasons why the Handicapper General might view Harrison as a threat to society? 

Expert Answers info

mwestwood, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from The University of Alabama

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Since the Handicapper General (who bears a "strong resemblance" to Hazel Bergeron, who is so perfectly average that she has no handicaps) is assigned the role of maintaining "equality," she feels that the genius and extremely handsome Harrison Bergeron is (1) a threat to her as a leader in the country, and (2) a threat to society because he is not only superior to her, but to most of the population in intelligence and abilities.

The United States society of the year 2081 has forcibly made everyone equal, but that is not to say that everyone wants to be equal. Harrison escapes from imprisonment resulting because he violated the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments of the Constitution, which now force everyone to be no better looking, no more athletic or talented, or no more intelligent than anyone else. Knocking down the door to the broadcast room of the television station, Harrison overtakes the program and asserts himself by bellowing,

"Even as I stand here...crippled, hobbled, sickened - I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!"

Knowing this to be true, Handicapper Diana Moon Glampers acts according to her training and fires a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun at Harrison and the lovely ballerina he has taken for his Empress, killing them instantly and restoring the legislated mediocrity of her society.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial