How does the author of Harrison Bergeron feel about conformity?

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gkopf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is clear throughout the story that the author does not feel that conformity is the answer.  He understands that people long for equality: "The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal."  However, people are not just equal before the law, but in every way imaginable.  Pretty people must wear masks, the strong must carry weights, and the intelligent are constantly distracted by sounds in earpieces.  

The characters for the most part subscribe to this way of life, except for Harrison.  Harrison refuses to conform, and in the end, dies for it.  He becomes a martyr for diversity and individuality.  When Harrison hijacks the ballet performance and takes off his weights and rubber nose, the author describes him as "a man that would have awed Thor, the god of thunder."  The author speaks positively about Harrison, making him a martyr, not a villain.

Because the author speaks so positively about Harrison as a non-conformist, we can assume that the author does not think conformity is the answer.  Even in 2015, we struggle with conformity and being "politically correct."  At some point we lose our individuality and our cultures in trying to satisfy everyone.

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Harrison Bergeron

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