Harrison Bergeron Questions and Answers
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Harrison Bergeron book cover
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How did Harrison's emotions come to play when it came to deciding his own destiny?

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Harrison is ridiculously large and strong, as well as incredibly good-looking. For this reason, he has been weighted down with three hundred pounds of scrap metal, saddled with thick glasses, and forced to wear idiotic things to make him appear to be ugly.

When he gets in front of the television cameras, he says that he has been "crippled, hobbled, sickened," and yet, despite the handicaps he's been forced to endure, he is "a greater ruler than any man who ever lived!" He tears straps and snaps padlocks, and then he claims his "empress," a volunteer from the ballerinas who had been performing before his entrance. Then, "in an explosion of joy and grace," the pair springs into the air to dance. The narrator says that the two of them, together, manage to neutralize gravity with their "love and pure will."

Thus, it would appear that Harrison's feelings play quite a significant role in deciding his own destiny. He would, apparently, rather act on his feelings and risk death than keep his feelings to himself any longer. He feels that he ought to be a supreme leader, probably due to his superior size, strength, intelligence, and will, and so he acts on his feelings. He also clearly wants to share his position with someone else, probably because he has been lonely up until now. These feelings all seem to compel him to act as he does rather than live a half-life at best due to all of his restrictions.

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