In "Harrison Bergeron," Vonnegut uses dark humor to show the contrast between the "ideal" of social equality and the real needs of individuals.
To step back and provide a framework, humor relies on exaggeration and overstatement--the more over-the-top or outrageous a situation, the more we are likely to start laughing.
Vonnegut maximizes over-the-top elements in this story of a future dystopian world in which everyone must be equal, regardless of the personal cost. If you have good looks, you must wear a mask. If you are a talented dancer, you must wear weights. If you are intelligent, loud whistles and noises must go off in your mind to disrupt your ability to think.
This burdening of people with devices to make them handicapped so that "equality" can be...
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