"Harrison Bergeron" is a dystopian science fiction short story by Kurt Vonnegut about a future world in which the government imposes equality upon everyone. The Handicapper General's office enforces equality by equipping beautiful and talented people with mandatory masks, heavy weights, distracting earphones, and other impediments. Harrison Bergeron is both attractive and a genius, but rather than be shackled by the government, he escapes and attempts to mount a rebellion.
Vonnegut uses satire and extreme exaggeration to create awareness of human variety and complexity. The Handicapper General's agents create ludicrous handicaps to attempt to stifle everyone's unique appearances, skills, and talents. The fact that so many people have to wear these handicaps shows that there is no condition that is an ideal normal, and everyone has their own characteristics and idiosyncrasies that make them special.
The human experiences that the story portrays include the condition of government oppression and a striving for freedom, as expressed in the conscious and unconscious attempts of the characters to break out of the government-imposed so-called normalcy. For instance, Harrison's father, George, has above-average intelligence and naturally tries to reason things out, until blaring noise cuts off his thoughts and gives him headaches. The epitome of the human experience of rebellion against authority is Harrison Bergeron's futile attempt to break free of his bonds and warn his fellow citizens.