How was everyone equal in the year 2081 in Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron"?

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In Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron," everyone is equal because the United States government has instituted several amendments to the Constitution that prohibits anyone from being better than anyone else. It has created a lowest common denominator that those who have greater abilities must bring themselves to in order to participate in society.

Equality in this society is characterized by Hazel Bergeron, the title character's mother. She is not required to wear any handicaps—devices that prevent a person from thinking, showing his or her athletic ability, or masking his or her beauty—because she is already perfectly average. Meanwhile, her husband, George, is required to wear both mental and physical handicaps. George, whose "his intelligence was way above normal," has to wear a mental handicap that "would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains."

Another example is the beautiful ballerina who read the news that Harrison escaped had to wear a "hideous" mask and then had to change her "warm, luminous, timeless" voice to make is "absolutely uncompetitive." In addition, the narrator says, "It was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her handicap bags were as big as those worn by two-hundred pound men."

George, Hazel and the ballerina are the best examples for how equality works in this society. Harrison, meanwhile, never really succumbs to these restrictions placed on him by the government.

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