In "Harrison Bergeron," we are told that Hazel is of average intelligence. What can we infer about what it means to be average in this society? I want textual evidence to support my claim.

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In Vonnegut's futuristic American society, the government has mandated that every citizen must be equal in every facet of life to ensure complete uniformity. In order to create a perfectly equal population, the agents of the United States Handicapper General force every talented, intelligent, and attractive citizen to wear cumbersome...

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In Vonnegut's futuristic American society, the government has mandated that every citizen must be equal in every facet of life to ensure complete uniformity. In order to create a perfectly equal population, the agents of the United States Handicapper General force every talented, intelligent, and attractive citizen to wear cumbersome handicaps to suppress and control their above-average abilities. Citizens of normal intelligence are not required to wear any mental handicaps, which indicates that they are naturally ignorant, forgetful people who lack perspective and the capacity to think deeply.

Vonnegut writes that Harrison Bergeron's mother, Hazel, has perfectly normal intelligence and can only think in short bursts. Unlike her husband, George, Hazel does not need to wear a tiny mental handicap ear radio, which omits loud noises to interrupt one's thoughts. There are several notable examples that indicate what being average looks like in Vonnegut's futuristic American society. Vonnegut writes,

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel's cheeks, but she'd forgotten for the moment what they were about (1).

The fact that Hazel cannot even remember what moved her to tears emphasizes her lack of intelligence and proves that the average citizen is extremely ignorant and forgetful. While George and Hazel are watching television, an important news bulletin flashes on the screen but the announcer struggles to articulate his thoughts. Vonnegut writes,

It wasn't clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment (3).

The fact that the announcer has a serious speech impediment illustrates that average citizens are severely inept and lack talent, intelligence, and skill. Overall, being average in Vonnegut's futuristic American society suggests that these citizens are incompetent, award, and unintelligent.

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