In "Harrison Bergeron," what events are least exaggerated?

Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a really interesting question! It's hard to think of anything in the story that isn't exaggerated. The one event that comes to mind here concerns Harrison's mother Hazel. At the end of the story, Hazel watches the brutal murder of her own son on television. He is shot to death before her eyes with a double-barreled ten-guage shotgun. It must have been a horrendous sight.

Hazel's reaction is noted by Vonnegut, but it is not exaggerated. George returns from the kitchen and notices Hazel has been crying. She can't remember why. That is essentially the end of the story. Had the author chosen to do so, he could have written an exaggerated reaction for Hazel. She could have responded in a.much more dramatic fashion. Her unexaggerated reaction, though, actually adds to the horror of the story and helps develop Vonnegut's theme. Hazel has become so desensitized by this society that she sheds a few tears for her dead son, but no more. Whether she remembers or not is beside the point. She saw it happen and knew what she had seen.