Harrison Bergeron Questions and Answers
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Harrison Bergeron book cover
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In this short story, what do you notice about the sounds in the story?      (READ DETAILS) (The sounds that are transmitted inside the head)                                     What is the author implying?                                                                  Quotes should be written down. It's a creative question, I know. I really have  no idea how the sounds relate to one another. Please help me!!

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Trace the sounds as they are mentioned through the course of the story. The first sound is described as being "a buzzer." It is followed by "hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer," "a twenty-one-gun salute," "a siren," "an automobile collision," and finally "a rivetting gun." All these sounds are transmitted via "mental handicap radio" devices issued to those with superior intelligence.

Obviously, the sounds transmitted by the Handicapper General's office vary so that surprise and unpredictability enhance the handicapping effect of the noises. Some of the sounds are marked by repetition of the noise (hitting the bottle, the rivetting gun), some by sheer volume (twenty-one-gun salute, the collision), and some may be marked by a dissonance of clashing pitches at the same time (possibly the buzzer and/or the siren). The Handicapper General does need to be given credit for imagination in locating widely varied types of disagreeable and distracting signals to be sent as handicaps. Vonnegut is also criticizing radio as being a source of mental handicaps - background noise that prevents people from thinking deeply and over periods of time.

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