What disability did the TV announcer have in "Harrison Bergeron"?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story "Harrison Bergeron," the year is 2081 and because of the amendments to the U.S Constitution, all people are equal. It doesn't matter what you look like, how smart you are or what race you are; because of Amendments 211, 212 and 213, everyone is equal. The only thing is that if you are beautiful then you have to wear a hideous mask or are disfigured. Everything comes with a consequence. Harrison Bergerson is 14 and has been taken away from his home and parents. He is good-looking and strong, and the government thinks he is a risk to everyone else. George and Hazel, Harrison's parents, sit in front of the television and if their thoughts stray too long on something that the government thinks they shouldn't think of, they get a major jolt of noise in their ears. While they are watching TV one night, the announcer comes on, and it is mentioned what all the announcers have.

The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasn't clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment. For half a minute and in a state of high excitement, the announcer tried to say, "Ladies and Gentlemen."

It is interesting that in a world that is supposed to be equal, the government gives the job as announcers to people who can't speak clearly. They want everyone to think that they are all equal, but the people who are truly outstanding they treat like they are nobody. 

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Harrison Bergeron

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