What is the effect of the futuristic setting in “Harrison Bergeron”?

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THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way.

These are the opening sentences of Kurt Vonnegut's short story, "Harrison Bergeron"--words that indicate the setting in which "equality" has been forced.  A setting in which "everybody was finally equal" implies that the weak have been enabled and the strong have been weakened.  It is a world of mediocrity in which Harrison Bergeron, brillant and athletic, is held captive.  For, he, now, is considered abnormal and can only be normal by having handicaps imposed upon him: He wears weights to encumber his athleticism. A red rubber ball is on his nose,

The rest of Harrison's appearance was Halloween and hardware. Nobody had ever born heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster...

(The entire section contains 405 words.)

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