Harrison Bergeron breaks out of jail where he is held on suspicion of wanting to overthrow the government in Kurt Vonnegut's story, "Harrison Bergeron." His act is rebellion against this suppressive government and its forced equality authorized by the Amendments to the Constitution.
In his act of rebellion, however, Harrison overreacts as he declares himself emperor; as a superhuman, he says he will be "a greater ruler than any man who has ever lived." And, ironically, his attempt to overthrow the totalitarian government is totalitarian itself as he orders the musicians to remove their handicaps and play as he selects his Empress by grabbing the beautiful ballerina. His rule is extremely short-lived like that of most dictators. Thus, Vonnegut implies that power must always corrupt. Tragically, too, Harrison's attempt to free others ends in death, leaving the futility of trying to move upward in society intact.