What does Harrison's rebellion reveal about his character and his values?  

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pnhancock eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Vonnegut's short story Harrison Bergeron, the titular character rejects the handicaps placed on him by his society's oppressive government, declares himself Emperor, and exhibits his superhuman physical skill on live television. Harrison's actions primarily show his bravery; he very publicly denies the authority of a totalitarian government, breaking several laws by removing each of his handicaps as well as those limiting the ballerina and musicians. Additionally, Harrison is shown to be very confident and strong-willed when he declares himself Emperor, claiming that he is "a greater ruler than any man who ever lived," and begins issuing orders to those in the room with him. Harrison's intelligence and capability are established by the extent of the limitations on his vision and hearing, but further confirmed by his ability to resist even the strongest handicaps. Despite having his abilities restricted on every level, Harrison still manages to concoct a plan of resistance, something no one else in the story manages to do on their own.

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