In this dystopian future, the Handicapper General and her agents use mental and physical handicaps to make everyone in society equal. If someone has superior mental abilities, that person is given a handicap to distract his/her thinking. If someone has superior looks or physical abilities, handicaps are used to make them less attractive or unable to use those physical skills.
Harrison is extremely gifted, mentally and physically. He stands seven feet tall. Harrison is so gifted that the Handicapper General has had a hard time coming up with handicaps to subdue him.
Nobody had ever born heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the H-G men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides.
In addition to these, Harrison wears 300 pounds worth of metal. In an alleged attempt to take over the government, Harrison escapes from jail and goes to a television studio. On live television, he proclaims himself emperor. He tears his handicaps off as if they were made of paper. He asks for an empress and a ballerina rises. He removes her handicaps as well. They dance in celebration and then Harrison is killed by the Handicapper General. Harrison was attempting to make a statement about rebelling against this oppressive government, but his self-coronation as emperor seems more like self-glorification than a call to others to rebel with him.