Harrison Bergeron Questions and Answers
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Harrison Bergeron book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is ironic about the ballet?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,025 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The ballet is an example of situational irony, which occurs when events turn out differently than we expect.

The ballet is ironic because Harrison and the ballerina dance beautifully together, having shed all their artificial handicaps. This is completely unexpected in a society where everyone is forced to hide or handicap their talents in a bizarre quest for complete equality. For once, people watching television are able to see individuals of great talent and beauty perform.

It is also ironic, as least from the point of view of our culture, if not of Harrison's, that their dance doesn't lead to their society embracing the value of individual excellence. One of would think, seeing what people are capable of, the society would now want to encourage individual gifts. However, the two dancers are shot and killed onstage for their pains.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Related Questions