What is the setting of "Harrison Bergeron"?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story "Harrison Bergeron" takes place in the United States in the year 2081. All of the action of the story takes place in the living room of Hazel and George Bergeron, Harrison's parents. However, some of the action is viewed on live television, and Harrison is in the television studio, which his parents view in their living room. The setting seems as if it could be like a home in the United States in the early 21st century. The family has a television, a sofa with pillows, and a kitchen where beer is kept. The society has television studios, prisons, news reporters, and guns. What the society has that current U.S. society doesn't have is the capability to apply "handicaps" to its citizens to force them to be equal to one another. These handicaps include ear transmitters that emit distracting and painful sounds worn by intelligent people, heavy weights padlocked around the necks of strong people, and ugly masks worn by beautiful people. People must submit to these handicaps or they will be imprisoned or even killed by agents of the U.S. Handicapper General.