Harrison Bergeron Questions and Answers
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Harrison Bergeron book cover
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What is the setting and irony in "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut?

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For setting: Remember that setting is the time/place in which a story takes place.  Since a specific numerical year is provided in the opening of the story, you're all set with time.  The opening paragraph also provides the name of the country the story takes place in, so place is covered.  You should also consider ways in which to describe the place in which your characters live.  For example, a story could take place in a spooky setting, an urban (city) setting, a historical setting, etc.  What kind of setting does "Harrison Bergeron" have?

For irony:  Remember that "irony" could mean one of two things.  In this case, dramatic irony seems to apply.  Dramatic irony is present in a story when the audience knows things that the characters don't.  What things does the audience know that Mr. and Mrs. Bergeron do not know?

Irony could also have to do with the unexpected.  For example, it would be ironic to see a bulldog run away from a chihuahua.  What happens in the story that might be unexpected?  What are the unexpected results of the government's attempts to create a society of equals?

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