What technology does George have to wear in "Harrison Bergeron," and what is its purpose?

In "Harrison Bergeron," George has to wear a radio transmitter that broadcasts loud noises in his ear every twenty seconds. The purpose of this is to prevent him from thinking and taking advantage of his superior intelligence. He also has to wear a bag of birdshot round his neck as a physical handicap.

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George has to wear a miniature radio transmitter in his ear. This is tuned to a government radio station which emits loud noises approximately every twenty seconds. George is highly intelligent, and the purpose of this device is to prevent him from following any train of thought for more than twenty seconds and thus "taking unfair advantage" of his brain.

George is also physically handicapped by having to wear a canvas bag of birdshot (weighing forty-seven pounds) padlocked around his neck, Although this may not be "technology" in the same sense as the radio transmitter, its purpose is also to prevent him from taking advantage of his superior abilities.

George's wife, Hazel, has average intelligence, and therefore does not require handicaps to bring her down to the lowest common denominator. She is sympathetic to her husband's plight, telling him that he should lie down and rest his bag of birdshot on the sofa, as she does not mind if he is not equal to her all the time. She also thinks it must be interesting to hear all the different sounds and says that if she were Handicapper-General, she would have chimes transmitted on Sundays "in honor of religion." Her assertion that she would make a good Handicapper-General leads George to remark that she would be as good as anybody else, underlining Vonnegut's point that, in this society, it is impossible for anyone to be particularly good at anything.

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