Why is the government looking for Harrison Bergeron?
In “Harrison Bergeron,” Harrison has been locked up because “he is a genius and an athlete, is under-handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.” He has escaped from jail and is on the loose, and they are frantically trying to find him. In this society, everyone was expected to be the same. In other words, no one should be smarter, or stronger, or different from everyone else. If a person danced too well, for example, he or she would receive a “handicap” to make his or her dancing worse. “They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot…” Harrison’s father is forced to wear a device that makes loud noises every time he thinks more than he should.
When Harrison bursts into the television studio, he takes off all his handicaps to reveal “a man that would have awed Thor, the god of thunder. He removes the handicaps from the ballerina, and she is “blindingly beautiful.” The handicaps they have been forced to endure are because the society does not want anyone to “feel bad.” Harrison and the ballerina have a moment of blissful freedom before he is shot as an example to others who might want to be different.