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Harrison Bergeron Activity

Page history last edited by Jayson Yeagley 12 years, 1 month ago

Your handout has a number written on it.  This has been selected by the Handicapper General. Find the corresponding handicap and assume the persona indicated as you join your group to complete the class assignment. In your group, make every effort to understand that each person is working to the best of his or her ability.


  1. You are an excellent writer.
  2. You have a spelling deficiency
  3. You are an excellent discussion leader.
  4. You can’t speak above a whisper
  5. You have trouble writing anything except simple sentences; s-v-o
  6. You are an expert in Vonnegut’s style of writing
  7. You don’t understand what satire is, but can learn if taught
  8. You understand movies and visual media, but struggle with reading.
  9. You are nearly blind, but hear well.
  10. You have trouble sitting very long and must stand every five minutes.
  11. You have no problems and are agreeable.
  12. You need to act out parts of the story if you can’t understand them.
  13. You have a simple vocabulary; that of a 3rd or 4th grader.
  14. You have an extensive vocabulary and like to write in complex sentences
  15. You must lay on the floor when you have to think hard.
  16. You are physically uncomfortable for some reason—you can invent the location and severity of the pain.
  17. You are physically perfect.
  18. You have trouble reading unless you read silently
  19. You only do well if you can hear what you read.
  20. You need drawings to help you understand
  21. You are excellent at making cartoons
  22. You must use a color of ink other than blue or black.
  23. You are allergic to pencils.
  24. You read with great expression and volume
  25. You work best if you can rhyme words in your answers.
  26. You are an expert at using alliteration (repeating beginning consonants)
  27. The only way you can concentrate for more than five minutes is to take a stretch break.
  28. You have to say “I Love English!” every ten minutes (Tourette’s symptom)




A "Harrison Bergeron" analysis produces the following topics of discussion.

  1. "Equal is not always fair in 'Harrison Bergeron'": The Declaration of Independence states "all men are created equal." Some, including the government in "Harrison Bergeron," misunderstand the meaning of equality, thinking it guarantees equal results as opposed to equal opportunity under the law and in the eyes of God.
  2. The Dangers of Big Government: "Harrison Bergeron" explore the dangers of giving government too much authority.
  3. Irony: The irony is obvious--dancers who can't dance, announcers who can't speak, smart people who can't think. Everyone has an articificial handicap, except for the Handicapper General who enforces the laws.
  4. Satire: Vonnegut pokes fun at government policies that punish the gifted and successful, redistribute resources, and encroach upon civil liberties. The tone is satirical; the theme is serious.
  5. The United States Constitutiona- Even the U.S. Constitution, a document created to limit government, has been turned into an instrument of oppression by Diana Moon Glampers and her ilk by adding 186 amendments to it.




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