Harrison Bergeron

What is ironic about George’s comments on competition, laws, and society in the story?

Throughout the story George had many different thoughts about the competition, laws and society. This was caused by the transmitter that made him forget about his thoughts by sending a sharp noise to his brain. For example when George thought about the ballerinas performances and that they actually weren’t very good because they were burdened with sashwieghts, bags of birdshot, and there faces were masked. He said, “ They weren’t really very good—no better than anyone else would have been.” However this is ironic because he later lost thought and commented on how handicaps were good for society because his wife Hazel wanted him to take out a few lead balls. “If I tried to get away with that,” said George, “then other people’d get away with it—and pretty soon we would be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn’t like that, would you?” This is also ironic because his son Harrison is a major fugitive who tore of many of handicaps from body and George is scared to take out two lead balls. This shows how they’re world is brainwashing from the handicaps that try to make everyone equal.

Describe George and Hazel’s reactions at the end of the story. What do you think the author is trying to say through them?

The author is trying to demonstrate how brainwashing and thought altering these handicaps can be through Hazel’s disabilities. Hazel just witnessed her son die on live television and a couple seconds later when her husband George asked her what she was so sad about she completely forgot. “You been crying?” George said to hazel. “Yup,” she said. “What about,” he said “I forget,” she said. “Something real sad on television.” You would think she would be more sad about this and she would remember this moment for the rest of her life. Now her and George don’t even know if they’re own son is alive or in jail. It also demonstrates how society can be changed to think whatever the Handicapper General wants through the television.