Harrison Bergeron

short story by Kurt Vonnegut

"Harrison Bergeron" is a science fiction short story by Kurt Vonnegut. It was first published in 1961.[1] The story is set in a future where the United States government thinks everyone should be equal, so the government gives people "handicaps". People who are strong must carry heavy weights, and people who are smart must wear a radio that sends out signals that distract them.

Harrison Bergeron is a boy who is very talented. He gets rid of his handicaps and dances with a ballerina on national television. The government kills him for doing this. His parents are watching, but are too distracted by their handicaps to understand what is going on.

Some conservatives have thought the story has a conservative point of view, although Vonnegut was not a conservative.[2]


  1. "Utopian Literature - Mid 20th Century". utopianfiction.com. 2009. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  2. "In a Strange Land - National Review Online". nrd.nationalreview.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011.