Uploaded by Kim Knapp


English 10
Anthem Intro
Name: _________________________________________ D/H: ____________
Harrison Bergeron
Discussion Questions
1. What are the implications of the opening sentence, "The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal"?
What happened? What does the elimination of advantages, difference, and competition suggest concerning
the changes that have taken place?
2. What are the functions of the agents of "the United States Handicapper General"? What threats to society
do such agents combat? What political processes could lead to such absurdities? How is radical mediocrity
achieved and enforced?
3. What actual developments, policies, trends involving government-enforced equalizing, "handicapping," in
America might Vonnegut be parodying in "Harrison Bergeron"? What conceptions of equality motivate
such policies and trends?
4. Why is Harrison Bergeron such a threat to society? How has he been "handicapped"?
5. What is the significance of the real Harrison suddenly appearing on the TV set where his escape from prison
was being reported? Why does he repeatedly say, "I am the Emperor!" (11)? Is Vonnegut suggesting a return
to feudalism and its aristocratic political institutions?
6. What is Harrison trying to accomplish? What is the true sorrow of the ending of the short story?