Diction & Characterization


WARM UP! • Read the story “Harrison Bergeron” silently. • You have 15 minutes and we’re doing a lot with this story today. What we do will be a quiz grade, so please read carefully.

CHARACTER ANALYSIS… In “Harrison Bergeron”

COPY THE FOLLOWING CHART ON TO NOTEBOOK PAPER … Character Descriptions (text evidence) Explanation


Pay attention to the way Vonnegut uses characterization in the story, especially his use of imagery, diction and figurative language associated with each character. Through these characterization and diction, he hints at the overall message of the story. Stickie note these devices when you find them as we read. Later, we will fill in our charts.


You will write an essay in a group of four. Compare charts and decide which quotes you have as a group that answer the prompt. Then each of you will be responsible for one literary device and example.

Good news! You don’t actually have to “write” the essay. You will present your essay to the class. For your presentation, you will state your theme. Then each member will present their evidence and explanation verbally. You may write notes or you can write out what you want to say exactly.

This is a quiz grade! Presentations will begin on Friday.


The United States has often been called the land of opportunity. This suggests that individuals are free to pursue their dreams to the best of their abilities, which may differ greatly. At the same time, our Declaration of Independence states that all people are created equal.

How does Vonnegut use characterization and word choice/ imagery to warn his readers of the potential drawbacks of a truly “equal” society?

Support your claims with valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence from the text.