Harrison Bergeron is a seven-foot-tall 14-year-old genius who is fitted with every encumbrance the government can imagine to forcibly handicap him and prevent him from excelling in any way. Harrison rebels, escaping from prison and ripping off the heavy weights, glasses, and headphones intended to make him equal to everyone else. The powerful young man declares himself emperor and announces he will select those whom he judges worthy to rule under him. But his rebellion lasts only a few minutes before he is killed. Harrison is a giant who overwhelms through sheer will. An questionable hero, though oppressed, he desires to also be an oppressor.
George Bergeron is a father and husband who is a naturally smart, loving man. However, to prevent him from competing with those of lesser intelligence and ability, the government forces George—and those like him—to wear an earpiece that emits horrific loud noises that leave him shaken and derail his train of thought. As a result George is unable to think clearly or critically about events in his life or even remember much about his own son. He is so accustomed to oppression that he accepts it without much question.
Hazel Bergeron is a middle-aged woman who has no special abilities. Everyone in society is handicapped to her level to eliminate the possibility of competition, a situation with which she is satisfied, although she is empathetic with those who are handicapped. Hazel's level of intelligence leaves her unable to remember her own son or grieve his loss for more than a moment. She almost immediately forgets disturbing things.
Diana Moon Glampers
Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, leads the government institution that controls the population by handicapping individuals with any trait deemed above average. By any means necessary from heavy weights and chains to technology such as radio-transmitting earpieces emitting piercing noises at regular intervals to disrupt thought, Glampers callously pursues the mandate of extreme egalitarianism.
An unnamed ballerina's beauty, agility, and strength are neutralized by an ugly mask and great weights chained to her body. She even neutralizes the lovely tone of her voice to avoid excelling in anyway. However, when Harrison Bergeron declares himself emperor and rejects government control, the ballerina also rebels, volunteering herself as empress when Harrison Bergeron invites anyone brave enough to join him in rejecting government control.