Harrison Bergeron | Study Guide

Kurt Vonnegut

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Harrison Bergeron Study Guide." Course Hero. 18 July 2019. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Harrison-Bergeron/>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2019, July 18). Harrison Bergeron Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Harrison-Bergeron/

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "Harrison Bergeron Study Guide." July 18, 2019. Accessed September 24, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Harrison-Bergeron/.


Course Hero, "Harrison Bergeron Study Guide," July 18, 2019, accessed September 24, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Harrison-Bergeron/.

Harrison Bergeron | Character Analysis


Harrison Bergeron

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.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Harrison Bergeron? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!