"You been so tired lately-kind of wore out," said Hazel. "If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few"(Vonnegut Jr. 36).
"It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor"(Vonnegut Jr. 40).
The short story takes place in 2081, which is when society is forced to be equal. George and Hazel Bergeron have a 14-year old son named Harrison. He is always in trouble for removing his handicaps. George is forced to wear weights around his neck and has a radio to stop him from thinking too deeply. Hazel is the definition of perfect during this time period and she does not have any handicaps. Hazel often feels bad for George with his handicaps.
"Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on"(Vonnegut Jr. 40).
Suddenly, a news bulletin comes on their television screen. The announcer had a speech impediment, so he handed the papers to a ballerina to read. She is forced to wear an ugly mask because of how beautiful she is and she speaks in a growly voice and says that Harrison has escaped jail and plans on overthrowing the government. A picture of Harrison is shown on the screen. A rumbling noise occurs, and the Bergeron's television screen reveals Harrison referring to himself as the Emperor.
"Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen, has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is under-handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous"(Vonnegut Jr. 37).
"You been crying"(Vonnegut Jr. 40). "Yup"(Vonnegut Jr. 40). "What about"(Vonnegut Jr. 40)? "I forget, something real sad on television"(Vonnegut Jr. 40).
Harrison rips off all of his handicaps and requests for a brave woman to dance with him to become his Empress. Harrison tells the musicians to play their instruments to become royalty, which allows for him and his Empress to defy gravity and kiss. Diana Moon Glampers, the handicap general, kills Harrison and his Empress for the betrayal to society.
"A buzzer sounded in George's head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm"(Vonnegut Jr. 34).
Diana points the gun at the musicians to put their handicaps back on as well. At that point, the television screen goes dark.
George comes back from getting a beer from the kitchen and finds Hazel crying. He asks her why she was crying, but Hazel's stupidity causes her to forget. George encourages Hazel to forget sad things.
I believe that the author used this literary device to show another handicap that George is forced to have. It shows how strict the society is and how even your mind can be controlled. It affects the story by not allowing anyone to think too deeply. If someone thinks deeply, then they will rebel against society and cause trouble, which the government wants to avoid.