In the year 2081, true equality has finally been achieved: no one is more intelligent, better looking, or stronger than anyone else. This equality is imposed and maintained by use of handicaps, or items that citizens wear to create physical obstacles to make them equal to others, and enforced by the United States Handicapper General.
Hazel and George are watching a ballet performance on television. The ballerinas are handicapped by weights and wear masks to equalize their looks. A bulletin comes on the screen and announces that Harrison Bergeron has escaped from prison. At 14, he is 7 feet tall and has outgrown most of the handicaps the H-G agents have assigned to him. He is incredibly strong and good looking, and poses a threat to the government’s equality ideal.
In the middle of the bulletin, Harrison bursts into the TV studio, ripping the door off of its hinges. He begins screaming, “I am the Emperor!” and tears off his handicaps. He calls for an Empress and a beautiful ballerina rises and joins him. Harrison removes her handicaps and those of the musicians and commands them to play music. He and the ballerina begin to dance, leap, and twirl around the set.
In the middle of the dance, Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, arrives with a shotgun and shoots the ballerina and Harrison, killing them both. At that moment, the television goes out at the Bergerons’.
George has gone to the kitchen for a beer and seems to have missed his son’s murder.George notices that she’s been crying, but she doesn’t remember why-- just that there was something sad on TV. She can unscramble the thoughts in her mind, and George is unable to make sense of anything because at that moment, the audio transmitter blasts the sound of a riveting gun into his head.