The government forces everybody to look and think exactly the same so that everybody would be equal. The year is 2081. All special or handicapped abilities and features have been neutralized. "Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else." (Page 4)
A picture of Hazel and George's son appears on the tv screen. "A police photograph of Harrison Bergeron was flashed on the screen--upside down, then sideways, upside down again, then right side up.The picture showed the full length of Harrison against a background calibrated in feet and inches." (Page 8) From the crowd came numerous signs of consternation.
Harrison claims himself as emperor as he "tore the straps of his handicap harness" and "flung away his rubber ball nose." (Page 9) Everyone was terrified and confused as they cowered in front of him. He then dares for a woman to rise and be selected as his empress. The woman was blindingly beautiful.
Harrison and the ballerina did not show much vigilance because the Handicapper General suddenly burst in through the doors of the studio and shot fire twice. The 'emperor' and 'empress' were dead before even hitting the floor. She aims at the musicians and tells them they have ten seconds to put their handicap gear back on. The Bergerons' tv suddenly burns out.
George comes from the kitchen and asks Hazel if she's been crying. She answers him telling him she has but she's forgotten why. "Something real sad on television. It's all kind of mixed up in my mind." (Page 12) He tells her to forget sad things and she replies with "I always do." He winced as the sound of a gun occurred to him in his head.
Harrison Bergeron is a frighteningly brutal science-fiction story. It's about how Kurt Vonnegut Jr. thinks the nation would act in the future if highly systemized technology was to be synchronized with a capitalist society. The events in the story revolve around characters who have been brainwashed by how the government ideally wants everybody to look and act.