The Declaration of Independence claims that all men are created equal. This idealistic statement has some flaws attached. Would a perfect world have all people equal in every aspect of life? Kurt Vonnegut Jr. explores this idea in the fictional story Harrison Bergeron. His outlandish story shows the extremities that come with absolute equality. America has come a long way in equalizing rights for everyone. Therefore, his story is a logical analysis of what would happen if we strived to make every man and woman equal both physically and mentally.
Vonnegut's fictional world takes place in the year 2081. New constitutional amendments required everybody to become completely equal with one another. To ensure that the people follow the law, a United States Handicapper General is formed to eliminate natural competition which is essential for succeeding in modern time. Vonnegut explores the idea of eliminating this factor in order to achieve an absolute equality. He gives gifted people man-made handicaps forcing absolute American equality. For example, the father of the Bergeron family is exceptionally smart; as a result he is required to wear an earplug which makes noises to break his concentration. He also wears weights