How does the setting in “Harrison Bergeron” affect George?

Updated 21 March, 2023
The setting in "Harrison Bergeron" affects George in a profound way. The story is set in a dystopian future society where everyone is forced to be equal by the government, through the use of handicaps that level the playing field. George, who is above-average in intelligence and physical ability, is forced to wear handicaps that make him dull and slow. This affects his sense of self and leads to feelings of frustration and sadness. He realizes that he is capable of much more but is prevented from expressing himself. The setting highlights the dangers of absolute equality and the importance of individuality.
Detailed answer:

The setting in "Harrison Bergeron" plays a significant role in shaping the character of George. The story takes place in a dystopian future society where the government has achieved complete equality by handicapping those who are above-average in intelligence or physical ability. George, who is highly intelligent and athletic, is forced to wear a mental handicap radio in his ear that disrupts his thoughts and a physical handicap that makes movement difficult. These handicaps are meant to level the playing field and ensure that no one has an unfair advantage.

However, for George, these handicaps have a profound effect on his sense of self. He is constantly struggling to maintain focus and has to restrain himself from thinking too deeply or too creatively. He realizes that he is capable of so much more than what he is allowed to do under the current system. This creates a sense of frustration and sadness that he is unable to express.

The setting also highlights the dangers of a society that values complete equality over individuality. The government's obsession with equalizing everyone leads to a lack of diversity and a stifling of creativity. George's struggles show how important it is to have the freedom to express oneself and to embrace one's individuality. The setting also raises questions about the role of government in ensuring fairness and equality. Is it right for the government to limit individual freedoms in the name of equality? These are important questions that the story raises and that are still relevant today.

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