,
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Harrison Bergeron” as Want to Read:
Harrison Bergeron
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Harrison Bergeron

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  17,628 ratings  ·  1,279 reviews
"The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way..."

It is the year 2081. Because of Amendments 211, 212 and 213 to the Constitution, every American is fully equal, meaning that no one is stupider, uglier, weaker, or slower than anyone else. The Handicapper General and a team of agents e
...more
ebook, 9 pages
Published 1961 by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Harrison Bergeron, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Johnny As of 2022, there's been one movie and a pair of short films:
Harrison Bergeron (1995) (TV Movie)
IMDb #tt0113264 - 1h39m - 7.2/10 - Low Popularity
H…more
As of 2022, there's been one movie and a pair of short films:
Harrison Bergeron (1995) (TV Movie)
IMDb #tt0113264 - 1h39m - 7.2/10 - Low Popularity
Harrison Bergeron (2006) (Short)
IMDb # - 0h30m - 7.5/10 - Trivial Popularity
2081 (2009) (Short)
IMDb #tt1282015 - 0h25m - 6.9/10 - Low Popularity

I'd whole-heartedly recommend '2081'— I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected, plus you should be able to find it online for free.(less)
Johnny 0h15m—About fifteen minutes, per a reading of the standalone edition of 'Harrison Bergeron'.…more0h15m—About fifteen minutes, per a reading of the standalone edition of 'Harrison Bergeron'.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-59
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,628 ratings  ·  1,279 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Harrison Bergeron
Maureen
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
*3.5 stars *


A short but chilling read, that makes the reader celebrate diversity in all its many forms. Absolute equality certainly isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!!

Thanks to my GR friend Mark for putting this one on my radar.
Seemita
A rather stinging, unsettling account of a likely future where absolute equality doesn’t naturally translate into celebrations until the constructs establishing it, are also ensured to be without prejudice.

Ouch, did I say too much? Rejoice in this much-in-love couple from that land then.

description
...more
فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi
- قصة قصيرة، يتخيل الكاتب مجتمعًا يضحي بالحرية من أجل المساواة! يقوم هذا النظام برتق الفوارق بين الناس بتقليل نسبة الذكاء، القوة، الجمال ... الى أدنى قاسم مشترك. هذه الفرضية لا يمكن ان تستثمر الا ضد النظام الشيوعي (او الاشتراكي) لكن حتى الأفكار الشيوعية الداعية الى توزيع متساوي للثروة والعدالة بموجب القانون لا تنحدر الى هذا الدرك من الإستنزاف للحرية.

- حينما تسأل هايزل جورج لماذا لا ينزع الكيس عنه، فيجاوبها:

"If I tried to get away with it," said George, "then other people'd get away with it-and p
...more
Flannery
This short story takes about 5 minutes to read and it is absolutely worth it. It is set in a society where, in an effort to make everyone equal, anyone who is above average in any respect is given mechanisms or hindrances by the government to suppress whatever it is they can do. If they are mentally gifted, the Handicapper General (It was written in 1961) gives them an earpiece which plays annoying noises when they are thinking. If a person is attractive, they are forced to wear masks.

The story
...more
Lyn
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut is a short fiction dystopian vision that leaves the reader thinking long after the short prose is over.

One of the great things about Vonnegut’s short fiction is that he is able to tightly wind a story and never meanders off on tangent (even though those wanderings are often entertaining in his novels). Bergereon is the alpha male amidst a society of forced mediocrity.

Best line in the story, when asked if he would be a good whatever, the answer, “as good as an
...more
Shawna Finnigan
Apr 29, 2021 rated it liked it
It was sort of weird reading this in 2021 as being that I think I read this in 2014 or 2015 for an English class. It's interesting how my perspective on this story changed. I truly thought the story would be a utopia based on the first paragraph but I quickly came to see that this was a much darker story than I initially thought. This story tries to make equality for everyone by somewhat punishing and forcing handicaps onto those who are prettier, smarter, or have a better physical ability than ...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
A classic example of how equality is not the same as equity.

| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
...more
Prashant
Apr 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book
Damn you Vonnegut!!

All these years you let me think that 1984 is one of it's kind.
For god knows how long have I felt awed by the world Orwell imagined 1984 to be.

And here comes a SOB who writes stories which take hardly 5 minutes to read and leaves the reader scarred for life. In spite of the dominance of Orwell and presence of Fahrenheit 451 on the similar lines, Vonnegut is able to deliver the message safely and eloquently.

The story is set in the future when 'Equality' is the norm and 'Comp
...more
Manjhal
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kurt-vonnegut
Harrison Bergeron is a heartbreaking and eye opening story showing that dangers of a completely equal society. Equality is important in the eyes of the law. However, being different than the rest is the key staple in human life.
Srividya Vijapure
Eerily brilliant short story.

The story is about an imaginary world, where everyone is forced to be equal, in every conceivable way, often through the use of handicaps. Handicaps are ways by which excellence is brought down to mediocrity, and voilà, people are equal.

Stories like this truly scare me, not merely because of the unimaginable horrors it portrays but mostly because in a world that is so full of competition, what if people were to get tired of it and deem mediocrity to be the rule of l
...more
Katelyn Jenkins
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, classics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Layla
May 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
~ 3 stars ~

This was an good read. It was thought provoking, so I think it accomplished what it set out to do. This takes place in a futuristic society where everyone is equal, or are they? And what does it truly mean to be "equal" ?
...more
Valliya Rennell
4 stars

These short stories that my book club has been picking out have been really good! Right now we are kind of in an apocalyptic phase, but I can't say I'm complaining!

Harrison Bergeron is a short story about a society where everyone is equal: mediocre. It is bleak and written in a matter-of-fact sort of language. Stories like these remind me to cherish peoples' differences.

It takes all of five minutes to read and I think it is totally worth it.

...more
Sonja ✧・゚。★・゚☾
❛The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal.❜

This was a very interesting short story. Despite the fact that the story is set in a dystopian world, I really enjoyed reading it. I seriously love reading dystopian fiction, schadenfreude at its finest!

The first sentence of the story proclaims that everybody is equal—but as I continued to read on, it quickly became apparent that this “equality” the narrator goes on about could not be further from the truth.

In the world of Harrison Bergero
...more
Peter Tillman
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" -- which I hereby nominate for Best SF Short-short Ever. And the *only* SF story ever to grace the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal!

Do reread it if its been awhile. And if you somehow missed it: one of Vonnegut's best. Hell, one of English literature's best. Hot stuff.

"It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. ..."

http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harri... -- also available there
...more
Janelle
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
One of those clever stories by Vonnegut that takes only a short time to read but makes you think. In this future everyone is equal and kept equal by the “handicapper general” who makes sure nobody is smarter than the dumbest person, no one is more beautiful or stronger etc etc. Of course this all fails if there’s no one smart enough to keep the place running! And I also wonder how race comes into it...
But anyway I did enjoy it and I think my favourite part was the handicappers name Diana Moon Gl
...more
Ahmed Hussein Shaheen
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
قصة قصيرة لطيفة. وهي من نوع الديستوبيا
عرفت عنها من كتاب العدالة : ما الجدير ان يعمل به؟
للكاتب مايكل ساندل
فقررت أن أترجمها والترجمة جاهزة الآن وتقع في 8 صفحات فقط ولكنها تستحق القراء
Simeon
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: apocalypse
There are two paths to equality: elevating some people, and breaking others. Actually, ignoring for a moment the second option (which is the theme of Vonnegut's story), the first is pretty divisive all by itself. All our modern political ideologies seem concerned with it, after all - the extent to which a society, a government, should be responsible for its people, and whether helping each other actually infringes on some inalienable right of not having to help each other.

The reality is that al
...more
Raya راية
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"إنه عام 2081، وأخيراً الجميع متساوون. ليس الجميع متساوون أمام الله والقانون فحسب، بل إنهم متساوون في كل شيء؛ فلا أحد أذكى من أحد، ولا أحد أجمل من أحد، ولا أحد أقوى أو أسرع من أحد."




دوستوبيا من نوع آخر. الجميع متساوون، لا مكان للذكاء، لا مكان للجمال، لا مكان للحب، لا مكان للتميّز. بئس هذه المساواة المخيفة.

نلاحظ مرة أخرى بأن الحُب يشكّل صفعة قوية في وجه الأنظمة القمعية.



قصة مخيفة حقاً!.

كل الشكر والتقدير والحب للمترجم أحمد شاهين الذي قام بترجمة وتوفير هذه القصة للقراء بلا مقابل.


...more
Sofia
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it


Chilling.

I keep thinking of all the handicaps we are saddled with by society. The worse, the kicking yourself in the ass bit, is that most of the handicaps are there by our own choice, albeit unconciously. Society is devious like that.
❦ jazmin
"’I am the Emperor!’ cried Harrison. ‘Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!’ He stamped his foot and the studio shook."


✧・゚: *✧・゚:* *:・゚✧*:・゚✧


⇢Thoughts

I think this story becomes more disturbing the more times you read it. This is my third read of Harrison Bergeron, and its meaning has certainly changed for me. Maybe it’s because it’s easier to understand the less obvious messages as you grow older?

This story is incredibly interesting, and has so many meaning
...more
Anni
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So clever - the message is the same as Solzhenitsyn's - 'if you are free you are not equal, if you are equal you are not free' - but Vonnegut's version is a lot funnier! ...more
Mark (halfway through 4 weeks holiday - so a bit quiet) Porton
Fascinating short story I just read. Quite disturbing, but worth a look. A 5 or 6 minute read, thanks Carol! Here it is http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harri... ...more
Moha Dem
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short
A short story that goes ahead in the future with new rules and amendments, it's a worthy read. ...more
Lily - Books by Starlight
A warning to our present world about "equality." ...more
Liz Janet
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
The perfect introduction to Vonnegut is here. This is a story about absolute equality, and how dangerous it is. In this world people are completely equal, and the way to make sure of it is by adding things that would hinder them, as illustrated above. No one is uglier nor stupider than anyone else, but no one is also smarter than anyone else, and anyone that breaks this rules is basically an enemy of the state. Harrison Bergeron is taken from his parents for he is not equal to everyone else, and ...more
Thomas
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great short story with multiple layers - I feel like discussing this during my freshman year of high school and my freshman year of college would leave me with two different interpretations. Is Vonnegut satirizing egalitarian society? Is he satirizing satire? He infuses the story with clever and ironic descriptions to show its depth in subtle ways. Highly recommended for anyone searching for a solid story that will take only a few minutes to read but will leave you with several days worth of t ...more
Ashley Marilynne Wong
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extremely dark, extremely humorous, extremely sarcastic, extremely beautiful and extremely tragic. Oh I could worship Vonnegut for producing this absurdly inspirational and witty dystopian short story! Hahaha!
'Harrison Bergeron' is a mind-blowing satire on the literal notion of equality. In the short story Vonnegut envisions a world in which physical and mental defects are 'given' to everyone to make them equal to everyone else. How does that work? Read the story to find out!
...more
سُندُس عَبدُاللَّه
الفكرة عبقرية، مذهلة بكل المقاييس!
راودتني فكرة مشابهة مرة، حتى تكون المحصلة أنه في اختلافنا رحمة على الحقيقة.
شكرًا للمترجم شكرًا جزيلاً للمجهود وتوفيرها بلا جهد للقارئ. :))
Evan
added it
Mar 16, 2012
Amanda
marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2012
Josie
added it
Mar 19, 2012
Joseph
added it
Mar 19, 2012
Prospero
marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2012
Sue
added it
Mar 19, 2012
Jchin
added it
Mar 19, 2012
Andrew
added it
Mar 20, 2012
Shelly
added it
Mar 20, 2012
Dustin
added it
Mar 20, 2012
Gosiarenia
marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2012
Kat D.
added it
Mar 20, 2012
China
marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED: Short Story- Satirical about Equality/s 3 715 Feb 16, 2022 04:02PM  
Books & Beyond: April Short Story: Harrison Bergeron 4 14 Apr 29, 2021 11:26PM  
Harrison Bergeron 1 4 Sep 17, 2020 07:31PM  
Book Report 1 3 Sep 17, 2020 06:49PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Short Story..Help can't find the title! [s] 7 687 Apr 08, 2020 06:53PM  
The Evolution of ...: HARRISON BERGERON by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. 17 28 Feb 25, 2019 04:22PM  
Play Book Tag: Harrison Bergeron (Dystopian) 10 27 Aug 08, 2018 10:11AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • All Summer in a Day
  • The Pedestrian: A Fantasy in One Act
  • The Veldt
  • There Will Come Soft Rains
  • The Lottery
  • A Sound of Thunder
  • Examination Day
  • The Last Answer
  • Happy Endings
  • The Most Dangerous Game
  • Hills Like White Elephants
  • We Can Get Them For You Wholesale
  • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
  • The Story of an Hour
  • The Last Question
  • Lamb to the Slaughter
  • The Monkey's Paw
  • The Landlady
See similar books…
See top shelves…
30,942 followers
Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journali
...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
68 likes · 7 comments
“He tried. That's the big thing. He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him. He should get a nice raise for trying so hard.” 9 likes
“The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.” 8 likes
More quotes…