Harrison Bergeron

by

Kurt Vonnegut

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George Bergeron Character Analysis

George Bergeron is the father of Harrison Bergeron and the husband of Hazel Bergeron. Although George is characterized by his strength and “way above normal” intelligence, his state-issued mental and physical handicaps limit his talents, making him equal to everybody else. George’s attitude towards forced equalization is ambivalent. He abides by the law of the Handicapper General, declining his wife’s suggestion that he rest his handicaps while at home because he’s afraid of punishment, and he also suggests, while watching the handicapped ballerinas on TV, that their handicaps are in his best interest, since their mediocre dancing makes sure that nobody watching feels inferior to them. However, George does have an inkling that their dancing is bad and it might be worthwhile to see unhandicapped dancing—a thought that is interrupted by his mental handicap before he can follow it any further. Although George is upset by the imprisonment and murder of his son, his loyalty to the state and his inability to think for himself make it difficult for him to find any meaning or political resolve in the experience of losing his son. George’s conformity to the law of the Handicapper General represents a passive mode of citizenship that neglects to critique authority in society.

George Bergeron Quotes in Harrison Bergeron

The Harrison Bergeron quotes below are all either spoken by George Bergeron or refer to George Bergeron. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Equality vs. Individualism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Delta Trade Paperbacks edition of Harrison Bergeron published in 1998.
Harrison Bergeron Quotes

George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn't be handicapped. But he didn't get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

Related Characters: George Bergeron
Related Symbols: Handicap Devices
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

“The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?” If Hazel hadn't been able to come up with an answer to this question, George couldn't have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head. “Reckon it'd fall all apart,” said Hazel.

Related Characters: George Bergeron (speaker), Hazel Bergeron (speaker)
Related Symbols: Handicap Devices
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
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Harrison Bergeron PDF

George Bergeron Character Timeline in Harrison Bergeron

The timeline below shows where the character George Bergeron appears in Harrison Bergeron. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Harrison Bergeron
Equality vs. Individualism Theme Icon
Media and Ideology Theme Icon
Despite the nation’s sweeping equality, all is not wholly perfect—“H-G men” have taken away George and Hazel Bergeron’s teenaged son, Harrison. Though this is tragic, the Bergerons “couldn’t think about... (full context)
Equality vs. Individualism Theme Icon
Media and Ideology Theme Icon
Dissent vs. Authority Theme Icon
The Power of the Arts Theme Icon
The TV is broadcasting a dance performance and, though Hazel says the dance is “nice,” George begins to wonder whether it would be better if the ballerinas weren’t burdened by weights... (full context)
Equality vs. Individualism Theme Icon
Media and Ideology Theme Icon
Dissent vs. Authority Theme Icon
...to suggest that he remove a few of the lead balls while they’re at home. George refuses, reminding his wife of the punishment he would receive if he were caught disobeying... (full context)
Equality vs. Individualism Theme Icon
Media and Ideology Theme Icon
Dissent vs. Authority Theme Icon
The Power of the Arts Theme Icon
George, who had left the living room to get a beer, returns to find Hazel in... (full context)