Heroism In Harrison Bergeron

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Heroism in "Harrison Bergeron" The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hero as someone "admired for achievements and noble qualities". The story "Harrison Bergeron" has no hero. Though some characters do display small glimpses of hero-like qualities, they either have a dishonorable past or do something in the moment that prevents them from maintaining a hero status through the story. For them, admiration is unattainable; they have no integrity. At first glance of the story, it can be easy to mistake Harrison himself as the breakaway hero. After all, he is first described as "a genius and an athlete, is under-handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous" (Vonnegut 197). Not to mention his parents are two of the main characters, and this idea brings the "child saving the parents (along with everyone else) in need" trope to life (think Harry Potter avenging the deaths of his parents). Harrison 's looks and sheer strength were said to have awed those of even Thor, the god of thunder (198). What makes him unable to be the hero, however, is his selfishness and delusional attitude. A hero is selfless, always making sacrifices for the greater good. When the bulletin is broadcast about the boy 's escape and he bursts into the television studio, he immediately declares himself the emperor. After being powerless and weighed down with handicaps (though he tore through them like they were just bits of tissue), he jumps, quite literally, at the chance to be in charge.
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