Harrison Bergeron

harrison BergeronThis story by science-fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut is one of several that he wrote about future worlds in which people’s lives are controlled and everyone is made equal. In this one the strong must carry heavy weights, the beautiful must wear masks, and the clever must wear radio earphones through which sharp sounds are played to stop them thinking too clearly. As is usual in such worlds, at least some of those in government aren’t forced to be equal… in this case the Handicapper General and her “H-G” men.

English Learner Vocabulary Help

The words and expressions in our Pre-Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

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announce(v: announce, announces, announced, announcing) To officially tell people about something. The government announced that they will cut taxes.
(n: announcement pl announcements) A written or spoken statement that tells people about something. Many people were surprised by the government's announcement about the tax cuts. 2000

ballerina(n: ballerina pl ballerinas) A woman or girl who is a ballet dancer. 10000
(n: ballet pl ballets) A kind of dancing that is performed on a stage with no talking or singing, and uses only dance, music, costumes, and scenery to tell a story. 5000

ceiling(n: ceiling pl ceilings) The inside surface at the top of a room. 3000

(n: constitution pl constitutions) The general laws of a country that set down the rights of the people and how the government works. 5000

crash(v: crash, crashes, crashed, crashing) 1. To damage something (such as a car) by causing it to hit something. She crashed the car into a tree, but no one was hurt. 2. To make a loud noise by falling, hitting something, etc. The glass crashed to the floor. 3000

dessert(n: earthquake pl earthquakes) A shaking of a part of the earth's surface that often causes great damage. 5000

equal(adj: equal) Not changing; the same for each person. People in our country are equal before God and the law. 1000

explode(v: explode, explodes, exploded, exploding) 1. To suddenly break apart with a loud noise, sending parts flying outward. 2. To move with sudden speed and force. The race horses exploded out of the starting gate.
(n: explosion pl explosions) The act of exploding. 3000

gentleman(n: gentleman pl gentlemen) 1. A polite word for a man. Two gentlemen arrived this morning. 2. A man who treats other people in a proper and polite way. He is a true gentleman. 2000
Used especially when speaking formally to a group of people. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

handicap(n: handicap pl handicaps) 1. A physical or mental condition that may limit what a person can do; something that makes doing something more difficult. The loss of a finger would be a handicap for a pianist. 2. [in a race, competition etc] A disadvantage of some sort given to the best competitors so that others have a better chance of winning. 3000

headache(n: headache pl headaches) An ache or pain in the head. All this noise is starting to give me a headache. 3000

headphones(n: headphones, plural) A device that is worn over your ears and used for listening to music, the radio, etc., without having other people hear it. 6000

lady(n: lady pl ladies) 1. A polite word for a woman. A gentleman should always open the door for a lady. 2. A woman who behaves in a proper and polite way. Her mother was always telling her to act like a lady. 3. In the U.K., the title of a woman of noble rank. 1000
Used especially when speaking formally to a group of people. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

mask(n: mask pl masks) A covering worn on the face to change or hide what you look like. 3000

mental(adj: mental) Of or relating to the mind. She was worried about her son's mental development. 2000

pain(n: pain pl pains) The physical feeling caused by sickness, injury, or mental or emotional hurt. He felt a sharp pain in his back. It caused him pain to talk about his wife's death.)
(adj: painful; painless) Causing pain. A painful injury.; Without pain. Painless childbirth. 2000

scream(v: scream, screams, screamed, screaming) 1. To suddenly cry out in a loud and high voice because of fear, pain, surprise, etc. 2. To say something in a loud and high voice because you are angry, afraid, etc. 3000

screen(n: screen pl screens) 1. A large, flat, white surface on which images or movies are shown. 2. The usually flat part of a television or computer that you look at when you are using it. 2000

shake(v: shake, shakes, shook, shaken, shaking) To move back and forth or up and down with short, quick movements. 2000

signal(n: signal pl signals) 1. Something [such as a sound, a movement of part of the body, or an object] that gives information about something or that tells someone to do something. They communicated with each other by using hand signals. 2. A message, sound, or image that is carried by waves of light or sound. The phone signal is not very strong here. 2000

studio(n: studio pl studios) 1. A place in which movies or TV programs are made, or a company that makes them. (โรงถ่ายภาพยนตร์) 2. A room where an artist works or people go to learn, practice, or study an art such as singing, dancing, or acting. (ห้องทำงานของจิตรกรหรือช่างภาพ) 4000

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