I read this book in Middle School and I can't for the life of me remember the title, but I can remember what it was about for the most part:

Takes place in the future, the government imposes laws that outlaw people from being different in appearance and skill level. For example, if you are fast or strong or tall, they will put weights on you to weigh you down so that you'll be more slower/shorter and more like the average. Another example, if you are pretty the government issues you "ugly glasses" etc.

Basically, it's all about making sure everyone is equal and punishing the extraordinary.

One of the main characters (a man) decides to literally loose himself of his shackles and weights, breaking them to display his power (if I'm remembering correctly).

Any ideas folks?

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    “if you are pretty the government issues you "ugly glasses"” — what? Glasses are totally hot. Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 15:35
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    I know this has been answered and accepted - but I found the story outline remarkably similar to a short story by Jerome K Jerome libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/cultn/cultn014.pdf published in 1891
    – HorusKol
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 2:38
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    @PaulD.Waite oh hon, you haven't seen the reading glasses rack at my local CVS Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut

The opening paragraph starts:

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.

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    I thought "Harrison Bergeron" when I saw the subject header. Classic story, and good and short - you can read it here: tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html. Commented May 2, 2012 at 14:28
  • @ChrisB.Behrens, that's the story I originally thought it was at first, too. :P
    – joshmax
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 21:49

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