Analysis Of The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

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Throughout the history of humanity, there have been signs of ancient traditions in many different cultures. Some traditions have been passed down through generations and generations, because it provides comfort to those who are frightened by the ever-evolving society around them. These small traditions give those who practice a sense of control and power over the lives of those who practice them while everything around them changes and evolves. Authors Shirley Jackson and Ursula Le Guin, along with director Lasse Hallstrom introduce their readers and viewers to characters who believe that their traditions help give them control over aspects of life that are uncontrollable to the reader. It is through the authors and directors compelling narrative…show more content…
However, it was when Guin’s tone turns ominous that readers can sense that not all is perfect in Omelas when Guin states “In a basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas…there is a room. It has one locked door, and no window… The room is about three paces long and two wide …in the room a child is sitting. It could be a boy or a girl. It looks about six, but actually is nearly ten” (Guin 763). In this quick introduction to the child, Guin explains to readers that the people of Omelas aren’t as perfect as they seem and that they, like everyone else, have secrets that no one would expect to be true. It is when Guin further explains the child to readers, that readers can see the purpose of the child “they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child 's abominable misery” (Guin 764). Although the people of Omelas know of the suffering child, they simply ignore it because they believe that the suffering of the child allows the city to be perfect and the citizens happy. This perception of control the people of Omelas have over their happiness, is very dangerous not only to the child but the other children of Omelas as well. This tradition puts a fear into the mothers and children of Omelas because they never know whether or not their child will be chosen next as the town’s sacrifice. Because the children and mothers worry, this sacrifice doesn’t bring everyone happiness but instead creates a sense of unease to some. The people of Omelas logic and reasoning behind this tradition is irrational because
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