Through the short story, Le Guin gives the reader the question: would you be able to live in a utopia knowing that there is a young child suffering for your happiness? Le Guin tells the reader that one should not be able to live in a perfect utopia (Omelas) knowing that the citizens are having to abuse a young child and rip him of his innocence just for the sake of their own happiness. Some may say that the central conflict for “The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas” is man versus man because it is the people of Omelas against the young boy in the closet. However, I would disagree. I believe the central conflict of the story is man versus society.
By using the idea of sacrifice, Authors ‘Shirley Jackson’ and ‘Ursula LeGuin’ both express how an act of sacrifice can determine the fate of another human’s life, and how one’s sacrifice can affect another person’s life in the short stories ‘The Lottery’ and ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’. The authors both use similar writing techniques, but the morals of the societies are different. In the short stories “The Lottery” and “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” you have two communities that both seem to be the perfect society in a way. “The Lottery” has an opening feel of kids playing and a big huge festival where everyone is having a good time. While In “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” shows the perfect society where everything is good and no one has any hard times.
In Ursula Le Guin's short story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" the city of Omelas is described as a place made up of a almost perfect society, keep in mind how I said “almost perfect”. A utopian city, Omelas during the Festival of Summer, is characterized by its happiness and perfection. "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" presents a challenge of conscience for anyone who chooses to live in Omelas. With the backstory of this joyous and peaceful city comes a sinister consequence in which leaves those who live in the town of Omelas to choose to walk away or live with their barbaric reasoning for peace. Omelas is described by the narrator as the story begins.
“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, by Ursula K. Le Guin, is a short story that triumphantly manages to twist a joyous mood into a dark and unfathomable sensation. Ursula K. Le Guin, uses multiple elements and successfully implemented these elements into certain aspects of folklore. There are two specific elements that are most noticeable in the story. The first element is atmosphere and the second element is theme. The first element that Le Guin uses successfully is atmosphere.
To kick the comparisons off we will first be looking at the literary elements present in “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. The most prominent literary elements present in this story, as stated in the opening paragraph, are: tone, point of view, and symbols. The tone that is adopted in this story is one of eeriness and also poetic in how the town of Omelas and that of its denizens are characterized. The town of Omelas is described in a very fairy like manner, “The air of the morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white gold-fire across the miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky” from these descriptions it is not unreasonable to suggest that the quality of life for the citizens of Omelas to be very high. With the spring festival underway
In “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” Le Guin uses contrasting pleasant and dismal imageries to illustrate the paradox of the “utopian” city. The images expose the bitter reality of the city and the change of attitude of the citizens by giving a comparison of the city’s jovial life and the child’s miserable life. In addition, Le Guin uses Omelas as a warning to inform us about our potential future when we plan to reach Utopia even at the cost of others’ suffering. Omelas is a city created to represent a paradise with wonder and pleasure. Le Guin describes, “[i]n the silence of the broad green meadows one could hear the music winding through the city streets, ... a cheerful faint sweetness of the air… the great joyous clanging of the bells,” (1).
Nothing in the world is perfect. In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, LeGuin Ursula shows how Omelas is a pictured a utopia, but there is its one flaw in their basement. LeGuin’s persuades throughout the story of Omelas that wherever there is light there is darkness. Within The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, LeGuin uses multiple points of views and would sometimes ask the reader questions midway through the story. Through the word choices and diction used, LeGuin makes the sentence powerful.
The use of symbolism is often used by authors to show a deeper meaning to an object within a story. These enhancements to the meaning of objects gives readers insight to what is really being represented. Although they may seem vague, they create a path to better understanding of characters and scenarios within a story. A proper use of this technique can be witnessed in Lord of the Flies. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, symbolism is used to depict a greater meaning within the objects that appear throughout the novel.
Another short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, written by LeGuin, explores the city of Omelas which everyone is happy or on the outside may look like their are, but hides an ugly truth to why everyone is happy. The few that can’t bare the knowledge behind the happy city chooses to walk away from it never looking back again. These short stories have a couple literary terms that contribute to the theme of both the stories which is the plot, setting, irony and symbolism. Jackson done a marvelous job in his short story applies the literary term plot and symbolism to make the story compelling and to give the readers suspenseful turn near the end. The exposition is the lottery itself and how it’s traditional for those folks, but later goes into depth further along in the story.
Le Guin’s philosophical short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” brings to light the unvarnished truth of how society’s success is fundamentally based on the unceasing sufferings of others in order for the greater majority to prosper. Similarly to how Kanye West says in his song “Take One for the Team,” “Your girl a queen, my girl a thing, you know what though, I’ma take this one for the team;” this can be related to the situation of the one suffering child in Omelas. The feebly neglected child hidden away from the populace is starved to only half a bowl of cornmush a day, can barely speak, and is abandoned to continuously hunker in gruesome conditions of its own feces and filth. The emaciated child is involuntarily forced to take one