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Symbolism In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

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In Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, the setting takes place right by the sea in a city named Omelas. In the city of Omelas the people are very mature, intelligent, and live complex lives. The citizens of Omelas tend to be happy, and their happiness is based on the misery of a mistreated child. The child lives under Omelas in a dreadful cellar. In the cellar, the child lives in a small room and is surrounded by its own waste. Omelas is a perfect city and the cellar room is a vile place, but between those two settings, the people both have a false assumption of the idea of happiness. The city of Omelas is a utopia which consists of a wonderful setting. Omelas’ surroundings are described to be flawless, lively, and to be encircled by mountains. According to the narrator, “Omelas sounds … like a city in a fairy tale, long ago and far away” (2). The city’s residents, buildings, and its location are a main factor in the beauty of Omelas. The people are joyous, the buildings are well decorated, and the city is located right by the sea. Though Omelas is a wonderful city, under it, there is a horrendous cellar room containing a child. The cellar which contains the child is an atrocious room. The child lives in its own feces and is only allowed half a…show more content…
Joy and happiness is brought up throughout the entire story. It seems as everyone in the story knows what joy is, “we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid” (1). The citizens of Omelas think happiness is pain, which is guaranteed from the child’s misery. The child’s thought of happiness is might be the warmth of food or anything very minuscule. In Omelas, happiness is based off the suffering of a malnourished kid, but in the cellar, the child has been experiencing distress for so long, it might not be able to grasp the true concept of
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