The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas Analysis

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One of the themes of “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” is the price of selfishness. In her story Le Guin displays that if one’s happiness depends upon hurting another, one will never be at peace with themselves or truly happy. The narrator works hard to portray Omelas as a joyous community by describing the Festival of Summer with music, dancing, singing, smiles, excitement, and peace. The narrator explains that the price of this is joy built upon suffering through an innocent scapegoat. This scape goat is an innocent, negated, and abused child known by everyone as the sacrifice for their wrong doings so that they may continue to enjoy their joyous lives. Ironically, although Omelas is portrayed as a joyful city, each citizen searches for ways to escape their guilt of this child’s suffering. Some choose to escape into activities of the flesh and to escape into rationalizations while others choose to leave Omelas. No matter their coping process, no one ever truly is happy. At a young age, citizens are aware of the scape goat in their community; they at first aren’t sure what to think about the situation, but most eventually conclude that it is more important to continue in their own prosperity and goodness. They choose to selfishly neglect the child so not to risk the entire communities’ luxurious lives by attempting to save the child. After coming to that decision, one will never be truly happy since the thought is still deep in their mind. This causes guilt to consume
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