Ursula Le Guin's 'Those Who Walk Away From Omelas'

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Lauren DeStefano said, “ 'dystopian, ' by definition, promises a darker story” (DeStefano). One may find this to be particularly true in Ursula Le Guin’s “Those Who Walk Away From Omelas” when he is able to look past the happiness displayed proudly on the surface. Le Guin’s “Those Who Walk Away From Omelas” employs dystopian elements because the story, like other dystopian works, warns about societies with trapped citizens, living in a supposedly perfect city, who fail to question the structure of their society.
The city of Omelas embodies a seemingly perfect society, which are often featured in dystopian works, to warn of the illusionary nature of such a thing. Beecher defines a dystopia as “an imaginary world thought to embody a kind of perfection
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It appears that the structure of Omelas is actually lack structure, for “there was no king. They did not use swords, or keep slaves. They were not barbarians. I do not know the rules and laws of their society, but I suspect that they were singularly few” (Le Guin). When citizens discover the child in the basement, they realize that there are more flaws in the structure of Omelas than they originally thought. Le Guin takes this a step further when she “reinterprets [the essential truths] to reflect our contemporary world” (Rochelle). The major flaw is that there are problems that remain unaddressed, simply because one fails to think about them. Le Guin uses Omelas as a warning to readers, imploring that they search for the flaws in their own society. As a result, the reader is forced to see the flaws of Omelas’ social and political structure. Shaky societal structures, such as Omelas’, are a key element in dystopian elements. Le Guin includes the supposedly perfect structure, with the one exception of the suffering child, to supply the reader with a vivid example of how a society can be blindly corrupt, with its members doing nothing to stop

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