The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas Literary Analysis

1253 Words6 Pages
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 city appears to be very joyous and inviting. The narrator…show more content…
The child barely talks, except for a bit of whining gibberish and a plea, heard less and less often, to be let out. No one is allowed to speak even a kind word to the child, and no one stays with it long. _______“They all know that it has to be there. Some of them understand why, and some do not, but 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. (4)” If the child were rescued from its cell-like closet, the whole of the city of Omelas would falter. The city’s great happiness, its splendors and health, its architecture, music, and science, all are dependent on the misery of this one child. The Omelas people know that if the child were released, then the possible happiness of the degraded child, would be set against the sure failure of the happiness of the many. The people have been taught compassion and the terrible reality of justice, and on this they base their lives. ________Readers must face the question of what they would be willing to sacrifice for happiness. In Omelas, the people are trained and taught not to have remorse or pity for the reason of their happiness, so they are able to sacrifice the child. Introduced to the truth as youth and overtime not caring as adults. Each person in the city learns of the child’s existence at some point in their lives, and most come to peer at the child at least once, though some come for a return visit. The happy existence
Open Document