Omelas Literary Argument

1159 words 5 pages
March 26, 2012
The Iron Curtain of Omelas The short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, written by Ursula Le Guin, is about a so-called perfect society where the sacrifice of a child is what provides harmony, equality, and prosperity to the citizens of this city. As a reader, one is invited to create and visualize their own utopia, so that one is emerged with the reality of a moral dilemma: the happiness of many for the unhappiness of one. The symbol represented in the story reflects current and past society issues such as military sacrifice, slavery, and injustice. The narrator describes the city of Omelas to have no king (president), political system, technology, weapons, or many of the things that currently permeate our
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The child’s violation of human rights and unfair, maltreatment from the people of Omelas represents injustice. The symbol of injustice debatably manifests itself when the people of Omelas do nothing for the child’s well being for the sake of a perfect society. Although the narrator states that there is no guilt in Omelas, the children show signs of it when the narrators states, “They feel disgust…, [t]hey feel anger, outrage, impotence, despite all the explanations. They would like to do something for the child. But there is nothing they can do” (245). These feelings are signs that guilt may actually live within the citizens of Omelas, and what is to say about the ones who leave the city and never come back? Is it because of the guilt felt due to the injustice of the child? This is never explained in the story, but one thing is for sure, when people leave Omelas for whatever reason it may be, it does not erase the fact that the child remains suffering when they are long gone, never to return. In the story, the child if liberated from its unfortunate condition will not be able to enjoy life, but live in fear (246). The children of Omelas struggle to understand, at first, why the child must endure the horrible conditions it lives in, and as described by the narrator, “[o]ften young people go home in tears, or in a tearless rage…They may brood over it for weeks or

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