A Summary of The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, a Short Story by Ursula K. Le Guin
“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” is a fictional story that is classified as a short story by the author Ursula Le Guin. The story has a vivid description that has a lot of repetition in the narration of the way of life of the people of Omelas. The story is full of deliberate vague and vivid descriptions. The narrator explains the happiness in the city of Omela, but it becomes clear that the narrator does not know the details about the details. The fictional nature of the story comes out clearly when the narrator gives the readers the freedom of imagining the details as it suits them, “it doesn’t matter. As you like it” (Le, 1973).
The Context of the Story
In the introduction, the story gives the details of the Festival of Summer celebrated by the Omelas. The matching of the people and the singing shows the happiness that dominates among them. However, the narrator shifts from the celebration and narrates the misery of a child locked in a house secluded from the Omelas. From the story of the suffering child, the idea of scapegoat arises. According to Nugroho (2016), the scapegoat is the act of laying the blame on someone instead of others. The narrator makes the reader understand that the child suffering is in exchange for the happiness of the people of Omelas. If the child is to let out of the house and given the opportunity to enjoy life as the Omelas, then suffering is bound to befall the people of Omelas. Thus, the child is depicted as the life saver since its misery makes life possible.
Ritchie (2016) postulated that allegories are stories that describe events and represents events in a metaphorical manner. In this context, the suffering child is used to represent the wealthy and the poor. The poor seem to work for the wealthy and the few happy ones. However, any conclusions about the significance and the causes of the child suffering are left by the narrator at the disposal of the reader.
Based on the context and the insight of the story, the story can be concluded that it is Apollonian. Leddy (2016) describes the Apollonian as works whose aspects of human nature are presented as rational, ordered and full of discipline. The happiness fills the people of Omelas, and the writer describes the child as somebody whose freedom has been limited. The people, especially the children of the Omelas, who goes to see the child pity him or her. However, the goodness of the Omelas cannot go to the extent of rescuing the child from suffering.
The Value and The Message of the Story
The value of this fictional story lies in the themes illustrated by the narrator. The theme of suffering as seen in the child locked up in house shows how some people suffer in the society at the expense of others. The happy ones in the society enjoy themselves while the low class in the society suffers working hard with little or no return. Moreover, on the positive side, there is love and sharing among the people of Omelas. The festival brings together the people of Omelas; they play, eat, and interact together during the festival.
Recommendation to other Readers
The narrator calls the readers to make their conclusions after reading the story. Moreover, the narrator seems to be unsure of the facts surrounding the lives of the Omelas. The readers can make their conclusions after reading it. Therefore, it is important for people to read the story, and make their conclusions about the Omelas.
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