The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
The Concept of ‘The Greater Good’ in “The Lottery” and “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
Written during separate times of war, Shirley Jackson’s 1948 short story “The Lottery” and Ursula Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” written in 1974, both chillingly demonstrate the concept of the scapegoat. By definition, the scapegoat often represents a person or object who is subjected to carry unwarranted blame or irrational hostility, usually to the benefit of others. The meaning of this symbol, as depicted by the two towns in these stories, lies in the belief that they must choose one person to suffer for the greater good of the people. Seeing as how Jackson wrote her story in the aftermath of World War II and Le Guin wrote hers during the final years of the Vietnam War, we can understand how this idea of conflict and suffering in a society and need to displace it has permeated into their works.
In “The Lottery,” Jackson presents a town that commits a ritualistic human sacrifice every year under the tradition of “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon,”—meaning the death of a townsperson is necessary for the success of their harvest (Jackson). “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” however, presents a more hypothetical town which forces one child to live in suffering so that the rest of the people can live in harmony and bliss. While both stories make provocative commentaries on society’s need for a scapegoat to preserve the ‘greater good’, they also seem to present these concepts in two very distinctive and separate ways that make the reader question the worth of the lives of many over the life of one.
Shirley Jackson’s famous gothic short story “The Lottery” begins in a surprisingly realistic and simple way. The narrator describes a small town of “only about three hundred people” who gather on a sunny June morning to engage in what seems like an annual festival-type of activity (Jackson). The narrator in this story goes into great length to describe the townsfolk and the idea that this tradition had been conducted for many years. We get a notion of the relative age of this event when Old Man Warner refers to this lottery as the “Seventy-seventh year [he’s] been in the lottery” (Jackson). The fact that this event has been going on for so long gives us the impression that the town seems to value more conservative beliefs of tradition and ritual.
We see also how calculated the actual lottery process is as the story goes into heavy detail of how the townsfolk plan for the event, such as preparing the names of the townspeople and even where they store the lottery box. All these details seem to function as a way to make this town more realistic and support the idea that this event could really happen. In fact, when this story was first published, Jackson received letters from people who “thought that the fiction was based on fact and wanted to know the details of where, when, and to whom the events described had happened” (Bogert 45). After the lottery commences and we find out the winner, the reader is led away from realism and into a more symbolic and shocking conclusion. The conventional idea of winning the lottery is turned on its head as the chosen person, in this case Mrs. Hutchinson, is stoned to death by her friends and family. In this case, “there is only one loser, everyone else wins” (Beauchamp 201).
As Jackson’s story is presented in such a realistic manner, it truly raises the question of morality. The townspeople all seem to know and care about each other and in fact seem to have their misgivings about the lottery, as is implied by rumors of giving the ritual up and the anxiousness of the crowd “wishing they’d hurry” (Jackson). Yet they still engage in this barbaric and primitive ritual. This could be explained in a Paganistic sense where sacrifices to nature are made to keep a healthy harvest. Evidence of this in the text lies in the fact that the lottery occurs in June. As the tradition says “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” and seeing as how this is during the summer solstice, it would naturally be a concern of the town to be preparing for the upcoming harvest (Jackson). In this sense, we could see the town’s need for a scapegoat as a literal need for survival and success. However, the primitive violence of the stoning in the ritual suggests that the scapegoat is more about releasing frustrations and finding someone to blame. The town seems to be engaging in the lottery simply for the sake of tradition, leaving their participation in the event mindless and involuntary.
Some critics attribute Jackson’s motives as a way to comment on such historical atrocities as the Holocaust, McCarthyism, Japanese internment camps and even racism. Edna Bogert examines “The Lottery” in this light and suggests that “a group of ordinary of people has the ability to commit extraordinarily horrible deeds, if people in the group are unable or unwilling to think for themselves” (Bogert 47). So it seems that Jackson’s use of the scapegoat in “The Lottery” is more of a way to question the morality behind tradition and whether or not it is truly worthwhile to punish one person for the benefit of the rest.
“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” presents the same concept of the scapegoat but in a much more hypothetical way. This short story is written in the style of a psycho-myth which often takes place in a realistic setting that is out of any particular set time. In this theoretical town, the narrator urges the reader to participate in the story, saying the details of this town are “As you like it” and entirely up to the preferences of the reader (Le Guin). This not only forces the reader to internalize the situation and make their own choices for the details but also feel a sense of responsibility for the town’s actions. While both short stories begin with immense details regarding the town, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” actually asks the reader to question the reality of this town. At one point, the perfect bliss and delight of this town begins to seem questionable, and the narrator asks us “Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy? No?” and then decides to bring validity to the town by adding one more distinctive detail (Le Guin). In the basement of one of the buildings there is a child being held captive. He is known by all the inhabitants of Omelas, yet is left to live in filth and suffering. This is the catch—the reality of living in a utopia. All the pleasure and delight that the town experiences “depends wholly on this child’s abominable misery” (Le Guin).
The fact that this scapegoat’s existence seems to authenticate the realism of the town certainly says something about our own society. Are our lives so tainted by underlying hatred and evil that a town without either could simply not exist? Le Guin is making the point that in the world we live in “Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting” and “To embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe a happy man” (Le Guin). This is why it is necessary in this hypothetical society to have at least one person suffer. If we know that there is some sort of hidden evil occurring under the surface, then society can revel in its own happiness and know that it is real. In this way, Le Guin’s commentary on the concept of evil for “the greater good” differs from Shirley Jackson’s. Furthermore, in this society, there are those that actually choose for themselves. There are the people who rationalize their actions as necessary for the sake of their survival or tradition, much like the town in “The Lottery.” However, there are others who see this poor child’s treatment as a question of morality. They decide whether or not to “renounce the exploitation of others” that “justifies their comfortable life” or to walk away from the town (“Ursula”). Those who choose to walk away, do so in darkness and risk living in an unknowing existence.
The motif of the scapegoat is a very appropriate way to comment on our society. Gothic literature is always about revealing the dark motives hidden under the surface and reveals society’s truest faults. As human beings, we are always willing to allow another to take blame for our own sins. Often when it comes down to it, we would choose to have them suffer if it meant we could live in a delightful existence. Both Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” present this idea of the need for one person to suffer for the “greater good” of the town. In “The Lottery,” we see how this concept has been developed by tradition, and the town’s actions are those of mere followers. They act on this tradition simply for the sake of tradition, in a very mindless and terrifyingly realistic way. In “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” however, the town is willing to sacrifice the happiness of one person in order to maintain their own way of life. This is because they understand that happiness can not exist without suffering, and selfishly they prefer to let someone else be in pain. If we look at the world and the terrible actions of people, such as the Holocaust or slavery, we can see how humans have always been willing to let other suffer. Sadly, history has shown us that the scapegoat motif is not restricted to literature, and both Jackson and Le Guin’s works allow us to step outside of the story and reconsider our own sense of morality.
Reflection On The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is an allegory in the form of a short story based on an utopian society in which displays philosophical ideologies and theories on society and its relation to scapegoatism. One of the main focuses throughout the text is the concept of happiness within the town and its people. The story begins with the protagonist explaining the setting for the town of Omela; The Festival Of Summer is in occurrence and the protagonist explains the mental and physical state of those who live in Omelas. They are happy. The authors philosophy on happiness is described as this in the text; “Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither unnecessary nor destructive, and what is destructive. In the middle category, however – that of the unnecessary nor destructive, that of comfort, luxury, exuberance etc. “The towns happiness is provided by the suffrage of one child. This child remains in a perturbing state, and is confined to a diminutive basement underneath one of the town’s comely buildings. The child who appears around the age of six is genuinely ten; this is due to the lack of food and water this child receives. However on occasion the door opens, and in its doorway stands one, or many citizens of Omelas who have consequently come to despise the child. What I admire about the text is that the author has given the reader the capability to interpret the allegory of this child on their own. My interpretation of this child and its contrast to the town is in vigorous comparison to third world and first world countries. In particular, child labour, and how the suffrage of one child leads to the pleasure and luxury of many… in this case the entire town of Omelas.
We as a society and as individuals tend to close the door on topics such as poverty, slavery, how privileged we are and the reality of how many people live in complete pain and exhaustion in order to provide us with prosperity. This text, this child has opened my eyes to see how selfish and greedy we are as a society and has made me sit in reconsideration for hours as to whether I truly practice my morals and has forced me to question whether or not I am the person I aspire to be; considering I would have trouble giving up my luxuries in order for a child to be exposed to freedom, food, warmth and much more. My hypothesis is that many of us would also struggle to give up what provides us with happiness in order to make somebody else feel the happiness we have felt since the day of our first breath and will potentially feel till our last. As a society we boast about unity, and our love for everyone, but have we forgotten about the poverty and child labour that’s out there? What are we doing to help? We turn a blind eye to an issue that can in a sense only be resolved by sacrificing items which bring us pleasure such as money and technology. I would love to use the excuse of ‘we are too uneducated to interpret third world countries and what we can do to help.’ But the harsh reality of it is that; we as a society simply just do not care. We are to selfish.
This story was published in 1974, yet we can still visualize the resemblance to our world today, 44 years later. I personally believe that ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ should be studied in level 2 English, as it provides readers with a deep understanding of the allegory behind Omelas. It additionally sanctions readers to interpret the text predicated on their own philosophy, and forces you to reconsider your morals, it is a clear example of how dark the society we live in genuinely is. The self-reflection that was pressured toward me after studying this text avails me to build emotional self-cognizance. By taking the time to ask myself the paramount questions, I gained a better understanding of my emotions, strengths and feeblenesses. Which I strongly believe is a necessary life skill to conquer. After year 12s study the text I hypothesize that many will not be able to perceive society the same again, and hopefully we can make a change, to provide future generations with what we never experienced; A nation’s culture resides in the heart and in the soul of its people.
Analysis Of Storytelling In The One Who Walk Away From Omelas By Ursula K. Le Guin
The tale of ‘The One who leaves Omelas’ is composed by Ursula K. Le Guin. The story opens with the depiction of a perfect city Omelas, brilliant transcend via ocean and residents commending celebrations. The harbor sparkled with flags on the rigged boats. All people were dancing, the music beats were faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, their procession was just dancing. The scene sounds like a joyous fairly tale. Youngsters evaded in and out, their high considers rising like the swallows’ intersection flights, over the music and the singing. All children’s boys or girls were roaming naked in the bright air covered with mud from top to bottom. Everyone just seems happy. Now the author talked about the people of the city Omelas. He describes that they were not the simple folks, they do not say the words of cheer much anymore. They were looking for the new who were surrounded by their knights, or maybe by big muscled slaves. But there was no king. Narrator also explains that he does not know the laws and regulations of the society, but he suspected that they were very few. These individuals have gone to a comprehension of what is essential, what is risky, and what is both or not either. Those things that are indispensable, they have. Those guilty pleasures that are neither essential nor ruinous, they in like way have. Omelas is a cheerful city constrained by make, sharp, enthusiastic grown-ups. Their lives are not despairing, nor are they serious. The city has a confirmation of joy; it has struck an arrangement, but how and with whom it isn’t clear. The arrangement is this: In a room under the city is an impeded, panicked, half-starved adolescent, and everyone over energy in Omelas understands that the child is there. Thusly, the overall public has been appeared and the awful truth of value, and on this they base their lives.
After that the storyteller clarifies the terrifying foundation of this spot. One little youngster is kept in high debasement, in little clammy and austere room in a storm cellar. Nobody addresses the kid and the tyke is malnourished as the greater part of the occasions the kid endures starvation. The kid is typically alluded as ‘it’ rather than sex. Everybody in the city thinks about the youngster. In short words, the tyke is the cost of bliss and joy of the city. Nearly everybody stuns when told about the youngster and some even express their blame, yet many them later figures out how to acknowledge the circumstance and sees the kid as miserable. Also, a few people choose to leave the spot. Through the storyteller itself doesn’t think about where they go however every one of them doesn’t acknowledge the youngster’s wretchedness.
The story features the appalling and unpleasant condition of human condition. Individuals and social orders have dependably battled with the ethical quality while confronting situations with what’s up and what is correct. The story portrays a bright network commending a mid year celebration. This delineates Omelas as a city of unbounded satisfaction. By the by, every one of these solaces are made with a trade of a heartbreaking condition.
The story passes on the message of exemplary nature to be really glad; one must hold up for what is correct, regardless of whether implies relinquishing the recognizable. Omelas is an ideal spot to live. Individuals of Omelas, have the ideal existence without any pressures and stresses. Indeed, even the general population of the Omelas must make a penance by managing the penance of a little tyke fail to accomplish the total and extreme joy.
Subsequent to knowing reality of satisfaction of Omelas, inhabitants of Omelas are left with two alternatives. To begin with, overlook the enduring of the tyke and carry on with their ordinary cheerful life or second, to battle for what is correct and leave their home and move to another city. Which one ought to be favored and regarded: enable an honest kid to endure and carry on with your life for what it’s worth or dispose of solaces of Omelas and leave the city of Omelas?
At last, it might be reasoned that everybody takes things in an alternate manner and there are two or three youngsters, and sometimes, even an adult, who, not long after examination the tyke, leave Omelas through its portals and head into the mountains they don’t return. Finally, I need to say some word regarding story like this story is eccentric to the degree its record structure. The setting is set up and the development of the plot starts, yet the plot is never made. Or then again perhaps, the producer rotates around.
Review Of The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas By Ursula Le Guin
In this amazing short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, by Ursula Le Guin. It is all about a society, that has a perfect image of itself and its people. However, there is a dark and twisted secret, a child that sacrifices its life to provide prosperity, equality and happiness between the habitants of this city called Utopia. As a reader, you are challenged to visualize and create your own perfect place in the world, your own Utopia. With the means to embrace this horrible dilemma: The happiness of all, but with a cost, the extreme unhappiness of one. The thesis statement reflects problems that our society has been suffering since the beginning, such as military sacrifice, slavery, and injustice among us.
The author describes that Omelas does not have any type of ruling system, no king or president, political system, technology or many things that engulf our society nowadays. As human beings, we have always fought for freedom, it is encrypted in our D.N.A. But what we see in our world or in this story, is that nobody is truly free. “They know that they, like the child, are not free” the author writes, enlightening the reader that although the citizens live what it seems “free”, within their feelings and thoughts, they are not free. There are no slaves in Utopia, as the author describes. However, this poor child’s freedom is taken from it, just as slavery. This poor child symbolizes slavery in every way, because it does not have any liberty, it is a servant to all citizens of utopia so they could have a happy life. The author offers to us, as readers, a contradiction that says: “… she did it without… the slavery”, but it does not reach the conclusion that the child is a servant of Omelas like a slave to his owner.
All Utopia’s habitants are described as prosperous, equals and filled with joy, off course, excluding this poor child who is mistreated and confined in a tiny basement which is in horrible condition. This child reflects the lives of many slaves in America and the world. Where the son of a slave would have to become a slave as well and will never be freed. Moreover, the terrible and poor condition of this prison where the child lives, reflected how slaves lived back in the day. Another symbol that reflects the slavery in this story would be the smelling rags and buckets next to the closet, which it is a reminder to the child of its role as a slave, and servant of this city.
This amazing story shows that human beings are creatures of habit. That sometimes we continue to participate, or even do not pay attention into harmful practices. Just for the simple fact that we as individuals, feel powerless and unable to stand up against societies in which the behaviors have always been accepted.
Moral Issues In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas By Ursula K. Le Guin
Individuals in the public eye endeavor to discover bliss in one’s self, others and their locale. What factors are there to get extreme satisfaction in one’s life? What moral choices does one need to defeat to acquire this incomparable satisfaction that each individual undertakings? The residents of Omelas have a troublesome time accomplishing the objective of settling on the privilege moral choice. In return for their definitive bliss and achievement, is one kid’s hopelessness. So as to experience their ‘flawless’ lives the residents of Omelas must acknowledge the enduring of the child. To settle on the privilege moral choice is troublesome, yet important to end the foul play of the general public. Neglecting to conquer the moral issues in the city of Omelas is shown through three distinct characters in the story. There are the individuals who disregard the circumstance, the individuals who watch the kid in wretchedness, and the individuals who feel that they should leave. In the story ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’ characters neglect to beat the moral issues in their general public, and the peruser is shown the significance of good obligation and the ramifications of the troublesome errand to settle on the privilege moral choice.
In ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’ the ones who disregard and be oblivious are to blame for neglecting to beat the best possible moral choice in the general public of Omelas. It is anticipated from each native in Omelas to realize that there is a tyke in hopelessness for the general population’s satisfaction. The individuals who are ‘content only to realize it is there’ are the ones who explicitly overlook the issue, and are content with carrying on with their ideal glad life realizing that a youngster is in hopelessness in return for their bliss. There is a recognition that not endeavoring to consider ethics, and not pondering an answer for an issue in the public arena, the issues will leave without anyone else. To be insensible of the issues in the public eye is viewed as an answer for fix them. The general population who overlook in the city of Omelas realize that the youngster is there, and don’t ask how the issue could be fixed, considering individual bliss, satisfaction of others, and the joy of the kid. This sets them in a place of a spectator of the issue.
They all realize that is must be there. Some of them get why, and some don’t, yet they all comprehend that their bliss… Depends completely on this present kid’s hopelessness’.
Individual bliss comes as a need to the ones in Omelas, regardless of whether it is in return for the wretchedness of a kid. This is a moral quandary that the natives neglect to defeat appropriately. They conquer this issue by overlooking the circumstance and seeking after the issue to unravel without anyone else. By essentially recognizing that the kid is there in wretchedness is a prerequisite to live in Olmelas. To overlook the circumstance is the choice of the person, which in the end exacerbates the issue than it was previously. Moral duty and appropriate moral choices are not considered, and makes a general public that is unmindful, and overlooks the huge issue of the tyke that endures enormously so the residents of Omelas can carry on with their ‘immaculate’ life.
In the City of Omelas, there are ones who overlook, yet there are additionally natives who watch the tyke in wretchedness. The individuals who go to visit the youngster just to watch and watch the kid in its wretchedness, additionally decide not to take care of the issue, and go about as an observer of a wrongdoing in the public arena. Some really share in the torment and ‘kick the youngster to make it hold up. The others never approached, however peer in at it with unnerved, nauseated eyes’. The general population who come to watch participate in the activities of putting the youngster in agony by advancing the activity and even share in the beating of the tyke. They are making a belief system that it is a standard in the public eye to visit the tyke to comprehend the issue, however do nothing to determine it.
These youthful onlookers are constantly stunned and sickened at the sight. They feel nauseate, which they had figured themselves better than. They feel outrage, shock, and ineptitude, in spite of the considerable number of clarifications.
The general population who come and watch the kid and stunned at seeing the youngster and the agony and wretchedness it is in. So for what reason should the general population of Omelas go visit the kid, and still don’t endeavor to discover a goals to the serious issue in the public arena. The natives have a requirement for an acknowledgment to find that what they have been instructed about is in reality evident. Be that as it may, when they find the revulsions of the youngster in the basement, they don’t take care of the circumstance yet ‘return home in tears or in a tearless fury’. The arrangement that is by all accounts the ‘rule’ of living in the public arena is, in the wake of watching and visiting the youngster, the Citizens ‘tears at the unpleasant unfairness dry when they start to see the horrible equity of the real world, and to acknowledge it’. At the point when society acknowledges the bad form of their own town, they become observers in the circumstance, and become disappointments to fix the imbalance of their general public.
Here and there, subsequent to watching the youngster in agony and hopelessness, individuals ‘do not return home to sob or fury, [they do not], in truth return home by any stretch of the imagination”. There are ones who leave Omelas in total distressed and bewilderment. The weight of the bad form of society develops on these individuals to a point where they can’t be in the general public that gives them the most bliss. Despite the fact that it may appear this is the most ideal approach to conquer the moral choice of satisfaction. Is it extremely reasonable to leave the one issue in the network and desert it? Some may state that the ones who leave are the ones who merit a definitive satisfaction that Omelas brings to the table. Just leaving and failing the imbalance of society won’t discover an answer for the issue. They leave the ‘impeccable’ city of Omelas with the acknowledgment that there is nothing they can do to take care of the issue, so the basic arrangement is to obviously leave and leave joy, and treachery behind.
‘They stroll ahead into the dimness and they don’t return. The spot they go towards is a spot even less conceivable to the majority of us in the city of satisfaction’. Once in a while, the main practical answer for the foul play of society is to pull back from society and leave the issues that were so difficult to understand, behind.
The ones who overlook, the ones who watch, and the ones who leave are characters in the story that neglect to beat the moral issues in their general public. These characters can be found as a general rule, and can be contrasted with the characters of worldwide natives. The ramifications of individual joy is the work of a kid or somebody who isn’t sufficiently paid cash in a Third World nation. In contrast with the general public of Omelas were the joy of many is in return for the enduring of a youngster, the similitudes are solid. Worldwide natives in reality, neglect to beat the moral issue of society, and resort to disregarding, watching, or essentially leaving. Much like the general population of Omelas, individuals of consistently society are ineffective in finding an answer for the common issue of out of line work and shamefulness on the planet. So also to Omelas, individuals feel despondency, outrage and blame when they are instructed about the bad form of the world. Be that as it may, to make genuine move in attempting to take care of the issues, is a greater and harder advance not a lot of residents of the present reality are eager to do. Loosing the joy that one gets in return from unfairness on the planet is an activity that is unbelievable to mankind. The privilege moral choice must be made to altogether settle the issue, however settling on that privilege moral choice is unthinkable with different elements of life, for example, individual bliss.
In ‘The One Who Walks Away From Omelas’ the peruser is shown the significance of settling on the privilege moral choice and can relate these ethics in their own locale. One can’t simply overlook, one can’t simply watch and still do nothing, and one can’t just leave. The peruser is shown the groundbreaking lesson of not being a spectator, the significance of good duty, and the incredible noteworthiness in figuring out how to conquer the moral issues in the public eye.
Analysis Of Symbolism In The One Who Walk Away From Omelas
Would you be able to live happily knowing that there is a child suffering for your happiness? In “The One Who Walk Away From Omelas,” Le Guin describes a scenario in which an entire city’s population can experience a pure form of happiness as long as one child suffers as a sacrifice. Le Guin uses symbols such as the city of Omelas, the child who never stops playing the flute, the child in the basement, and the ones who walk away to expose the moral weaknesses within modern society, and to suggest the fact that no society is perfect. Omelas is described by the narrator as the story begins as “In the silence of the broad green meadows one could hear the music winding through the city streets, farther and nearer and ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air…and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells.” The narrator shows that the citizens of Omelas are healthy, happy by describing the city of Omelas through many senses like the sounds, the visual, the smells. Omelas is a city with frequent celebrations and other festivities. However, there is an exception for the one child that lives in the basement under a public building who is malnourished, mistreated, and confined. Furthermore, the city of Omelas is portrayed as a utopian society by using symbol of “a child of nine or ten sits at the edge of the crowd, alone, playing on a wooden flute… for he never ceases playing and never see them, his dark eyes wholly rapt in the sweet, thin magic of the tune”. He keeps playing as though there is nothing else in the world can make him feel any happier.
Children are the symbol of purity and carefree happiness. The child never stops playing the flute is symbolic because the flute is a simple primitive instrument with nothing to offer except a simple melody. The child finds joy in it anyways, although this optimistic scene has something darker to reveal. The life of the people who live in Omelas was described as joyous but in fact is one of mindless happiness. Everything is given to them by a miserable child who lives in a locked room in a basement. To help this one tormented child would result in the suffering of the entire city. Le Guin proves her point by explaining that if the child were to be freed, all the prosperity and beauty of Omelas would disappear. She states that the natives of Omelas are well-educated, warm-hearted people. Yet, they are aware that “the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars… depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery.” Even though the narrator tells us that Omelas does not keep slaves, the child symbolizes slavery because he is not free and is a servant of Omelas like a slave is to its owner. The dirtiness on the bottom of the tiny prison floor where the child sleeps in is similar what many slaves in America used to sleep in. The narrator is suggesting that in today’s society, not everyone can be happy and live a delightful life. All around the world, people are living in poverty and abandon, but they cannot always be saved from what is happening to them.
The reactions of the people after acknowledging the existence of the child is also a very essential detail. The ones who walked away from Omelas is a symbol for morality in the story. By deciding to leave the city, they are sending a message that no one person should be miserable for the happiness of other people: “They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back… But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.” Le Guin shows that there is no such thing as a utopian society. When the ones who walk away from Omelas leave, it is as if they are going to a society where everything is not as blissful. It may not be a perfect society, but it is a place that is more realistic to live where they do not have to suffer the guilt of knowing that there is a child being tormented for their happiness.
Le Guin uses many different methods to portray Omelas as a Utopian society. In the end, she reveals that there are some people who leave the city after they saw the child and uses them as a symbol of morality. Le Guin exposes the moral weaknesses within modern society by using the ones who stays at Omelas because they enjoy living in a “perfect society” and they do not care about the fact that there is a child living in the basement suffering for them. She proves that no society is perfect, and there will always be someone out there living in poverty and neglect.