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.
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