The Resemblance Between Modern America and the Fictional City in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, a Novel by Ursula Le Guin

December 9, 2020 by Essay Writer

Modern America resembles the fictional city of Omelas from Ursula LeGuin’s The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas because there are so many luxuries that Americans are not willing to give up regardless of a “suffering child” or a dying earth. This makes America similar to Omelas because the people of Omelas were unwilling to give up the constant happiness of their city to help a suffering and dying child. Metaphorically, poorly paid employees that make our clothes and electronics are one of the many suffering children that Americans know about, but completely disregard.

In foreign countries and even here in America, there are people, including small children, that are working in sweatshops for less than minimum wage to provide us with clothes electronics and more. This fact is not a secret and most Americans know what goes on in sweatshops so that they can have the things they want. What stops them from doing anything to help these workers by trying to give them higher wages and better working conditions is that they know that they will not be able to get the things they want for the price they are getting them. Americans are not willing to give up the things that they have to provide for the abused workers because it is so easy for people to push aside things that don’t affect their lives in a big way. The people of Omelas knew about the suffering child but they ignored it because they were able to push it to the back of their mind so that the child did not have an affect on their happiness. There is almost no difference between Americans and the people of Omelas.

The ones who walked away from Omelas were the ones who couldn’t go on knowing that their happiness was based on the suffering of an innocent child. While there aren’t many, there are some Americans who “walk away” from electronics and clothing made in foreign countries. These people don’t pretend like there are no suffering workers in sweatshops making the things that Americans want. The people who walk away do many things such as petition and strike to end the sale of things made by sweatshop workers and for high wages for the workers. These people are not content with happiness backed by suffering and decide to walk away, just like the ones who walked away from Omelas.

In conclusion, Americans are not willing to give up their materialistic happiness for suffering people which resembles the people of Omelas not being willing to give up their happiness for a suffering person. There are a few people that fight for the abused workers and only buy products where they know employees are treated fairly. These Americans resemble the ones who walked away from Omelas because they would not allow a child to suffer for them to always be happy.

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