The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

“The air of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold fire across miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky.” (pg 1)

This story had some of the most vivid language I’ve ever seen. I was in complete awe of how descriptive it was. The sentence above was the first one that stood out to me and got me interested.

What I also found interesting was the reoccuring theme of happiness. You can find the word at least once on every page of the story. I didnt realize its significance until the child was introduced. That is when it is realized that everyone in the city of Omelas sacrifices the happiness of this one poor child to satisfy everyone else. They just continue living as if the child’s happiness is somehow beneath their own.

At the same time, it is evident that the tolerance for the child’s missey┬áis developed. The young people that go to visit the child feel, “…anger, outrage, importence…” (pg 5) at the sight and treatment of the child. They want to help it but they do not know how. it takes them weeks and even sometimes years to finally accept it. “Their tears at the bitter injustice dry when they begin to percieve the terrible justice of reality, and to accept it.” The fact that they know the child is there and how it lives makes them value their own lives more. They dont take for granted their happiness.

Those that cannot accept the fate of the child end up leaving the city. Nobody knows where they go or how they end up. All that is known is that the knowlegde of the child and how it lives is enough to make them not want to be a part of a society that could do that.

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