The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

There are many themes and symbolism that I look forward to discussing in class. However, one that caught my interest and attention is who the hell in the narrator. (excuse my language). Most of the time, when reading, it’s something that passes my head as in whether its in third person, or first, and whether its a someone whose all knowing or an actual character and it doesn’t go past that. Yet with the different pro-nouns being thrown around by the narrator it made me look deeper into it while reading.

First the narrator starts of by describing or I feel like trying to convince us that Omelas is this wonderful place where there are “broad green meadows,” wonderful place where “broad green meadows” “quiet merry women” “boys and girls naked in the bright air” (pg 1) all this emerging from a summer’s day. Overall by this description this is a land full of joy and happy people. I feel like the narrator is trying to convince because of the line where he is asking a question to the reader “how is one to tell about joy?” as if trying to say the joy is so big and these people are so great it’s be difficult just to put them into words.

Then next line is where the though explodes in mind. When he describes the Omela’s he says “THEY were not simple folk, you see, though they were happy”, Yet this time he also says “But WE do not say the words of cheer much any more.” At this point I believe that at one point the narrator could of been park of the Omelas. On page two he continues describing the Omelas by using “they“. But at some point says “but they are not less complex than US…celebration of joy.” (page2) When I read this I feel like the narrator is now trying to put the reader as part of the US. I also realize how the narrator is trying to make the distinction of the Omelas and how “US” or we think of life and how things should be.

At one point the narrator also says that the omelas could be happy with or with out material things, thing which have not been invented “here” (pg2) at this point i’m wondering where the narrator is when he says “here.”

Pg3- The narrator describes him/herself as part of the Omelas by saying “as we did without clergy, let us do without soldier” Maybe saying that the narrator was truly at one point part of them, and that was their belief and motto.

Someone that also adds to the point is that when the narrator was describing about the omelas knowing about the young boy who is locked away, i feel like he/she is trying to justify ever having felt that way, that having the happiness of a bunch of people was worth the inhumanity and sacrifice of a child’s freedom and happiness. Specifically on page 6- paragraph two. When the narrator is explaining the reasons this child does not deserve to have freedom and be loved.

Since there are distinction between whether the narrator is characterizing him/herself as at one point being an Omela or being the reader from reality leaves me to infer that maybe the land that they walk away to (on page 7) is the real world. Where this happiness with no form of structure is not attainable.



1 thought on “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

  1. I had to read the story a least five times to decide who is the narrator, and came to the conclusion that because he know a lot about Omelas this person must be a resident of that city.

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