So the story begins off in a paradise called Omelas but this time of the year there is a celebration which is called Festival of Summer. So a little history on this city which is not govern by any kings or police/ government officials and they accomplished so much without any ruler nor use of slavery. As mentioned on page 1,column 1, second paragraph sentence 4-6 explanation of how things worked there. I found one part ironic in the text where the author describe the people in this town as “They were very mature, intelligent, passionate adults whose lives were not wretched later on I found this to be ironic which I will discuss later on in this text. After some time I found out “drooz” was some sort of a stress suppressor which gave them excitement on page 1, column 2 , bottom of the page “drooz which first brings a great lightness and brilliance to the mind and limbs” so now I think this town isn’t so a paradise anymore if you need that sort of thing to feel good. Later on we meet a child who was held capture in a dungeon like scenario which it was forced to stay there. In seems like it wasn’t normal looking so people didn’t think of humane respect so It was mistreated(physically punished by being kicked around,most likely hit with brooms) which can also be a reason it was afraid of the m. This right there gave a real image of what people there are really like instead of the fake personalities that show on the outside. The people was willing to give up the child happiness so they can live in the town not being worried about anything since the child misery is what made Omelas “the prosperity and beauty and delight” .Well the end confused me a bit with people leaving Omela after seeing this child, was it because of regret or was it because they did not want to embrace the false happiness knowing that the child freedom was removed so it lives in despair so the town itself enjoys the fake paradise?
I totally agree with you, I feel like these people are happy, but they are aware that their happiness is being derived from someone’s misery, so they try to do things to suppress that knowledge as you gave examples for.
The story isn’t fictional history, it’s a psycho-myth. Don’t take anything in it as any more literal or any less true than you would take Athena springing from Zeus’s head or Jesus rising from the grave.
The narrator paints a movingly beautiful picture of a place that can only exist in the reader’s mind, perhaps in in the reader’s dream, and then invites us to change it in any way that makes it the most ideal for each of us as individuals. The narrator, like the reader, is outside Omelas looking in.
LeGuin condenses all the wrongs of American society, or maybe every society, down to one single wrong. The genocide of the Indians, the enslavement of Africans, the exploitation of the working class, the mass murder of innocent civilians in the bombing of German and Japanese and Vietnamese cities, the dehumanization of people without homes are all gone, replaced by the misery of one single child.
The narrator doesn’t even hint at what the reader should do about it. He/she just tells us that occasionally there is one who does something, walking toward somewhere that the narrator cannot describe at all. It might not even exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.