The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula Le Guin

After reading this story my initial reaction was complete shock, it took me a few minutes to process what I just finished reading. After I absorb what i read, i actually understand and like why the story is called “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” it took out the most important thing that people in Omelas do not have, and that is morals.

At first i thought this story was actually going to be a pleasant read, about a festival and what the inhabitants of Omela did when this festival was celebrated at the beginning of the summer. I was shocked to see the twist it had, i thought that the reader was trying to paint us a picture on how a society was suppose so be, a sort of Utopia, a political and social perfection.

Then, i realized that by the fourth page the narrator was actually describing the city when it ask if i believed the festival and the city. Omela pretty much has everything, a perfect city to meet everyone’s need, it wasn’t much of a Puritanical city but it gave room for scandal, sex, drugs and expressions in exchange for no violence. I found this very interesting…how can a city with no law reinforcement no soldiers live in harmony? how can a city with drugs, orgy’s, priest involved sexually, not have people revolting or have any types of crimes or violence? How can this city  rejoice in magnanimous triumph of forgiving any insult or injury just that easy?

Then i realized as all good things are to good to be true that there is always a catch. Reading the section of the child in the basement actually brought me to tears as i continued to read, just imagining my nephews in that situation. In the second to last page it says, “To exchange all the goodness and grace of every life in Omelas for that single, small improvement: to throw away the happiness of thousands for the chance of the happiness of one: that would be to let guilt within the walls indeed”.

It baffles me to think that people will actually live there “happy” lives at the expense of this poor child being however he may be. Fully aware of the existence of the child, seeing the child in the conditions that he is and continue to live a life profound in paradox is overwhelming to even consider that possibility.I was disgusted that the narrator refers to the child by “it”, it reminded me of a story i read in middle school called “A Child Called ‘it'”…is as if the narrator found it a reasonable exchange, the overall prosperity of the town, in exchange for the child’s misery.

I understand why this story is called “the ones who walk away from Omela” its explained in the last paragraph very subtle. In this “joyous”, “perfect” town, their are still people who have morals, a heart and compassion for others, the ones who walked away from Omela after seeing the poor child in those conditions woke up to the cruel reality that they formed apart of and refused to conform to the terms required to live in this city.That was the only part that i loved about this story, to see that not everyone are the same, the inhabitants of Omela that conform are the true feeble-minded Imbeciles, not the child.

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