The Ones Who Walk Away

I found this story to be extremely creepy, and I got a cold feeling when I read it. In this story, Omelas is an Utopian city of happiness and pleasure, whose inhabitants are smart and cultured. everything about Omelas is amusing, except for the secret of the city “the good fortune of Omelas requires that a single unfortunate child be kept in perpetual filth, darkness and misery”. i believe it’s wrong to live in Omelas. The citizens live in what they choose to believe is a perfect world, without despair or sorrow. in reality, when each person come of age, they are command to observe a small child that lives in constant misery. About it, the narrator says, “perhaps it was born defective, or perhaps it has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect”. The child is the one in particular in Omelas who lives without happiness, yet no one chooses to help it. Rather, most simply accept that, if anything were to change, the “…beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed”. On the other hand, those who cannot accept the idea simply “go out into the street, and walk down the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas…”. The people who walk away from the city Omelas are people that can not bare to live a life of isolation and happiness , at the expense of another life. Are these people that walk away more compassionate than the ones that stay, is it a easy choice to make to walk away.
Leaving Omelas, like living there, I find immoral as well. Both actions require complete ignorance of the fact that in the town there is a young child who is suffering. After reading many question came to my mind such as, must one suffer so all can be happy? Is torture “justified” if it will save lives? is one life worth any more than another? It is the same as saying that we can trade one person for another, simply because one person is seen as lesser in the eyes of the world.

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