The One Who Walk Away from Omelas

It was kind of ironic the fact the people of Omelas talk about how the city is and how their people are while they kept a dark secret hidden from the city itself. the narrator describe them as people who defies happiness but they look upon violence as something they enjoy. To me through out the whole story I got this cold feeling from how the narrator described the story. I couldn’t believe that the people of Omelas were going to be this way. “The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else.” I believe the people of Omelas looked at themselves as people who didn’t feel happiness as the same way we did. their knowledge was that pain and evil kept them interested and that they enjoyed doing this.

through out the story the narrator goes to specific details on explaining how they tortured the kid in that corner of a room. I feel that the author did a good job at it because i could vividly imagine it in my mind and the way the they kept the child from leaving the room and keeping there kind of made me remember the story of The Yellow Wallpaper. the child and the narrator of the The Yellow Wallpaper were both in the same situation. the only difference between them was one was cared to become that way while the other was punished through wickedness and evil to become the way he is now. i just wanted to add that because i thought that part of the story portrayed the child in The One Who Walk Away from Omelas.

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.

“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Reading this story was kinda weird in the way the people in this city live even though everything in the Omelas is pleasing except for the secret of the city. And its sad at the end when we are told the secret of the city. The people in this city are described a lot as cultured people and on keeping with good taste. “Old people in long stiff robes of mauve and grey, grave master workmen, quiet, merry women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked. In other streets the music beat faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the great water-meadow called the Green Fields boys and girls, naked in the bright air, with mud-stained feet and ankles and long, lithe arms, exercised their restive horses before the race.” (Pg 1) The narrator says that the way he/she describes the Omelas and how happy the people are and living sounds like a city as in how it would sound in a “fairytale.”

The good fortune of Omelas requires that a single unfortunate child be kept in a never changing disgusting dirt, darkness and misery and that all the people there should be told and be aware of this. After being expose to the truth some people came to terms to live in such manner of as of to make the suffering of the unfortunate child worth it. “They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back.”(Pg 7)  A  few others young or old silently walk away from the city and nobody knows where they go. In end when the narrator tells us this I thought it was sad and disturbing having a child suffer like that and having the child live in that environment for years in a basement. If it was up to me on living there or leaving, I would be one of those people walking out of there and walking far from it.

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.

The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas

When I first began reading I was a little bit confused as usual. I didn’t understand if the narrator was trying to persuade us that the people who lived in the city Omelas were happy or pretending to be happy. My first thought was that because the 12th line the narrator says “If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em”.  Instantly giving me a thought that whatever the story was about their definitely be somebody or people afraid to stand up for was right. Not wanting to make a judgment off of a couple of lines, as I fully got into the reading I started to understand more and more. The story actually made me feel a little sadden for the young child. The part that stuck out to me in this story would definitely have to be how the citizens believe that they happiness truly cames from keeping this young child in this basement.  The narrators say “Some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their maker even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weather of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery.” page 5. Even though there were people who didn’t understand they still didn’t question their behavior.  Why? Because they truly believe that their happiness came from the misery of this young child. And the fact that the narrator is constantly calling this young boy a “It” it really bother me. Giving me the impression that they looked down on the child as if he was less than a human being.

But at the end the story took a change, showing that there were people who lived there that had hearts. “They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness and they do not come back” last page. Not knowing where they are going they simply don’t care because in their mind anything is better than what they use to call there city “Omelas”.

“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

I find it interesting that the story is titled “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and yet the narrator only talks about them in the final paragraph. Instead, the narrator interests the reader by describing a city that is like a utopia. Everyone there is happy and enjoying themselves. Even the environment is appealing when the narrator says “In the silence of broad green meadows one could hear the music winding through the city streets, farther and nearer and ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air that from time to time trembled and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells.”  (1)

I suspected things would take a turn for the worse when I read the trumpets sounded all at one and the horses back up and neigh. (4) The fact that the riders had to soothe the horses made me suspect that there is something dark to this “utopia.” Then the following paragraph informs the reader that in the cellar of one of the city’s buildings, there is a small child locked there. The child is kept there because it is believed that in order for the city to prosper, the child must suffer.

Everyone in the city knows about the child and has seen him, since they take the children to him so they can explain it to them. Like anyone would the children would object to this but eventually come to terms with it. It is justified by believing that it is too late to help the child. He would be trapped by fear and “would not get much good of its freedom.” (6)

This brings us back to the title of the story. Sometimes when someone goes to see the child, don’t return home like everyone else. They decide to leave the city and never return. It is unknown where they go but we know that they left the city because the truth was too horrible for them to accept.

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In the text, I didn’t understand it at first but as I read the text a couple of times, it became clear. What i got from it, Omelas was in a sense Utopia. “In the silence of the broad green meadows one could hear the music winding through the streets… and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells”. In this quote, the narrator use imagery to describe how beautiful and peaceful Omelas is. I felt while reading the text that anything too good always shrived from something evil. In the text, the narrator uses the word or phrase “darkness” to describe how the people in Omelas truly were. This “darkness” personified into an actually human being who they preferred as the “child”. This child became a symbol to why Omelas is the way it is. The way they treated the child by leaving him in that basement with no sign of him leaving. “Its buttocks and thighs are a mass of festered sores, as it sits in its own excrement continually”(5). This illustrate how little care the people of Omelas treated the boy. What I perceived from pages 5-7 were that some of the Omelas people felt that as long he was fed, the child would be okay in the basement. While others felt rage and sympathy for the boy, there was nothing they can do due to the Omelas’ laws. All those sympathetic people can do is treat their kids better than what the child have to endure. When they had enough of seeing the kid in those conditions, they leave Omelas and wonder off into the mountains to never return.

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.



The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas By Ursula Le Guin

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?

Ursula Le Guin. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In this story I was brought to a perfect town, where all of the residents appear to be happy and prosperous, the weather is perfect, music is great, and life is great. We then find out that there is a catch. In order for this town of so many residents to continue to be perfect in all aspects, one life must be tormented and treated with inhumane cruelty. In this instance it is a young individual who according to the narrator could a boy or a girl around the age of six who is mistreated, fed a single meal and grease, kept in a dark, moist, stinky room in a locked basement. No one is allowed to say anything nice to the child and is never to be set free, but to remain like this for life. All of this to kept society at its best.

Once being open to the truth, most of the people of Omelas are initially surprised and revolted, but are ultimately able to come to terms with the fact and resolve to live their lives in such a way that the suffering of the poor child is worth it. However, “Each goes alone, youth or girl, men or woman. Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow-lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields” no one knows where they go. The story ends with “The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.”

The plot simple consisting of the narrator trying to convince the reader about the true existence of the city of Omelas. The point of view is of a person who lives in an imaginary Utopia who cannot see into the minds of others. The description of the characters is limited. The setting plays a major role in this story as it is what the story is about. The majority of the story tells of the town and the permanent rules that govern it. The tone of the story is joy, guilt, and misery.

As a personal note I can say that after reading the story a few times I was so into it that when my eyes went through the part where the narrator describes the suffering child I felt anguish and I almost felt what that poor kid was going thru.