A dream city built upon a little boy’s misery

In the story of “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” written by Ursula Le Guin, the author talked about a dream city named Omelas – a city which full of happiness. There is no crimes, no drugs overdose and no harmful things. Everything seems so fine or dream like, however, all these wonderful things were built on a boy’s misery, even though he might get used to it and don’t know to blame on his current situation. If you are the teenagers who had visited the little boy, what would you do next? Stay quiet and continue living your good life that built upon the suffering of the  boy  or try to leave the city with fake happiness and start your pursuit on the real happiness built by your own struggle?

By reading this article, I was completely shocked by the contents in the middle of the story, the author decorated the current society with a lot of fancy things and created a dream like city which only occur in fairy tale. As the author said, “The air of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold fire across  the miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky” (Page 1, Paragraph 1, Ursula.) Everything in the land was fantastic and untouchable in the real society.

Just like a normal society does, in order to build a prosperous city, there must be some sacrificing like underneath crime or hard working. Omelas is not a dream like city that build by nothing, it was built upon the misery of a little boy. The author mentioned, “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 markers, even the abundance of their harvest  and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery” (Page 5, Paragraph 2, Ursula.) The little boy was taking most of the unfortunate conditions at the time other people were actually enjoying their happy life.

Why did this boy have to take all these burdens himself, he should be saved from all these misery. Yes, some people in the story, especially the teenagers who had heard about or visited the poor little boy and thought about saving the little boy from this unfortunate life, but this seemed to be impossible. Just like the author said, “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” (Page 6, Paragraph 1, Ursula.) By facing the actual benefits which related to their own life or properties, people usually choose to be selfish, and all the unfortunate things happened to the little boy seemed to be natural in their mind, someone will had to sacrifice for all people’s happiness in the land, even though it’s unfair to the little boy.

Many teenagers who had visited never go back to their home but chose to leave for other places, because they felt like they are not able to live their life under the suffering of the little boy. They seemed to know where exactly they are going which was a place less imaginable than the one they lived before – Omelas. Through out the whole story, we found a Utopia which slowly faded away and showed its real identity which was cruel, and people over there were just enjoying their unreal happiness because they know where it come from, the misery of the little boy. After reading the entire article, you may be also wondering, if we experience the same situation, are we going to do the same things as the people living in Omelas did – being cruel and quiet on what happen to the boy and stay with these fake happiness, or we are going to do the same thing as those teenagers did? Maybe someone may say, who cares is it fair to the little boy or not, life is like that, you either suffering for others’ happiness or you enjoy your happiness upon the others’ misery, but I do.

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