a false home

Omelas is a utopian society near a shimmering beautiful sea. A utopia is a society in which everything is perfect or made perfect for its citizens. The way the story opens up it seems as though it would be a happy toned one. The people of Omelas are celebrating a summer festival which involves games and horse riding. Even the horses were portrayed as happy, “The horses wore no gear at all but a halter without a bit. Their
manes were braided with streamers of silver, gold, and green. They flared their nostrils
and pranced and boasted to one another; they were vastly excited, the horse being the
only animal who has adopted our ceremonies as his own.”(Paragraph 1). But, it was no happy place at all. There was misery hidden under this “happiness” in which their society believed in, There is a child locked and forced to live in a cage in its own filth. “They all know it is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it,
others are content merely to know it is there. They all know that it has to be there. 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 makers, even the abundance of their
harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies depend wholly on this child’s abominable
This is usually explained to children when they are between eight and twelve, whenever
they seem capable of understanding; and most of those who come to see the child is
young people, though often enough an adult comes, or comes back, to see the child. No
matter how well the matter has been explained to them, these young spectators are
always shocked and sickened at the sight. They feel disgust, which they had thought
themselves superior to. They feel anger, outrage, impotence, despite all the
explanations” ( Page 5 ) I feel as though the child’s suffering is some sort of lesson for the people in this society, to show how precious happiness can be and limited. It also shows how awful their justice system was, this child is in a cage showed citizens the true meaning of unhappiness, horrified to the point where some never returned. Happiness in their society could not have existed without this child’s misery. Omelas was nowhere near perfect which is the opposite of what a utopia is imagined to be.

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