The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin is a story about a paradise called Omelas. Now this paradise is pretty much whatever you think it is, the narrator is explaining the story from a omniscient point of view as it dwells in the minds of the inhabitants of Omela and their curse that the residents must live through or leave. I believe the that in the city of “Omelas” one must either face it’s horror and live happy or leave and find peace with themselves in a place that is not paradise. The author really hammers away with describing Omelas. In the story the narrator states ” Omelas sounds in my words like a city in a fairy tale, long ago and far away, once upon a time.”(Guin, 2). This quote to me describes how wonderful Omelas is because that is what a fairy tale is to me, something wonderful. Yet it can also be viewed as how Omelas isn’t real because that is all a fairy tale is, just a make believe story. What makes this more of a fairy tale is how the narrator continues to say so many nice things about Omelas and how he/she wishes to continue making it more of a paradise, so much that it asks “What else, what else belongs in the joyous city?”(Guin, 3). The narrator even told the readers to add an orgy if it helped make it more of a paradise. This to me speaks to the notion that this is a fairy tale.
Though it is a fairy tale the reality of the paradise is very dark. There is a child who is held in a broom closet in the cellar starving and decaying bother mentally and physically. The curse of Omelas is 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 misery.”(Guin, 5). The paradise can only exist if the one child suffers in complete misery and the reality is that the residents have to live with the thought of knowing that a child must suffer to make their paradise a possibility, or do they have to live with it at all ?
In the story the narrator explained that people go see this little boy with eyes of hate and disgust. Though they were not eyes of disgust and hate towards the kid but towards Omelas. How could they not hate the fact that a child must suffer for them to be happy, i know i would hate that. At times some of these people do not go home at all. “These people go out into the street. and walk down the street alone. they keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gate.” The narrator never explained why these people never went back home and walked out of the city of Omelas. It can only be inferred and what is inferred is that the people left because the paradise they knew was nothing but a fairy tale. Maybe to these people Omelas was not a paradise for they too, were not free. Perhaps they were not free because they can not freely enjoy this paradise with the thought of this poor child who’s misery is paying for their happiness. Perhaps that is why they left, because this was no fairy tale to them so they must go out and find what makes them happy.
The story, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, is a story about a woman struggling with depression and her husband John who is a physician. The story is told in first person perspective and the narrator is the wife as she unravels her inner thoughts to the reader about how she feels about the depression and how she feels about how John takes care of her. He took care of her and she appreciated it completely but she wished she wasn’t restrained from writing even though she gets exhausted just by writing. She even has her own personal diary in which the story is being told through. Neglecting orders from her physician who is also her husband shows how much she loves to write and she even states it in the story when she writes “I think sometimes if i were only well enough to write a little it would even relieve the press of ideas and rest me”. What supports this more is how she describes the colonial mansion she lives in as haunted, it just shows how she feels about not being able to freely write.
I believe the narrator just wanted an escape from her depression and understandingly so, though i can not say i understand what the narrator is going through but just using the imagery of how she describes it and how the narrator state of mind is, well its scary to think about. Writing was her escape but she also had a source of chain and ball so to say and that was the wallpaper in the room in her estate. It was previously the nursing home/playroom for children. She believes that she is better off using the room instead of any blessed child of hers. This goes hand in hand with her state of depression and how she views the room as a prison one cant escape from, just how any parent would not want a child they love to be stuck and unable to escape. She hated the room and more specifically the torn up wallpaper that her husband John restrained her from tearing off because he did not want to give in to her sickness even though he believed she was not really sick according to the narrator.
The wife was obsessed with this wallpaper and she grew increasingly more obsessed with it to the point that she started noticing the patterns it had and even noticed that it had a smell to it. She grew mad along with her obsession. Through the wallpaper she noticed a woman who was “creeping as fast as a cloud shadow in high wind”. She wanted to catch this woman and restrain her but she started seeing more and more women creeping and then later believed that she too came from the wallpaper. She tore off the wallpaper, “I’ve got out at last!” she yelled passionately at her husband. Honestly i believe this was her last attempt of freeing herself from her depression and escape from it forever but it might have been too late.
So i finally got through with reading “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid. Actually i had to read it several times. After my first read it came to me that a girl was living through her childhood or even her life with someone constantly telling her how to live it. After my first read i actually saw this as there being no clear cut protagonist, but the protagonist is every single girl that was raised like that. This was a short story that had meaning behind every sentence or maybe how every sentence can be viewed differently. For example to me it seems like the mother or whoever was the antagonist giving the girl these life lessons very clearly cared for the girl and probably just wanted to raise the girl similar to how they were raised. Yet I can see how all of these lessons are very limiting.
The lessons were all about saving face, to keep a proper image. One lesson the girl was taught was “don’t eat fruits on the streets – bugs will follow you”, this is just one example of how the lessons taught to the girl can be good yet limiting. On one hand the girl can avoid having flies following her around by not eating the fruit on the streets. On the other hand if she is hungry and wants to eat the fruit she would have to wait until she was inside to eat that fruit. Another piece of dialogue that was stated was “this is how you smile to someone you don’t like at all; this is how you smile to someone you like completely”. Just like the other lesson this one is very similar in the way that its teaching how to show facial expressions but yet maybe the girl isn’t like that. Maybe the girl shows kindness to those she loves differently and maybe she shows dislike to someone differently.
there were also some dialogue that were messed up in my opinion. When the Antagonist was telling the girl how to walk properly and not like the slut the antagonist believes the girl wants to be it was just very upsetting. Nowhere in the story does the girl say she wants to be a slut so to me its all assumption and i can relate a lot to being labeled off assumption. There were also some other assumptions that the antagonist had that made them feel like telling the girl to not do, like singing Benna in church. Unlike the previous statement the girl actually spoke out by saying she has never sang Benna especially not in Sunday School. This is a story that shows the lessons taught to girls that can be useful yet limiting as also damaging when its just based off assumption. I believe its good to teach kids lessons but it is also not good to set limitation unto ones self. One must also not assume that a kid wants to become something that is frowned upon in my opinion. One thing i do agree on is that the antagonist explained as to why the girl must do what she is being told because communication is key. For example the antagonist told the girl ” when buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it
doesn’t have gum on it, because that way it won’t hold up well after a wash”, this is a great way to explain why the girl must do something in a certain way. Other than that though a lot of these lessons for girls can be very damaging and limiting, something i do not agree with.
Hello class, my name is Christian Soto. This makes my third year studying as a CUNY student. My major is currently Computer Engineering Technology though i have many others interests such as Game Design and Film Editing, just to name a few. I got interested in Computer Engineering Technology because technology is the future. Working with technology in general has always been something that has fascinated me. Though i do not have full knowledge of computers and how they work i expect to have learned a lot after completing my Bachelor’s.
School interests aside i also have many other hobbies. For starters I love music, it could be any type of music as long as it sounds good to me. I am a big heavy metal/Old school rock type of guy I can always just turn that on in the car and enjoy the ride a lot better. Without it i think i would lose my brain thanks to NYC traffic. When i am home i really enjoy playing video games though i have this certain passion for fighting games as a whole especially when i see tournaments for fighting games. It just amazes me how crazy it can get at times and I can only imagine how anxious one must feel playing in front a large crowd either cheering for you or boo’ing you. I also enjoy binge watching shows, mainly anime since i appreciate the Japanese culture but most recently i have been re-watching “Breaking Bad”.
I grew up in Williamsburgh Brooklyn for most of my life, though i have lived in other states and even another country. From the time I was 6 years old going to 7 i lived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for about a year. My mother didn’t like living there though so we moved back to the States down in Florida with my grandmother for about half a year before deciding to move back to Brooklyn. Now i live in the Bronx so i guess i have always been moving here and there and i don’t plan on staying in the Bronx much long either. I plan to move out of New York City once I get my degree, mainly because i am not much of a city person i do enjoy quiet neighborhoods and pretty much just privacy.
I chose this course because out of the other elective courses this one was what i was looking forward to most so hopefully we can make this an enjoyable semester as a class.