Class Discussion #2: Favorite Excerpts from Student Blog Posts on “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Just like we did for “The Yellow Wallpaper” posts, I would like everyone to read through all reading response blogs on “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” choose a favorite post, and explain the rationale for choosing it.

Just like we did last time, share the post/excerpt/rationale by “commenting” here on this post. Don’t forget to link to the post you are citing (please provide the link in the same comment: don’t make a separate one with just the link).

Comments should be made no later than Friday night (9/22). I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose, and why 🙂

24 thoughts on “Class Discussion #2: Favorite Excerpts from Student Blog Posts on “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

  1. Kina

    I liked the beginning of Daniel’s blog when he had actually asked a philosopher his opinion about living in a world where happiness is based on a suffrage of a single child. I also agreed with the answer that the Philosopher gave in this excerpt “I smugly asked a fellow employee (a philosopher) , as I popped a Keurig into the coffee machine. Without raising his head, he continued to pour hot water over the green tea in his infuser mug. He lifted the mug, which was now full, turned and stopped for a moment before departing, to say ” If a single child suffered, then there was no utopia”. I can understand Daniel’s answer when he said. “I admit that I would stay in Omelas” and he had based this decision on what has happen the real world. I, for one, would leave. I am basing my answer on the story itself. If I can move out between boarders without the limitations and can just pick up and go, I would. I cannot, see myself, going to visit a child each and every year in a locked room, knowing that each time I have a laugh that child’s misery is the cause of it. I would rather go, leave Omelas and find a new way of happiness for myself.

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  2. Sebastian Garzon

    I liked the beginning of Blanca’s blog because she was honest on how boring the story was at the start. I t reminded of how “The Yellow Wallpaper” was boring to me at first as well. Later on in her first paragraph she made a a question about what the narrator says, “The people of Omelas are happy people.” The question she asked was, “What does that truly mean?” She gave the definition of happiness and tried to figure out what made the people of Omeglas happy. She mentions on how the people of Omelas are people who don’t have guilt, thus they are open to do drugs drink alcohol and nobody would be ashamed of it. I believe she was using to this built up the true reason why people are happy. Then she talks about the boy who lives in the room where he is suffering. She makes the connection that the people of Omelas believe that the boy’s misfortune will bring happiness to everyone else in the her final paragraph.

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  3. Penina

    I chose JEFFREY LIANG’s response. One of my favorite lines from his response: “Much like how it is in life the child is the representation of how life is like on the other side of the coin for people, kids out there in third world countries who eat just as much or maybe even less than he is. ” I think he did a great job relating Omelas, with our world, and the way some people, unfortunately, have to live. Here is a link to his response https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/life/

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    1. Gemanna

      Aside from Stevens Jean’s title, I very much liked the analysis broken down in his blog post. He goes into the depth of what the city of Omelas is really a symbol of, which many readers may not understand just from reading once through.

      “Omelas is a society that can only exist off of the suffering of a minority (when I say minority I don’t mean race, I just mean a person or a group of people who comprise of less than half of a population.)  Now, doesn’t that sound somewhat familiar. A City that may be perceived as a land of paradise by those looking in at a glance but, is only like this because someone, somewhere suffers.” (Stevens Jean, Paragraph 3)

      As Omelas serves as a mirror to our own society, America depends on the lower and middle class workers who are represented by this child living in the basement. Even the many undocumented immigrants who occupy the jobs many Americans refuse to do are all like this child, playing major roles in our country that go unacknowledged constantly.

      Here’s a link to his blog post! I enjoyed the entire thing so it was hard to chose an excerpt.
      https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/societal-selfishness-the-cruel-truth-we-wish-we-didnt-know-but-all-too-well-understand/

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  4. Imani

    While reading through my classmates response towards the text “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, my favorite post is Blanca’s. I to also agree that the beginning of the text was boring. It took me two days to really get through it. I liked how she pointed out what is the actual meaning of happiness as it is used to describe the people in Omelas. Blanca quotes, ” The more money you have, the more problems that come along with it..”, and in the text it basically touches on the fact that the people of Omelas doesn’t have much as we do today in society. in our society, we praise technology and the journey it came from , on the trains everyone is in their phones, walking down the street people aren’t looking because they’re distracted by their technology, we rely on technology to get through our day and in Omelas they have real happiness. The twist of the story that Blanca touched on about the little child who is known in Omelas who is suffering from malnutrition, naked, and sitting on the floor on its own feces. The child is known in the city but because everyone is not supposed to experience guilt, but only happiness so they don’t show the child any sympathy, they don’t even pay the child any mind. How can this be a city of happiness if there is still someone suffering? How can you live in a place so fairy tale like and see an innocent child in need of help but ignore his presence? Is there such thing as real happiness?
    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/the-secret-behind-the-land-of-the-dreams/

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  5. Terry_L

    I liked the response from Kainat Ali. She began her response with three questions which acquires the readers’ curiosity, the questioning makes them continue reading it and keep wondering what is the point that she is going to make up. In the response, she said, “The happiness that surrounded everyone’s life here was an understood happiness” (Kainat, Paragraph 2.) I agree with this, the way we describe happiness is getting more complicated, however, happiness to those people living in Omelas is simpler, it’s understood happiness that you can make of. After this, she exposed a secret behind all those happiness from people, and left a question behind, “If he/she was let out to roam as the other people did, would all of these people really become miserable?” (Kainat, Paragraph 3.) This strongly show her disagreement on the thing people did to the little kid in Omelas. At the end of her response, she questions again, she doubts those people who chose to leave Omelas actually knew the real reason of leaving Omelas. Shame on the things they are doing? Believe on the superstitions? Or finally realized the imperfect of Omelas? Nobody knows it but themselves.

    Below is the link for her blog post ,
    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/once-upon-a-time/

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  6. Timothy

    One blog that truly stood out to me from “The Yellow Wallpaper” was Heder Pastuizaca’s post. I enjoyed it because of the way the beginning of the blog was written. For example, he goes straight into detail about the situation the narrator is going through when said that she is “a female protagonist that suffers from a mental illness that worsens over time due to the lack of outside stimuli”. This is truly significant considering the wallpaper was even discovered by her due to lack of time spent outside and more time being spent in the home. So for him to wrap up the narrator’s situation as a whole, in the beginning, will only allow his evidence to stand out after that is said. Another interesting factor was when he made the connection between “Girl” & The Yellow Wallpaper”. He says that they are similar in which in the story “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid in which the girl was given a set of restrictions and rules to follow just like the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. This is significant because when/if comes time to compare two articles and write an essay on it it’ll be much easier considering the evidence is already planted.

    Link To Favorite Blog:(https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/the-yellow-wallpaper/)

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  7. Jeffrey Liang

    The blog post that caught my interest is the one that was written by Daniel and what his co-worker’s response was. ” If a single child suffered, then there was no utopia”. To some it may probably well be a utopia for them because for that utopia only one child had to suffer, but as Daniel’s co-worker said if there is a child suffering than it isn’t really a utopia. The definition of utopia (directly off google) -an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. reading through the blog made me wonder how far people would go for a perfect world to exist though looking at the history of other countries and the price that was paid for it, I would say some would go pretty far for their perfect world even if it is at the cost of others.
    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/the-utopia-that-was-not/

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  8. Heder Pastuizaca

    After reading Sebastion Garzon’s post “False Utopia”, I am now certain about my feelings toward the city Omelas and its citizens that allow such inhumane treatment allowing to continue towards the individual in the story. The child deserves to have its own freedom and enjoy the life Omela has to offer. He even mentions, ““Often the young people go home in tears, or in a tearless rage, when they have seen the child and faced this terrible paradox”(Page 6 paragraph 1). This shows that the people truly do not agree with this and would want this to end. In the last part, “faced this terrible paradox,” shows it contradicts their utopia life style where everybody is not happy or free.”, which paints a picture of how reality really is and there won’t be a perfect utopia anytime soon.

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  9. Anoop

    My favorite blog was by Daniel. He made many points in h is reading response that I agree with. “There is little to no plot in the story, just a trap that is sprung upon us on page four “Then let me describe one more thing”, leaving us feeling uncomfortable. (Daniel, Paragraph 4). I agree, that the story had no real plot, or storyline. It seemed to be chunks of journal or maybe diary entries pieced together. It may have also been the narrator adding bit by bit as her day progressed or when she experienced something she wanted to write about. Her husband did not want her to write, so she may have added bit by bit when she had to opportunity or when he was not around to prevent her.

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  10. Nickolas

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/a-dream-city-built-upon-a-little-boys-misery/

    I like this post because I agree with it. Omelas is a utopia. Similar to real cities, states, or countries, Omelas has its secrets that help to establish and maintain the town’s stability and reputation. The neglected child is Omelas’ infrastructure. The reality is that everyone benefits at the expense of everything and everyone else. It is not always pleasant but it’s the truth. It’s shameful, but we’re all guilty of doing it. The fictional town of Omelas is no exception.

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  11. Samuel

    I enjoyed reading Adrian’s blog post to the story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin. While reading this story, I felt disguised as well by the way of people of Omelas in the story treating that child in cellar. I questioned the happiness in sense since how can people with themselves while a child is treated like cirrus act. I agree with his last sentence in blog “Those who experienced happiness, also experienced tragedy.” It harsh truth, we have accept there is happiness on one side of coin and another is tragedy.
    I felt a lot of the post overlook some key details that Adrian manage to see like the fact the kids age 8-12 learn the truth about the child in the cellar. This highlights other children in story, and it describe how they may feel about this inflicting suffering on child for their utopia. Another fact about freedom religion, although I think orgy wasn’t need in the posts, but it did serve it purpose describing the freedom of religion for people of Omelas. I think blogger didn’t know what orgy means thought when person put quote from text there.

    Link to Blog: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/what-is-happiness/

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  12. Dheeraj Surujprasad

    When I reading through the many blogs there, one of the ones I read and liked was Sebastian’s blog. He writes in this third paragraph of the blog “I was disgusted to know that the people knew of this child’s existence and did nothing for him because they honestly believed that the happiness of the city of Omelas ‘depends wholly on this child’s abominable misery’” and then proceeds to write “How would you feel if you saw a child just like yourself in such a situation when being explained that it was necessary for the city.” Those were something that came to my thoughts exactly when I was reading the story myself and was when I started to question how the people themselves actually lived in the city. I asked myself how does a story go from describing one of the best cities or utopia to turning dark and revealing one of its most gruesome secrets or not really a secret to its citizens. The thought of that alone wouldn’t make me think twice about why I wouldn’t want to be living in that city. It also comes to note that even some of the citizens in that city, as well as their kids, have thoughts that go against what is happening here. Sebastian’s use of the quote “Often the young people go home in tears, or in a tearless rage when they have seen the child and faced this terrible paradox”(Page 6 paragraph 1) is what supports this theory in place. It hurts when you realize that even if this is some sort of religious or sacrificial works or anything related in the case that the city of Omelas counts this as acceptable and ok just for the pure wellbeing of the city, that they would risk the lives of little kids so that their own can carry on to being successful. It’s worst for the citizens who live there every day and night having to think about what’s happening in the basement of a house whether they like it or not. In the end, you also realize that the people who don’t accept this are the ones who tend to leave which is what the title of the story is aiming at, so like Sebastian pointed out it does contradict what is said earlier about the City being very happy or free along with its citizens. You can’t have a perfect city when not even its own citizens could voice their concerns for the well-being and safety of a child being mistreated.

    Link to Sebastians Blog: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/false-utopia/

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  13. Adrian

    A blog that peeked my interest was “Underneath the City of Omelas” by Gemanna and a quote that enticed me was “how immediately I compared “Omelas” to the United States when the city is” (Gemanna). Comparing the U.S to the “perfect” society was very interesting. I can see the U.S having its pros and cons. Some areas are great tourist attractions/sightseeing spots and some areas are considered dangerous or unsanitary. If there were a perfect city, then many people would visit it to see what would make a city so great. In the story, many were let down or disgusted that the people’s happiness thrives off of a child’s unhappiness.

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/underneath-the-city-of-omelas/

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  14. Kainat Ali

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/the-ones-who-walk-away-from-omelas/

    I like the way Heder ended his post. “Even thou in any society there will always be humans that are repressed and treated as trash and inhumane for the sake of a better life for those with power. This will never change, so was the alternative better? Having one person suffering or an entire city, state, country or nation suffering together?” (Heder, paragraph 3.) He relates it back to what has actually been going on in this world, even currently. Many people are harmed throughout the world, we don’t always know about it. Sometimes, even when we do know about it no one really does anything about that situation. Similarly, that is what was going on in Omelas. The people saw and knew of what was happening, some chose to ignore it and continue on with their lives and others chose to leave the city at once. I feel like as time goes on people become immune to the bad in the world, maybe that is what happened in Omelas as well.

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  15. Jordan JP

    As I was reading the blog Daniel posted, I quickly realized he was making a connection between the fiction in the story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, and the reality of the world we live in, “like our American society, accepts the moral ambiguity of the unjust suffering of an individual” (Daniel, 3). I like this statement and think it’s true, I could go on and give the many reasons why I believe it to be true, however, Daniel, by also using himself as an example, has already given enough support to his statement in his blog.

    Another statement in the blog Daniel posted has caught my attention, I am living proof that this statement is true, “we, the readers, are made partners in the construction of this story, that is conditional upon our inclination. Each reader may construct his or her story” (Daniel, 6). As I was reading the story, at several points, I found myself involved or somewhat included in the construction of this imaginary place called Omelas. I could have the inhabitants of Omelas feel shame or feel grateful, the only independent variable in the story was my way of thinking. At several points I felt as if I had the power to add or take away certain landscapes or specific settings in the story. “Perhaps it would be best if you imagined it as your fancy bids” (Ursula, 2). This quote is one of the many examples of how much control I have over the development of the story.

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/the-utopia-that-was-not/

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  16. Daniel

    I would like to comment on Gemanna’s post “Underneath the City of Omelas”
    I (uncharacteristically) read and read the posts and the comments, and I then thought of my own post.
    Reading Gemanna’s post and some of the others, I felt a little bad about my post; that I had not been sensitive enough, that I could so easily discount and rationalize the suffering of an innocent child; that I could not see the child’s suffering as suffering that is simply not just in and of itself, and is thus unacceptable.
    I believe that we are all citizens of Omelas, but I will speak for myself.
    When I walk by a homeless man in the street, I know that I am part of the society that has brought him to his current state and I accept that.
    When I but a garment at a ridiculously cheap price ( for which a seamstress in a third world country was paid a pittance to sew) I partake in her “oppression”, but I do see that as oppression! I have seen seamstresses in a third world country and I know that for them it was a means to an end, the best choice despite being a difficult choice. I marveled at how they mostly saw the positive and let the drudgery pass them by.
    I have worked in difficult jobs but I rarely felt oppressed. I mostly enjoyed them and if not I moved on. If I made parts on a lathe ( much like the seamstress), I enjoyed the work, the smell of the oil, the challenge in each part, the rhythm. I worked for an employer who had once worked as I did on a lathe, and who had saved and borrowed and opened his own machine shop. He was not my oppressor. My pay was a function of supply and demand, not of oppression. If I so choose I could have followed his path.
    What I am saying is that what many of us see as oppression, is for others a difficult but viable part of opportunity.
    Yes! the child in the story has no choice and yes! the child suffered , even terribly so, but I would not have left Omelas, because it would not have helped the child or me.
    Thank you to those who showed sensitivity, it is comforting to me to know that others can relate to the suffering of the child with more compassion that I can. That is a beautiful thing.

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/underneath-the-city-of-omelas/

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  17. Stevens Jean

    ITA FLORES’S blog made me look at the suffering child in a bit of a different light. How different would the interpretation of the story be if the child was actually a a man, a “tragic hero” of the story who used to live in a life of normalcy before suddenly being brought down into a situation where he is forced to be a slave to the society he. It was because of this part that it got me wondering. How different would the readers interpret this situation had the child been a man. Someone who at the very least had a lot of knowledge of what the world use to be to him before the horrible decline in social status or something. My opinion wouldn’t change but what of the many other readers would their opinion change or not?

    excerpt: The model for Omelas is inherently flawed. It would be different perhaps, if the child wasn’t a child, or if the child had spent it’s whole life not knowing much else. However, this is a child who was once part of the exterior world “the child, […] has not always lived in the tool room.” A tragic hero, they have fallen from their status of normalcy to being slave to a societies need for happiness

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/the-moral-dilemma-behind-happiness-in-omelas/

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  18. blanca borquez

    Daniel’s blog , ” The Utopia That Was Not” caught my attention because of how he expressed himself towards the story.
    ” Imagine if you will, a utopia that was dependent upon the suffering of a single child” (sentence 1 paragraph 1). In my opinion, what kind of utopia would this be if there is at least ONE person suffering.
    By my definition and understanding, a utopia is a perfect place where everyone is happy and at peace, specially the children.

    ” If a single child suffered, then there was no utopia. ” (Sentence 3 Paragraph 1)
    The fact that a child had to suffer in total abandonment and being humiliated is what makes all of this wrong. Not just because it is a child but a person suffering just so everyone else could be happy.

    “The psychologist and philosopher William James, contended that “[If people could be] kept permanently happy on the one simple condition that a certain soul on the far off edge of things should lead a life of lonely torment,.. how hideous a thing would be, [the enjoyment of this happiness] when deliberately accepted as the fruit of such a bargain”.” (Paragraph 2) . I believe that this was no utopia at all for the reason that everyone knew of this child, they even went to see for themselves. The people of this supposed utopia would go see a child who suffers mentally and physically so they can be in what they call amongst themselves a utopia. Just like the title, ” The Utopia That Was Not”. I think that what made this matter worse, was the fact that the child was suffering, naked, malnutritioned, sitting in its own excrements, not being able to see the light, to not be able to enjoy what everyone else enjoyed.

    https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/the-utopia-that-was-not/

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  19. Calvin Ly

    One of the reading responses that I liked was Gemenna’s post (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/belli-f2017-eng2001/underneath-the-city-of-omelas/). I found Gemenna’s interpretation of the story interesting, as she describes the plight of the child as an allegory towards “America’s middle working class, or Laborers who dedicate themselves to working and serving as pillars to support the upper class. This dystopian society created by Le Guin is in fact painted as a Utopian world to represent the hidden reality of what keeps us up and running”. The story of The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas can be interpreted in a number of ways, and Gemenna decided to apply it to America’s social classes, based on social/economic status. Though the working class citizen typically has lower wages and worse living conditions, the rest of the society heavily depends on the labor they provide.

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  20. Stephen D.

    I chose Daniel post to write about as I found it is the most interesting. The way he put the the philosophers quote into the beginning hooked you in. The quote “[If people could be] kept permanently happy on the one simple condition that a certain soul on the far off edge of things should lead a life of lonely torment,.. how hideous a thing would be [the enjoyment of this happiness] when deliberately accepted as the fruit of such a bargain”. is one that makes you think. Personally I would think long and hard about accepting a deal where someone else has to suffer but in the end I think I would be ok accepting the deal if it better my life and i wouldn’t know who I was hurting.
    Reposted from 9/22

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