…yeah right!

The story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, by Ursula Le Guin surprised me a lot. The way it started with the town’s people having a parade  with “a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring ” (Guin, page 1).  One would think that the town had over come something or won something for such a occasion. Even the narrator said that “Given the description such as this one tends to look next for the King, mounted on a splendid stallion and surrounded by his noble knights, or perhaps in a golden litter borne by great-muscled slaves” (Guin, page 2).

When I continue to read farther along the narrator begins to describe the people of Omelas by describing their happiness and  how they were not simple minded people just because they were happy. I assume that the narrator wanted the reader to understand that the people of Omelas were not blissfully ignorant. This was made clear when the narrator said “They were not simple folk, you see, though they were happy” (Guin, page 1) and again the narrator stated “Yet I repeat that these were not simple folk, not dulcet shepherds, noble savages, bland utopians”……”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 is interesting” (Guin, page 2).

When you read on You realized that on that day of the parade. There are people who are wearing festive clothing and some who are not. There is even a horse race that is going to happen and festive music is being played.  How all of the people in the parade is headed towards the “Green Fields” (Guin, page 3).

Then in the story the narrator takes you to this “basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas, or perhaps in the cellar one of its spacious private homes, there is a room”. (Guin, page 4). Narrator describes how it has a “locked door, and no window” (Guin, page 4) there is this child that is “feeble-minded” (Guin, page 4). The child is describe as dirty and sitting on the floor.  The Narrator speaks as if the sex of the child and sometimes calling it a “child” did not matter.  It feels as if the narrator at times take the humanity of the child away especially when the narrator said “It picks its nose and occasionally fumbles vaguely with its toes or genitals, as it sits hunched in the corner farthest from the bucket” (Guin, page 4).

While I was reading I began to understand that the town’s people  was celebrating their happiness and was able to enjoy their happiness because they were not “simple folk” and “only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting” (Guin, page 2). I wonder did the narrator said this to have the reader understand how the people in that town see happiness? That their happiness would cease to exist if that this one child have a chance at happiness?

By reading this, I placed myself in that community and I seriously asked myself if i knew that my happiness was the cause of some kid being locked up in the basement being abuse and is shown no love at all? Would I have been apart of that parade?  My answer was “No” I would like to say that I too would have been part of “the ones who walk away from Omelas” (Guin, page 7) the end.



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