Possibility for Greatness Essay

879 Words Jun 7th, 2011 4 Pages
In the city of Omelas, between the ages of eight and twelve the children of are taken to see a child which is secluded from the rest of the population and forced to live in harsh conditions. The sight of this child is both shocking and sickening; however, it is known that the secluded child cannot be released into society. By each child in the community being introduced to the child in the basement, they are all forced to be aware of the conditions which the child is living its life in. For the majority of the people of Omelas it is this awareness that is instilled into all of them that helps them make Omelas a seemingly utopian community. Instead of using their awareness of the child’s poor living condition to help it they try to …show more content…
These aspects represent, in fact, well-blended necessities of human existence. If Omelas was to be faced with unhealthy children, lack of food to harvest, and constant poor weather the people would suffer immensely and eventually would be unable to survive. Also, without wise scholars and tender friendships the community as a whole would be unable to peacefully live together and advance their way of life. Through the text LeGuin has narrated that the child’s seclusion is imperative to the survival of the people of Omelas.
Beyond just being able to give the people of Omelas the means to live, the community also receives its utopian way of life from the mistreated child. In LeGuin’s short story a reader can identify that the people of Omelas “know compassion” (LeGuin 4) and that their happiness is no “vapid, irresponsible happiness” (LeGuin 4). The community does not take advantage of the fact that their lives depend on this child. To Omelas, the child is actually what encourages them to make their society seemingly perfect. Being aware of the child that is being sacrificed for their survival, gives the people of Omelas great incentive to take advantage of the opportunities for advancement that they have. “It is the existence of the child, and their knowledge of its existence, that makes possible the nobility of their architecture, the poignancy of their music, the profundity…

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