The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… To help this one miserable child would lead to the suffering of an entire city, after all. This is what the narrator persuades us to think. She uses many methods to prove her point. For instance, she tells us that if the child were to be saved, “in that day and hour all the prosperity and beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed.” (1552). She defends the people of Omelas, who are not heartless, cruel, mindless “simple utopians,” but instead as passionate, intelligent, gentle people capable of sympathy. However, they understand that “the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars…the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery.” (1552). Not only this, but she asserts that the child is too “imbecile” to recognize love anymore; it has grown too used to the darkness of the cellar to ever revert back to normal civilized life. At every turn, she finds a way to argue against compassion and in favor of causing pain; she portrays the assessment the Omelasians make of the child to be so logical and responsible that even the reader starts to buy into it. Why help the child? There is no point, is there? Continuing this abusive treatment of it is for the good of the order, isn’t it? The narrator makes it extremely easy to side with the Omelasians, providing “rational” explanation for their actions and even going so far as to try and tug at the reader’s heartstrings by saying the citizens are not free themselves. She tries to make one sympathize with and admire the resolve of the people of Omelas—“It is because of the child that they are so gentle with children.” (1552). If Le Guin’s message was that using the “greater good” model was viable to a successful society, it is very blatantly laid out in this passage. However, there exists …show more content…
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