The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas Essay

911 Words Apr 21st, 2013 4 Pages
Alisen Reed
Ms. Lighthiser
English- E
29 April 2013
Why the Child? In “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, symbolism is used throughout the entire story. The author, Ursula K. Le Guin, creates some complex symbols in the city of Omelas itself, the ones who walk away, the child in the basement, the child who never stops playing the flute, and the ones who stay in Omelas. By depicting a seemingly utopian society, LeGuin is commenting on the fact that no society is perfect, and in fact, someone always must suffer for the happiness of others. The city of Omelas is the setting of the story, and has great significance to the people and ideas around it. The city itself represents how people in modern society want to live in this utopia
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Le Guin is trying to say that in society today not everyone can be happy and live a wonderful life. People all around the world are in misery and neglect, but cannot always be saved from what is happening to them. She wants the reader to realize that things happen for a reason and it was the best thing to do for the citizens and the city to imprison the child.
The reactions of the people to learning of the child is also a very important symbol. The ones who walked away from Omelas represent morality in the story. By choosing to leave the city, they are making a statement that no one person should suffer for the good of the people: “They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas” (212). It seems like Le Guin wants the reader to understand that there is no such thing as a “perfect society”. When the ones who walk away from Omelas leave, it is as if they are going to a more down to society where everything is not as perfect or full of bliss. It may not be a utopia, but it is a place that is more realistic to live in.
On the other hand, there are also the ones who stay.

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