Ursula Le Guin's The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

Improved Essays
Winners and losers A capitalist society is based on the idea that you can’t get ahead in life without stepping on someone else’s back. In Ursula Le Guin’s story “The ones who walk away from Omelas”, written in 1973, show a society where everyone is happy and full of life. This town is an almost utopian society when the story begins. Children are running and playing, and the narrator talks about how great the city is. However, the city is not as good as it seems. This is because the source of their happiness is a child who is locked in a closet. Some people believe that this is the true source of happiness, however, some can’t stand this idea and leave Omelas. This is just like in a capitalist society where certain people are ahead in life …show more content…
The citizens in Omelas “all know that [the child] has to be there. Some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness”(pg 3). They all understand that the reason for their happiness is from the poverty of another and “[the people] would like to do something for the child. But there is nothing they can do”(pg 3). Even if capitalism seems to make everyone happy, it is not the case. Not everyone is given an equal chance. Le Guin is talking about the problems with capitalism in saying that to be ahead in life you have to be better than other people. If the people of Omelas helped the child he would be happy and would cause the suffering of others. The citizens know that “if the wretched one were not there sniveling in the dark, the other one, the flute- player, could make no joyful music as the young riders line up in their beauty for the race in the sunlight of the first morning of summer”(pg 4). They wouldn’t be ahead of certain people in life and everyone would be equal, taking happiness with it. Everyone keeps going on with there life knowing people are dying and suffering because they want to keep the life that they enjoy because of their own selfish needs.. After seeing the suffering there are people who can’t stand the rules that they …show more content…
For the most part everyone is happy and free. To them the reason for their happiness is the kid in a closet. If it is ever let out, it would ruin the lives of everyone in the town.Most countries around the world live in a capitalistic society. This gives basic rights to billions to have the freedom to do what we please and where everyone has an equal shot at success. This is true for the most part, except if you look at anywhere in the world where there is poverty and death. Just in small towns alone there are hundreds of families that don’t have food on the table. There are many people without power or even a home to live in. There may be no laws setting them back in life but there is no way that they are given an equal chance in life. Without lower class the whole system fails. This lower class is represented by the the kid in the closet. To most people in the world their happiness is more important than to help the starvation and death around them. The ones that can’t deal with knowledge of this horrors leave the

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