Comparing Ursula K. Le Guin 's The Ones Who Walk Away
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In comparing Ursula K. Le Guin 's "The ones who walk away from Omelas" and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 's "Harrison Bergeron", the authors describe utopias wherein each society relies on another 's misfortune. In "Harrison Bergeron," George and Hazel watch their son 's execution when he publically rejects the laws of society. In "The ones who walk away from Omelas," the narractor describes a city of wonder built upon the pain and suffering of a single child. Through these stories, the authors attempt to convey the following points: everyone desires happiness, not everyone will achieve happiness, and the happiness of some may depend on the unhappiness of others. People wish for a world free from famine, destitution, war, and oppression; A world…show more content… Watching her husband struggle, Hazel suggests he remove the birdshot, at which he declines. He insists "if [he] tried to get away with it, then other people 'd get away with it - and pretty soon [they 'd] be right back to the dark ages" of competing for a better quality of life and happiness. Hazel decides she hates the very idea of returning to a world where she could hardly compete in anything concerning intelligence and physical labor. Unlike her husband, Hazel wears no handicaps which makes her mediocrity evident. She is wholly content and happy with her current circumstance. George, being severely handicapped, is seemingly happy as well. There are times when the suffering of some can bring greater happiness for others. A small example, would be when one individual loses a job, another can gain a job. However, this is demonstrated unfairly in the city of Omelas. Locked in a damp, dark basement exists a child bereft of all love, care, and opportunity. "It has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect" (260). Its ' gender is left unidentified to emphasize its ' destitute and feeble state. The child embodies all the hallmarks of extreme poverty, including the lack of proper nutrition, health, education, as well as poor economic and social standing. "The others never come close, but peer in at it with frightened, disgusted eyes" (261). "They all know [the child] is there, all the people
| |“The Hanging of the Mouse,” Elizabeth Bishop (pp. 1308-1310) | | |
| |“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” Ursula K. Le Guin (pp. 1311-1315) | | |
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