Critical Analysis the Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas

1621 Words7 Pages
James Lee

English 110 AA

Dr. M Brennan

February 16, 2014

In the short story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin the theme is that in order to be truly happy, one must stand up for what’s right, even if it means leaving everything that they know. Society creates traditions and ways of thinking that are not easy for everyone to follow. In Omelas, the citizens have the choice to ignore the suffering of a child locked in a cellar, or leave the life and the city they are familiar with. The people of Omelas must ask themselves whether it is better for a child to suffer for the city’s happiness and wealth, or should the city suffer, just to give the child a shot at happiness? It is ironic because Omelas is a
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The people who leave Omelas who don’t want to deal with the child’s suffering, they simply cannot justify why it happens, these people can’t live happily knowing that their happiness comes from the cost of another’s humanity. The ones who walk away from Omelas have rejected the terms of this perfect society and walk away. Some symbols in this story, such as the horses that play a character in the story symbolize the power, grace, and beauty of the city. The bird or swallow symbolizes freedom; but swallows can only fly a certain amount of distance before they have to rest meaning that there is only a certain amount of freedom, or the people who walk away from Omelas can only fly so far from the city to escape before they realize they made the wrong decision that it is too hard to live from their already perfect society and just live with the fact that a child suffers for their happiness. The symbols connect to the main themes of the story, and the author makes you ask yourself can society live happily, at the cost of another? The first theme is good does not exist without evil. The people of Omelas know that they need to have a tiny bit of evil for them to truly understand what is good. They force a single child to live a horrible life so they can compare their lives with the child’s. Through this comparison they are able to realize that their lives are full of good. Some instead think it is better to share the pains of evil

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