Moral Sacrifice In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

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"The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" demonstrates how happiness can’t exist without moral sacrifice through its use of symbol. The child being kept alone in a locked room underneath the most beautiful building of the city is a symbol of how someone’s happiness in Omelas depends entirely on that child’s misery: "they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships…depends wholly on this child’s abominable misery" (246). This passage makes it clear that happiness can only occur if Omelas’ citizens act like they constantly forget the child’s existence and let it "live" in its constant suffering. It’s evident that this symbol illustrates the delicate relation between happiness and moral sacrifice.
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