Omelas Literary Argument Essay

1170 WordsApr 13, 20125 Pages
March 26, 2012 The Iron Curtain of Omelas The short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, written by Ursula Le Guin, is about a so-called perfect society where the sacrifice of a child is what provides harmony, equality, and prosperity to the citizens of this city. As a reader, one is invited to create and visualize their own utopia, so that one is emerged with the reality of a moral dilemma: the happiness of many for the unhappiness of one. The symbol represented in the story reflects current and past society issues such as military sacrifice, slavery, and injustice. The narrator describes the city of Omelas to have no king (president), political system, technology, weapons, or many of the things that currently permeate our…show more content…
As human beings, we strive for freedom, and as we see in both our world and the one in the story, no one is truly free. “They know that they, like the child, are not free,” writes the narrator, showing the reader that although the citizens apparently live “free” in a perfect society, inside their souls, they are not free. There are no slaves in this utopia, as described by the narrator, but in actuality, the child’s freedom is taken from it, similar to slavery. The child symbolizes slavery because it is not free and is a servant to all the citizens of Omelas. The narrator clearly gives the reader a contradiction stating, “…they did without…slavery,” but she fails to conclude that the child is a servant of Omelas as a slave is to its owner. The citizens of the city are described as equal, prosperous, and joyous, except for the child who is malnourished, mistreated, and confined. The child lives very much as slaves did in America, where the birth of a slave’s child was to become a slave and never to be freed. The filth and dirt on the bottom floor of the tiny prison where the child sleeps reflects what many slaves used to sleep in. Another symbol that reflects slavery in the story would be the smelly mops next to the rusty buckets in the corner of the dirty closet, which serves as a reminder the role the child has as a slave, as a servant to the people. The narrator tells the reader, “[i]t is afraid of the mops. It

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