Summary Of The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

813 Words4 Pages
Lina Falvo
Ms. K. Poropat
December 4, 2017
Universally Utilitarian: A Guide to “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" Prior to reading this short story many readers might agree that the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people is a positive thing. As when the majority of people are happy, the chances of confrontation are lowered. However, when the situation that determines happiness is a great deal, it is no longer acceptable to ensure that the majority is happy, but every individual is content. Author Ursula LeGuin has provided readers with a compelling short story that encompasses many philosophical viewpoints. She challenges her readers to define moral ethics through the harsh and critical conditions that her characters face. LeGuin’s short story is one that supports the idea of utilitarianism. The city of Omelas is built on the suffering of one child, for the happiness of the entire community. LeGuin proves this by stating, “They all know that it has to be there. Some understand why, and some do not, but they all know that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships…depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery” (Velasquez 511). Act utilitarianism demands that the child should remain in the basement in order to continue to provide the greatest happiness. This would continue to allow the city to remain unchanging and unproblematic; as the citizens remain happy, and no major decision has to be made in accordance to
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