The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

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Analysis of Fiction Contemporary American culture is represented in “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin. Omelas is a Utopian city which inhabits citizens who are pleased and content with their lives. It is described as happy, full of freedom and joy. However, this privilege of life comes at a price. In order for the people of Omelas to live this way, a child must be kept stowed away in a dark closet. Miserable and left to wallow in it's own filth, the citizens are told or even bear witness to the child's agony. After being exposed to the child, most of the citizens carry on with their lives, employing the cause of the child's unfortunate place in their society. Nobody knows where they go, but some do silently walk…show more content…
This is also seen in America. There are soldiers on the other side of the world dying for the freedoms exercised by Americans. Nobody fully gets why this needs to be. There is no reason or justification for the lives lost to protect Americas freedom, just as there is none for the child's horrible life to protect the Omelas society. America and Omelas alike feel the need suppress guilt. Even though the story says there is no guilt in Omelas, the peoples reaction to the child shows otherwise. Le Guin says that when people go to see the child they are "shocked and sickened at the sight. They feel disgust, They feel anger, outrage, impotence, despite all the explanations. They would like to do something for the child. But there is nothing they can do” (Le Guin 210). This shows the need to suppress guilt because the citizens are so disgusted, yet put the child in the back of their heads to carry on with their own pleasure. Some of the people display their guilt by leaving Omelas because they cannot accept the conditions the child lives in for them to be happy. This is seen in contemporary American culture. On any give major city sidewalk, there are homeless people begging for change. Thousands of other Americans walk by them everyday. They do not give them their change or even a glance because if they do they are giving in to their guilt. Guilt is seen as something that needs to be stuffed deep down in America. If
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