Ursula LeGuin's The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas Essay

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Ursula LeGuin's The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

Utopia is any state, condition, or place of ideal perfection. In Ursula LeGuin's short story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" the city of Omelas is described as a utopia. "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" presents a challenge of conscience for anyone who chooses to live in Omelas.

Omelas is described by the narrator as the story begins. The city appears to be very likable. At times the narrator does not know the truth and therefore guesses what could be, presenting these guesses as often essential detail. The narrator also lets the reader mold the city. The narrator states the technology Omelas could have and then says "or they could have none of that: it doesn't
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But there are some who walk away from Omelas. These are few, but they are the ones that have guilt. They could not live in a place, no matter how perfect, that thrives off a child's torment.

All of the narrator's questions invite the reader to place ;himself in the position of the people of Omelas. Do you need this to make you happy? Then you may have it. Once the reader begins to enjoy the city and begins to see its happiness as a good thing, then the reader, like the adolescents in the story, must be shown that on which the happiness depends. Readers must face the question of what they would be willing to sacrifice for happiness. In Omelas, the people have no guilt so they are able to sacrifice the child for their happiness with no remorse because they are happy.

"The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" is an attempt to explain the problem of evil. Collins writes "the narrative justifies or makes sense of a painful aspect of theodicy"(527). The question of the problem of evil is summed up in three statements: God is good, God is omnipotent and omniscient, and there is evil. The existence of evil is usually accepted as a given. If God is good, but not omnipotent, he wants to stop evil, but cannot. If God is omnipotent, but not good, he could stop evil, but would not. In Christianity, however, God is understood to be both good and omnipotent,
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