William James. S Lost Souls In Ursula Le Guin's Utopia Summary

Good Essays

“William James’s Lost Souls in Ursula Le Guin’s Utopia”, is an academic journal article written by the author, Linda Simon. The article was published as a feature scholarly journal by the John Hopkins University Press’s and was written for philosophy and literature. The article contributes to the study of literature because it showcases an example of comparative literature. In this instance, Simon analyzes Ursula Le Guin’s short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” to the argumentative essay which inspired Le Guin's short story, “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life” written by William James. By comparing the two texts, author Linda Simon analyzes the differences in moral and ethical codes in hopes to provide justification and reasoning for the decisions that the citizens of Omelas make to either stay or leave despite knowing their society is built upon a dark foundation.
I chose to analyze Simons article because I enjoyed reading the philosophical contrast made between both Le Guin’s and James’s literary pieces. James in many instances opposes the tone of disgust that Le Guin provides within her short story by asserting the idea that the Omleians who choose to stay are guided by a higher source of power and in their minds, are doing what is just, versus, his opinion that the ones who leave “do not enact a philosophical revolution among those who stay. They give no reasons for their defection, and they propose no alternative action for the community. They do not

Get Access