Essay on An Analysis Of Ursula Le Guin 's ' The Ones Who Walk Away '

Essay on An Analysis Of Ursula Le Guin 's ' The Ones Who Walk Away '

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In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, Ursula Le Guin writes about a utopian-like city called Omelas. The residents of the city are very happy as they enjoy the festivities. However, their happiness is only made possible through the oppression of one innocent child. This child is kept in a small basement closet and is severely neglected. The nude isolated child is very weak and malnourished as he is only fed enough to stay alive. The child is very filthy as well as he/she has no choice but to sit around in its own feces. The townspeople are well aware of the tragic conditions that the child must endure. They are taught that their town must sacrifice this one child in order to benefit the rest of society.
The residents of Omelas have just three options. The most popular option is to accept the situation the way it is by continuing to live in the city and block out any guilt with happiness. The second and least popular option is to try to fight the system by condemning the practice of human sacrifice, even though the society’s happiness would cease to exist without it. The third option is one in which to some residents take because they are unable to accept the situation but don’t want to be responsible for destroying society. These people simply leave Omelas and never return as if to show that they want no part in such society. If I was a resident of Omelas and given just these three choices, I would choose to fight the system as I believe that it is the correct moral response to this dilemma.
There are two different moral theories that attempt to guide our decision. The first one that I will address, utilitarianism, strongly advocates for the first option, which is to accept the situation by continuing to live in Omelas. The bas...


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...cracy can play in this way as well. If the majority of people vote against the protection of rights for minority groups, then those groups can become powerless. For example, in many states, people are opposed to gay marriage. Since homosexuals only make up a small percentage of the population, their rights may not be protected in those states. In a historical example, black slaves were once oppressed to economically benefit their slave owners. However, our society realized over time that it was immoral to use these people as a means to their end. My answer to Omelas question implies that while there may be benefits to a large group of people, it shouldn’t come at the expense of manipulating others. As a citizen in society, we are morally responsible for looking out for each other, especially for minority groups, so that everyone’s basic human rights can be protected.

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