Analysis Of The Ones Who Walk Away From The Omelas

1680 Words7 Pages
In the short story The Ones Who Walk Away from the Omelas, Ursula Le Guin illustrates a community that is joyous. However, the community is torn because the source of their happiness is due to the choosing of an unfortunate child that resides in a basement under of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas neglected and barely ever eating. Le Guin explanation that although the people of the community are very happy, they are also very well aware of what is providing them that happiness. He writes, “all know [the child] is there… They all know that it has to be there. Some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery” (257). This unjust and cruel punishment this child must endure for the sake of the community causes an ethical dilemma that tears apart the community. The ethical dilemma forces the community to acknowledge their living situation and ask themselves: What is more important? Their happiness or this child? Thus, they must make a choice to either walk away from the life and community they have lived in for their whole life because their source of happiness is at the cost of a young boys life. Or, do they continue to live in Omelas and ignore the harsh conditions that this young boy is exposed to. In the story the boy is described as a six-year-old boy that is neglected, locked away in a dirty room, abused mentally and physically, and alone(Le Guin, 257). He barely has any fat on him because all he is fed is “hal... ... middle of paper ... ...e law, it does not mean that it is right and that we should be so ignorant to reason. In this situation, I would not be able to live with myself knowing that this one little boy is not being fed, being kicked, and left alone to basically die for my happiness. That is completely unacceptable. I believe that while it is innate for us to settle for comfort, we should not live a life that needs abuses someone to accomplish something. According to the categorical imperative, one should abide what they ought to do because it manifests from the moral law. Thus, I would walk away from Omelas because all people are equal and I would not be able to view this boy as a means to my end, which is happiness. Also, if that is the only way for me to achieve happiness then it is not true happiness but superficial emotion that can easily be demolished if anything happens to the boy.

More about Analysis Of The Ones Who Walk Away From The Omelas

Open Document