March 26, 2012
The Iron Curtain of Omelas
The short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, written by Ursula Le Guin, is about a so-called perfect society where the sacrifice of a child is what provides harmony, equality, and prosperity to the citizens of this city. As a reader, one is invited to create and visualize their own utopia, so that one is emerged with the reality of a moral dilemma: the happiness of many for the unhappiness of one. The symbol represented in the story reflects current and past society issues such as military sacrifice, slavery, and injustice.
The narrator describes the city of Omelas to have no king (president), political system, technology, weapons, or many of the things that currently permeate our society. The story portrays a utopia where the citizens of Omelas enjoy freedom and pleasures much like Americans do today because of the sacrifice soldiers give everyday for the citizens of the United States. The town sacrifices the child’s existence of a normal life for the sake of peace and freedom, whereas in the real world, soldiers sacrifice their lives for the sake of peace and freedom for their nation. One can tie the sacrifice the child endures for the way of life in Omelas to the sacrifice of the soldiers in the U.S.; however, many of the soldiers in the U.S. make their own decision about enlisting in the Armed Forces, whereas the child’s decision was not if its own. However, one can also compare the child’s predicament to those drafted and required to go to war, which are required to sacrifice their lives for the people of its land as the child sacrificed its freedom for the citizens of Omelas. Conversely, the narrator shows the reader that a perfect society should not celebrate victory in war and blood, but rather celebrate peace and love between humans. The narrator goes further and states, “[b]ut as we did without clergy, let us do without soldiers” (244). Clearly, if there is no conflict between nations, there would...
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