Analysis Of The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas By Ursula Le Guin

Topics: Morality, Ethics / Pages: 4 (806 words) / Published: Dec 15th, 2016
“The securing of one individual's good is cause for rejoicing, but to secure the good of a nation or of a city-state is nobler and more divine.” As Aristotle stated, it is generally agreed upon that the happiness of many outweighs the happiness of an individual. However, how far does this statement go? To what extent is it moral for the needs of the few to be ignored in lieu of benefiting the many? ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’ by Ursula Le Guin explores how people can justify evil actions if it will help many more than it hurts.

Firstly, outside of the suffering child, Omelas is a utopia. A large section of the story is devoted to putting the splendor and perfection of Omelas into words. The Festival of Summer is described, and the
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The eponymous ‘ones who walk away from Omelas’ are the people, young and old, who after seeing the child choose to leave the paradise that is their city. They are the ones who could not stand the thought of benefiting off of the suffering of a child, and leave into the unknown. These people are also relatable to the reader – some people would never be able to go back to happiness ever again without ignorance. Yet even these people, while more sympathetic, arguably do not have more moral high ground than the people who choose to stay. These people never attempt to rescue the child from suffering. That is because they know that by doing one good action, they will ruin the lives of all others living in Omelas. And so, all that they can do is flee and rid themselves of the city, even if in the long run it changes nothing.

In all, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas deals with the dilemma of morality versus happiness and the necessity of suffering. No one person or group of people in the story comes across as blatantly evil, and that was a deliberate choice. It was a choice that was made by the author to get the reader to view all sides of the situation and struggle with the complexity of it themselves. The manner in which the citizens of Omelas justify the suffering of one wretched child in order for the prosperity of a whole city makes sense, even if the reader finds it morally

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