City of Omelas

Good Essays
Justin Campbell
Professor J. Eastman
English 102, Tues and Thur 5:00
Essay 3
11 March 2010
The Wonderful World of Omelas

The city of Omelas is a city compared to heaven, but in reality, it is more like hell. The Festival of Summer paints a perfect picture of a city of happiness with an air of excitement, characterized by boisterous running children, prancing horses and flag-adorned boats. The mere reason all the people in the small town are so happy is because this one adolescent child is taking all the weight. “The Child” is an independent and significant character in the short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away From the Omelas” because he is sacrificial, lived in despair for others happiness and spent much of his life in fear. He lived in an extremely small area with none of the necessities that are important to basic survival. His appearance suggests the child to be about six; however, he was actually ten years old. The story of this utopia of a city and the boy show great symbolism and is a lot more in depth than one may think. This child can be compared to Jesus because they both did something sacrificial. Just as Jesus died on the cross to cleanse people of their sins, this child suffered so that the others of the town could live a guilt free life. Jesus is an example of a martyr, which is a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounces his or her religion. Not only did he suffer pain and humiliation, but Jesus sacrificed His is life for who He claimed himself to be. However, the child is a scapegoat, meaning he bearded the blame for others or suffered in their place. The child sacrificed his life for the other people’s happiness. He also called out, “I will be good, please let me out (Le Guin 325).” That is a huge weight to bear, especially for a young child. In Omelas, the one emotion citizens are not allowed to feel is guilt. The people of the city believe that someone has to take the burden and it is the child. He is living in



Cited: Ursula K. Le Guin. “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omeals” Perrine’s Literature Structure, Sound, and Sense. 10th ed. Ed. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009. 725. Print.

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