Omelas Moral Dilemma

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Topics: Suffering, Morality
Omelas Moral Dilemma In "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" Ursula LeGuin is raising the moral dilemma of justice vs. happiness. The happiness of the citizens in Omelas depends on the suffering of a child locked in a closet. She briefly describes the contrast between the child’s situation and the citizens’ position, portraying a moral dilemma, which is when you have to choose to do one of two equally unpleasant things.
LeGuin portrays an ideal life “boats in the harbor sparkled with flags, women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked and streets filled with music and dancing” (1311). “The morning air was clear, the peaks wear crowning with snow and the sweetness of air trembled enough to bring joyous of belles through the streets of Omelas” (1311). Summer has begun and they gather together at the Green fields to smell the marvelous smell of cooking. “The youths and girls line up there horses and begin to start the line of course” (1313). A child sits alone playing his wooden flute sending a sweet and magic tune, people pause and listen to the young child but do not speak to him.
However, she also portrays the situation as extremely injustice. “In a basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas” (1313) is a child that is sacred and alone. The child is observed, he cries out at night the pain and suffering. He sometimes speaks out “I will be good,” “Please let me out” (1314). Very little light sweeps through the cellar the child has no understanding of time. Others content merely know the child is there, it is explained to young children when they are capable of understanding. Young children often clutch for weeks of no real joy. They take their pain and suffering home of the young child locked away in the underground cellar. Some of the people of Omelas understand why the child is there and the others do not. Even when the issue is being explained people still don’t understand they are shocked and sickened. Words are not spoken

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