Analysis Essay of Le Guin's The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
Ursula K. Le Guin says, “Their tears at the bitter injustice dry when they begin to perceive the terrible justice of reality, and to accept it”. I believe the author sums up a whole lot of what this short story is about in this quote. This shows to me that no matter how perfect everything is or seems like in the world, there will always be pros and cons to everything. That reality is cruel, and no matter how much you argue with reality, it will always win. The author portrays this of having everything you want or need to be happy with the exceptions of the cruel reality breathing down their necks in the short story by using examples through the characters.
One example the author perceives the characters terrible justice of reality in this story is the ones who walk away from omelas. The author says “At times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go to see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all”. The ones who walk away see what the reality actually is, what the cost of being happy living there means. This shows that the ones who walk away from it all couldn’t or felt that it was wrong to live like that and didn’t want to face the cold hard truth of why they call it the city of happiness. Another example I believe the author shows us just how cruel and evil the reality of how people will put their happiness in front of someone else’s happiness, as long as everyone is doing the same thing. The author explains this by using the child that is kept in the basement in order to provide happiness to everyone else. I believe the child is an example of all the negative and evil that goes on everyday behind the scenes in order for everyone to be happy or to live comfortably. The child could represent the big corporation greed, pollution from factories, and chemicals or steroids fed to livestock. The list goes on and on of the things most of us ignore that damage our society and way of living because simply it makes our lives easier just like the town of omelas. Lastly, as for the ones who walk away and leave it all behind, there is the people who stay and accept it. Just like the mentioned quote above says “Their tears at the bitter injustice dry when they begin to perceive the terrible justice of reality, and to accept it”. I believe the people who stay and accept the reality just believe they can’t do anything about it as long as they want to live the way they live. It’s a reflection on how us as a society knows most of the problems that let us live or daily lives but take no action to find new ways to live that could better our world without betraying or hurting others.
Imagine to live in town where happiness is indefinite, to have everything you need to be happy at the cost of a knowing the cold hard truth of how your happiness is made up of. The author exemplifies the characters to show the reality of having nice things and what people have to do to live comfortably.