The Ones Who Stay At Omelas Utopia is any state, condition, or place of ideal perfection. In Ursula Le Guin’s short story ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ the city of Omelas is described as a utopia. ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ presents a challenge of conscience for anyone who chooses to live in Omelas. Omelas is described by the narrator as the story begins. The city appears to be very likable. At times the narrator does not know the truth and therefore guesses what could be, presenting these guesses as often essential detail.
The narrator also lets the reader mold the city. The narrator states the technology Omelas could have and then says ‘or they could have none of that: it doesn’t matter. As you like it’ (877).
The method of letting the reader make the city the way he choose makes the city more desirable by him’ Perhaps it would be best if you imagined it as your own fancy bids, assuming it will rise to the occasion, for certainly I cannot suit you all’ (Le Guin 876).
Now the reader might feel that the city is fictions.
The narrator also asks the readers ‘Now do you believe in them?’ (879) Asking if the reader believes what the narrator says about the festival, city, and joy of the people of Omelas implies that the reader should have doubts. Can the narrator be trusted by a reader who is being asked to approve the details of the story? Such questions raise doubts in the reader’s mind about what the narrator is conveying. With the help of the reader, the narrator makes Omelas appealing to everyone. ‘Omelas sounds in my words like a city in a fairy tale, long ago and far away, once upon a time’ (Le Guin 876).
... positive effects outweigh them. Thus, living in the city makes life easier and more comfortable. ... to improve life skills in society. In the city, we meet the wide variety of people coming ... friends. The city had many more hospitals and education systems than in ... example, there are clubs and restaurants in the city where people can enjoy their nights with family and ...
Omelas does sound too good to be true. While the narrator is saying all that Omelas has and does not have, she says ‘One thing I know there is none of in Omelas is guilt’ (877).
The reader later finds out that all Omelas’ happiness and joy depend on a child who is locked in a cellar. If the child were rescued from its cell, the whole city of Omelas would falter. The city’s great happiness, is splendors and health, its architectural, music, and science, all are dependent upon the misery of this one child.
The Omelas people know that if the child were released, then the possible happiness of the degraded child would be set against the sure failure of the happiness of many. The people have been taught compassion and the terrible reality of justice, and on this they base their lives. The city is without guilt, so the ones who stay in Omelas have no guilt that their happiness is because of one child’s torture and pain. But there are some who walk away from Omelas. These are few, but they are the ones that have guilt. They could not live in a place, no matter how perfect, that thrives off a child’s torment.
All of the narrator’s questions invite the reader to place; himself in the position of the people of Omelas. Do you need this to make you happy? Then you may have it. Once the reader begins to enjoy the city and begins to see its happiness as a good thing, then the reader, like the adolescents in the story, must be shown that on which the happiness depends. Readers must face the question of what they would be willing to sacrifice for happiness. In Omelas, the people have no guilt so they are able to sacrifice the child for their happiness with no remorse because they are happy.
‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ is an attempt to explain the problem of evil. Collins writes ‘the narrative justifies or makes sense of a painful aspect of theodicy’ (527).
... more focused on the current life that people were living and not the life that they would have in ... knowledge that equaled virtue that eventually led to happiness. Philosophy was a way of living back ... Greek religion. These men taught the Greek people to study philosophy and knowledge so it would ... culture. Philosophy of religion was studied because people like Socrates did not understand why things were ...
The question of the problem of evil is summed up in three statements: God is good, God is omnipotent and omniscient, and there is evil. The existence of evil is usually accepted as a given. If God is good, but not omnipotent, he wants to stop evil, but cannot. If God is omnipotent, but not good, he could stop evil, but would not.
In Christianity, however, God is understood to be both good and omnipotent, so some other answer for the existence of evil is necessary. Theologians believe free will and un coerced choice may cause evil to occur. The people of Omelas knowingly allow the child to suffer so that they may be happy. Someone in Omelas gave the child up to its incarceration; it remembers its mother.
Someone is responsible for its poor food. The great majority of Omelas citizens are able to accept their lives at the expense of this helpless other and have rationalized that it could not really be happy anyway. A comparison could be made between the child and the ones who see him with first world countries looking at third world countries. The people in first world countries feel sorry for the third world countries but usually do nothing. Similar to the ones who walk away from Omelas, leaving the child to continue to suffer. By leaving hopefully the guilt for the child’s suffering will go away, just like the people did.
This helps the conscience of the ones who could not stay if the child remained incarcerated, but does nothing for the child. Another way Le Guin’s story reflects theology is by the way the child must suffer for others happiness. Collins compares this to the way Jesus suffered and died, only to rise again to a transformed, glorious life. Leaving bright Omelas and walking into the darkness is like going from life into death. If leaving Omelas is like going from life to death, that death leads to a new transformed life in a place beyond the mountains, a life so different from the present life that is unimaginable. It is all right for one person to suffer for the benefit of another, because even the sufferer will end up benefiting – his or her final transformed state will be vastly better than his or her first state.
... . In the story there is a city named Omelas, in which a single child suffers so that the community may live with great ... came to my decision through weighing out the consequences of leaving and staying. I came to the conclusion that staying would ... would have continued and millions of people would have died. Omelas lives in freedom because the bomb was dropped and the war ...
It is the precisely resurrection that gives the suffering – servant its final justification. So when Le Guin makes sense of a utopian gesture (leaving Omelas) in the imagery of renewed life beyond death, she indirectly buttresses the very scapegoat theodicy she hopes to undermine.