“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” is an interesting short story by Ursula K. LeGuin which tells the story of a small town with a terrible secret. Le Guin, using an amazing strategy, has written this story in such a way that it’s interpretation depends on the reader and not the text. It is the reader’s perspective in life and the world that shapes the image he perceives while reading this story.
The citizens of Omelas are referred to as “they” while everyone who does not live in Omelas is referred to as “we” to show that “they” are separate from “us”. The author does this early in the story to show the reader that the people in Omelas are not like the reader. They are very different. Le Guin continues with this strategy when she plays with the minds of the readers by suggesting ideas into the heads of the readers then shortly afterwards she retracts these ideas. A great example of this is when she suggests there is a King who is on a stallion and surrounded by knights, but in the next line tells us that there is no King. This procedure has the reader picturing an image then later having to dismiss this image time and time again. This style is very clever because it keeps the reader interested and guessing for the next clue.
Le Guin uses a line which makes one think about the way society thinks. Le Guin states, “Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting”(889).
... the story line and they just cause the reader to become distracted from the plot. This can also cause the reader to lose interest ... is the strongest and most obvious foreshadowing in the story. The reader automatically knows that something tragic happens to Manderley and ... Rebecca contains awesome characterization. At the beginning of the story, the reader may be lost and become bored with the plot, ...
This statement is very evident in society. When one watches the news he will see all the horrible events that happened in the world that day because we, as a society, only find horrible events interesting. For instance, recently at the world trade center bombing there was so much televised that it was hard to find a station that was not covering the event. This was because we found this event of terror interesting and amazing. We use pain and horror in the world to compare to our lives so that we may find happiness. Without finding some sort of pain how could one ever find happiness. We need pain to find happiness in our lives, and all too often we use other people’s pain for our benefit. Sometimes it seems as though society enjoys to see others in pain because they are able to appreciate that it is not themselves in pain. The citizens use the sick child as an object to reflect upon. The child sits and suffers while the citizens will look at him and never try to save him from this harsh life. Some may even say that the child is used to keep evil from striking others in Omelas. It Omelas is so set apart from other places and no one speaks of the boy who sits alone in the closet, then who is telling the story? Even the ones who do walk away from Omelas are said to never speak of the boy. The only conclusion that one can reach is that the narrator must have once visited the town and seen the boy himself. One can suspect that the narrator might have been a visitor who came by train to attend the fair that the city has. The narrator does mention that some people do come to Omelas this way. The narrator must have spent time in Omelas to visit the boy and learn how the townspeople think and behave. He knows how the boy is treated and kept and also knows how the people feel. This can only come about by a first hand experience.
Why is the boy kept alone in the closet? There is no concrete evidence to answer this question, so I believe that Le Guin leaves this open to the reader. One may assume that the townspeople might be ashamed that others may see him but the only time that visitors enter Omelas is for the fair. The boy is locked up all year long, so , this must not be the reason. Maybe the town is scared of the boy. If this were so, why do so many people visit him regularly. The reason which seems to make the most sense is that he is here for the goal of serving the city as an observation piece. By having the boy locked up in conditions that are so terrible, especially when he could be taken out and cleaned supports the idea that the boy is being sacrificed so that others may observe his misery, so they may find happiness in their lives.
... ‘transformation’ and ‘chang[ing] luck’ in Wolff’s This Boy’s Life are hindered by multiple obstacles. Social norms and Toby’s ... about determination and resourcefulness.’ Discuss. Wolff’s memoir This Boy’s Life positions its readers to question the ability of Tobias and ... societal customs. Post-war America designates her one position in life: the role of a housewife and mother. This convention cages ...
Why do people walk away from Omelas? It is strange that these people leave Omelas without letting anyone know where they are going and why they are leaving. They walk away in a matter that seems as if they are running from something because it is done without any planning. It seems that they are leaving from being unhappy or so dissatisfied with the way life is in Omelas. Maybe they cannot take the hurt or sorrow they may have from watching one innocent boy suffer for their happiness or won benefits. They may have realized that their life is incomplete as long as they have an innocent, sick child suffering for their well-being.
Le Guin’s story is so full of detail and wonder. She allows the readers mind to fumble with so many possibilities in the story. There are no hard facts in the story but instead endless possibilities of interpretations which makes this story a delight to read and discuss with others.