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Eng 125 Wk 2

In: English and Literature

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The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas
Marlene Monarrez
University Of Phoenix
ENG125
James Iddings
February 24,2012

Overview
Imagine a city of perfection, where excitement fills the streets and happiness is present within every household. In the short story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin, this is exactly what is described. LeGuin starts the story by introducing us to the utopian city of Omelas. However, the survival of Omelas’ happiness depends on the mistreatment of one forsaken child. Although all of the citizens know about the child, most choose to accept that “all the prosperity and beauty and delight would wither and be destroyed” if the child were treated fairly. Some, on the other hand, after seeing the child and the horrible conditions it lives in, decide to walk away from it all and leave Omelas forever. LeGuin’s fantasy utopia is much like the world we live in today. There are many who suffer at the expense of those who prosper every day.
Symbolism
People in the world today undergo an immense amount of suffering just for the happiness of others. One example that I can think of off the top of my head would be slavery. For over two hundred years, Africans were the property of others (usually wealthy White men).
They were bought, sold and held against their will. In a sense, slavery reminds me a lot of the child that was locked away in Omelas. People knew about it but there was very little that they could do. Much like the child in Omelas, slaves had horrible living conditions. They lived in cramped huts that they built themselves and sometimes shared with as many as ten other slaves. They slept on dirt floors which would often turn to mud due to poor assembling of their roofs. Even though the child in Omelas didn’t have to undergo any physical labor like slaves, his form of labor was to live caged and miserable just to provide everyone except himself with happiness.
There are also people who partake in child abuse and child labor and let children suffer for their own personal gain. There are tons of kids who go through child labor and abuse just so that we as Americans can be happy. Children in China who work in sweatshops for little to no pay making...
Characters

Analysis of Fiction
Contemporary American culture is represented in “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin. Omelas is a Utopian city which inhabits citizens who are pleased and content with their lives. It is described as happy, full of freedom and joy. However, this privilege of life comes at a price. In order for the people of Omelas to live this way, a child must be kept stowed away in a dark closet. Miserable and left to wallow in it's own filth, the citizens are told or even bear witness to the child's agony. After being exposed to the child, most of the citizens carry on with their lives, employing the cause of the child's unfortunate place in their society. Nobody knows where they go, but some do silently walk away from Omelas. Does the story represent contemporary American culture? The evidence provided in this essay will show that there are many parallels to be drawn between Omelas and contemporary American culture.
Like American culture, Omelas lacks moral responsibility. The story examines moral responsibility by having the reader take part in the creation of Omelas. The reader is told to imagine Omelas, "Omelas sounds in my words like a city in a fairy tale, long ago and far away, once upon a time. 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 208)" the reader is eased into accepting Omelas and the horrible foundation on which it is founded. Like the citizens of Omelas, the readers moral responsibility is tested by sub-conscientiously accepting what they think Omelas is like. Le Guin uses the readers personal experiences to get the message across that Omelas is a representation of contemporary American culture. Along with American culture in general, Le Guin also uses Omelas to specifically exploit the system that governs the culture.

Omelas is symbolic of Americas political systems and oppression of lower social Conclusion

References
Le Guin, Ursula, "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," Literature for Composition. 9/e Eds Sylvan Barnett, Stephen Burto, and William E. Cain. Longman: New York, 2011.…...

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