Omelas: The Story of Childhood An Essay Based on the Short Story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. LeGuin

Essay by jibblez425Junior High, 9th gradeA+, November 2004

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Bad experiences are what make people grow and mature from their former selves. Once someone sees that life is not the fairytale that it is made out to be, he is able to make sense of the reality around him. In the story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, by Ursula K. LeGuin, the city of Omelas is a Utopia that is not as perfect as it seems from the outside. The city is holding a child captive for the good of the community. People come to see the child with their own eyes as it suffers, and because of the horrid event of coming face to face with the child their Utopia exists. This story is an allegory of the maturing process of life's journey.

To the youth of Omelas, life before encountering this captive is flawless; "Omelas seems in my words like a city in a fairytale" (177).

These innocent children have never been through an awful experience to make them think otherwise. In the case of the story this would mean seeing the child, or in real life anything forcing a child to become adult. Until then they will act like children, immature and self-centered. "...He never ceases playing...his dark eyes wholly rapt in the sweet, thin magic of the tune" (178). The quote describes an Omelas child playing his flute. As an adolescent child he is too involved in what he is doing to notice everything and everyone else around him. However, the children all know what is to come of their near future for, "They all know [the child] is there, all the people of Omelas" (179), even the children who have not yet seen it. If seeing the child represents maturing then this quote would say that viewers, upon seeing the...