It's Not What It Seems, It's Just What You Think It Is An analysis of choice within a seemingly perfect utopian society

Essay by billyp933University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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"The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" is the story of a Utopian society whose survival depends on the existence of a child who is locked in a small room and mistreated. The story opens as the celebration of the Festival of Summer is getting underway in the city of Omelas. There is an air of genuine excitement about the festival, with its flag-adorned boats, noisy running children, prancing horses, and "great joyous clanging of the bells." The author, Ursula Le Guinn, uses extensive imagery in describing the beautiful scenery of Omelas in order to emphasize her theme of choice and what people will let go in order to be happy. Although all of the citizens of Omelas are aware of the child's situation, most of them accept that their happiness is dependent on this particular child's "abominable misery." Sometimes, however, a few people, after visiting the child and seeing the horrible conditions under which it lives, leave Omelas forever.

In her short story, Le Guinn invites the reader to become the main character and places the choice on them as well.

In the beginning of the story, the author, Ursula Le Guinn, instructs the reader to imagine their own paradise, or create their own utopia in a sense. By reading on, the reader follows her instruction in a way. To deny it is to disembark from the story and ultimately put the book down. Throughout the beginning of the story, the city of joy, your own Omelas, is developing continuously in your head. "Perhaps it would be best if you imagined it as your fancy bids, assuming it will rise to the occasion, for certainly I cannot suit you all (Le Guinn 997)". Le Guinn's theme of choice is demonstrated here, by extending the theme beyond...