"The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas": Happiness Brought By Misfortunes

785 words - 4 pages

There is no point in going though life if you go through it miserably. This is why happiness is always desired, but at what costs should it be obtained? Should happiness be brought forth by the misfortunes of others? The people in a town, the town of Omelas, live their lives in a utopia. In a world full of happiness, sweet blissfulness brought by a single belief, one secret, a hidden door to it all. This is where the magic behind it all is tucked away. Kept forever buried away to be forgotten by most and overlooked by many.The swallows soared, people danced, and joy was overcome by everyone and everything. It was the "Festival of Summer" (Le Guin 249) in the town of Omelas and everyone was vibrant and jolly. Although they lead lives of pure tranquility, these people are not to be considered unaware individuals or boring. "These were not simple folk, not dulcet shepherds, noble savages, bland utopians" (249). They know the secret that ...view middle of the document...

They know and see, the ones that choose to, the agony that the child endures for their greatness in life, or is it that, suppose "it is their tears and anger, the trying of their generosity and the acceptance of their helplessness, which are perhaps the true source of the splendor of their lives" (252). The mere glimpse sometimes passes through their thoughts, but no action is ever taken to help free the betrayed and usually forgotten child, "as time goes by they begin to realize that even if the child could be released, it would not get much good of its freedom" (252).Sometimes the pain of the sight by which happiness has been brought is too much for some to bare "at times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go to see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, go home at all" (252). However, there are but a few of these members belonging to the Omelas community that do feel guilt, shame, and all the horrible feelings that they are not supposed to feel. Those are the ones that "keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas" (252). These brave ones that stand for something and don't just simply turn a blind eye and continue in their dream land, these few that refuse to be a part of such an atrocity, leave towards a place unknown to them, unknown to all, but still "they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas" (253).Believing in something wholly and truly can sometimes become overpowering. Turning something meant to be for good into something that grows slowly to become worse than evil, sinister or even wicked. This believing becomes a practice and brews into a habit that overtakes all other fulfillments in life, regardless of what it renders upon others. If you desire something so completely that it overtakes you, no matter the consequences, it will become no longer a desire but an attainment. Whatever brings within us happiness will be obtained, at all costs, even for the sake of misery and misfortunes of others.Works CitedLe Guin, Ursula. "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 10th ed. New York: Longman, 2007. 248-53.

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