Monday, May 27, 2013

Reader's Diary #1007- Ursula K Le Guin: The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelettes
I decided to read Ursula K Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" after happening upon the Emily Temple's Flavorwire article, "10 Wonderful Short Stories to Read for Free Online." Though when I checked through my blog archives, at least one other person had recommended it to me before.

An absolutely wonderful and provocative piece, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" is a parable about the utopian society of Omelas, that eventually has a secret to reveal: in order to maintain their happiness, a neglected, abused and miserable child must be kept prisoner.

I'm not sure what exact analogy Le Guin was going for, but I loved coming up with and trying out certain theories as I read further. Could Omelas represent heaven and the child represent the awareness of hell— a necessary awareness to truly appreciate the gifts of heaven? Could Omelas represent the rich, first world countries while the child represents the exploited third world countries? The only for sure thing is that the child symbolizes a moral choice. To prevent the child's suffering and end the utopia or to accept the child as a cost they are willing to pay and justify. There is, however, a third choice...

I'll be mulling this one over for a while. Great story.

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