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An Analysis of The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin

Analysis of The Work

Write Your Paper As An Essay With An Introduction, Thesis, Body, And Conclusion.

Make Sure You Present An Argument For Your Position. Don’t Just Summarize The Plot Of The Story. What Lesson Can We Learn From Le Guin’s Story?

Make Sure You Incorporate Ideas From The Course. In The Course We Covered The Following Topics. You Should Reference Something You Learned In The Course In Your Paper. Finding Meaning Disease And Suffering Death And Transformation Tragedy And Horror Religion And Spirituality Love And Pleasure Addiction Hospitality Technology Art (Beauty, Taste, And Creativity) Hope.

In Order To Effectively Make An Argument, Make Sure You Provide Enough Evidence From The Story To Justify Your Position. 5. Consider Alternate Interpretations And Judge Why Your Interpretation Is Good.

The purpose of the following essay is to analyze the different themes of the philosophical fiction work The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by the author Ursula K. Le Guin in the year 1973 (Le Guin, 1973). The descriptions provided in the fictional work are vivid and vague at the same time. Different types of themes have been put forth in this work so the social considerations could be understood properly. The themes of death, suffering, tragedy, diseases, love, spirituality and other themes have been explained vividly through the work of Le Guin. The description of these themes gained the attraction of most readers during those times.

Thesis Statement: The Happiness And Misery Of The City Of Omelas Signify The Perpetual Cycle Of Sorrow And Joy Among Human Beings.

According to author of the work, the utopian city of Omelas has been focused and all the events have evolved regarding a child who went missing. The mention of the summer festival can be found in the book that signifies the fun and merriment within the society among the people. On the contrary, the suffering has reflected through the misery of the child which is the main determinant of the prosperity of the city of Omelas (Menadue, 2018). There is a mention of the chronology in the book has been found when it is said that the beginning of the story is through the beginning of the summer festival. Here beginning of the summer festival means joy and clamor after the dry and rough winter season that results in the various diseases. The excessive happiness that has been portrayed in the fictional work does not suit the real world i.e. full of diseases, suffering and misery. This extent of happiness proves the fact that the city of Omelas is completely a fictional and utopian one and there is no connection with the real life (Le Guin, 1973).


Throughout the story, it has been depicted that Omelas is a city that has no kings, slaves, military power, corruption or priests. This signifies the actual picture that the world should have been. It is one of peace, prosperity and joy. Unfortunately, the socio-economic-political set up the present society is not at all like that. So, this contrast is very eye catching. The citizens of this community are found to be blissful and they enjoy all kinds of joy. On the contrary, the current set up of the society will not allow such beautiful things for the people. It has been said by most philosophers and spiritual people that life is a mixture of joy and sorrow, success and failure and bliss and misery (Rea, 2014). There is no wonder that people will suffer and their lives will come to an end. People should encounter unfortunate incidents and this will be counted as learning lessons in their lives. The author of the work has admitted that she is not able to express all the particular things in proper detail (Keller Hirsch, 2016).  

This work of fiction is completely something made through her fantasy. The forever fairy tale theme is the basic element of this fiction because readers will love to engage in these happy and blissful stories since they want to stay away from painful world full of sufferings that they live in. However, the author has definitely made a very strong argument against the corrupted and evil society that all the human beings live at present (Rea, 2014). The suffering of the poor child has been depicted through the work. The people in the city of Omelas do not think about the suffering that the child goes through. This is completely the perception of the fact that people ignore the misfortunes and sufferings of all the people in the world. There are many societies that do not put emphasis on the suffering of others. This story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas represents these people (Le Guin, 1973). The author Le Guin is of the opinion that educated and civilized people should not go away from these sufferers. Rather they must help all the people so they can work together and come to aid when one is suffering.

This level of criticism is very rare in the modern literature and philosophy when an author has made subtle plans to put forth the real world through creating a utopian world (Güranç, 2019). It is an expected thing that people in the society would always be helpful and understand the significance of the social relationships along with treating their children. Children are the futures of the society so they should be cared for all the responsible citizens. The case presented in the story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas should be avoided at any cost. Thus, this story is a very stark criticism of the issues that are quite relevant in the society and they should be treated very strictly in the future.


On a concluding note, it must be said that the story by Le Guin is one of the finest stories of its kind. The reality of the present society has been reflected here along with the carelessness and ignorance of most people. The eternal bliss and happiness of the common people in this story is the depiction of people who do not find any responsibility in the society. These people ignore their responsibilities and negative factors loom large over the entire society.

References and Bibliography

CHANG, T. C. H. (2018). (Re)-directing literature to ethical justice: Happiness in Ursula K. LeGuin’s “The ones who walk away from Omelas”.

Güranç, M. (2019). An Analysis of the Utopia Question in Ursula Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. Journal of English Language and Literature Club, 1(2), 36-39.

Keller Hirsch, A. (2016). Walking off the Edge of the World: Sacrifice, Chance, and Dazzling Dissolution in the Book of Job and Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. Humanities (2076-0787), 5(3).

Le Guin, U. (1973). The ones who walk away from Omelas. New Dimensions, 3.

Menadue, C. B. (2018). Farewell Ursula Le Guin–the One who walked away from Omelas. The Conversation, 25.

Rea, M. (2014). Evil and the Hiddenness of God. Cengage Learning.

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