Individualism In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

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The opening scene is trying to portray a joyful society, where everyone is cheerful in Omelas. It establishes a theme that the society and the individual are against each other by illustrating the joyous society of Omelas. In the beginning they are also focusing in on the children and their innocent childhood, a critical part of this short story is trying to present this society as perfect if you will.

As the story continues they start to suggest Omelas is a fantized city. They then begin to relate this to the modern society and magnify the vision of suffering as interesting and happiness as the opposite telling us that happiness is not simple and that being unhappy is a causation of suffering. After this we can start to see Omelas’s happiness be found and it reveals Omelas is not an actual place that it is imaginary and it is trying to show a picture perfect world. I think a key factor in knowing this short story is trying to describe a make believe world is to show us how the world we live in today is so opposite and we do not have many of these aspects that would benefit our society. The narrator wants the readers to dismiss their preconceived thoughts about happiness while they are grasping the city of Omelas. We are looking at the similarities and differences between Omelas and modern society. It then goes into thoughts about drugs and war in the city, do drugs really have to go hand and hand with destruction. The Festival of Summer again focuses on the individual versus the society primarily looking at the children once again and there positivity and their emotional connection with their horses depicting childhood as idealistic which is very important for the foundation of kids growing up. This must be deeply thought about in our beliefs about modern society in a more broad way. In the story the ones who walk about it goes into to detail about a young kid who is locked in a room underneath a building in this “city” going into detail about how unstable this environment is for one to be living in, with descriptions about the floors being damp to touch and there being no light in there besides the littlest amount that peaks through the cracks.

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The young girl yells to let her out and that she will behave while crying which is depicting neglect. This young child so greatly wants to be let out and begs anytime a noise is heard from the outside. The noises from the Festival of Summer was showing cheerfulness and the lightness and joy of the world the little girl crying and screaming is showing the complete opposite, abandonment and neglect. The children in Omelas are naked because they lack their everyday needs and are so mistreated. Everyone is this so called city is aware how these children are mistreated nobody has ever done anything to stop this, it is almost like nobody is willing to stand up and stop this horrific situation. In Omelas “one child must suffer for everyone else’s happiness” which correlates to LOOK UP.

The people of this place live in such happiness because of the children suffering. The way the adults raise the children to have good morals are not the ones who are suffering going into detail about the differences in happiness and suffering, everything in this short story leads us back to joy and suffering. While society continues to rationalize mistreating a child, they do understand it is a big deal and they do take it very seriously they still are making the choice to ignore it. In Omelas “happiness does not and cannot exist without suffering” and consenting that this is the reality and how humans grow up and become a part of the society. The people have accepted that they are tied into this arrangement just like that child is locked away in the little closet. Le Guin wraps up this story by introducing individualism in a completely different way, this story all connects to even though people are not able to change the suffering of the world, we can choose our own path on how we treat people and how we have the ability to choose happiness. Leaving Omelas (leaving the negative place) is the key element of individualism, as a person in modern society we need the skill to be able to stand for our own morality.

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Individualism In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. (2021, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Individualism In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2021,
Individualism In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
Individualism In The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 27 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from:

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