14 February 2014
Somewhere Over The Mountains: Insight to Ursula K. LeGuin’s Short-Story and The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
Ursula K. LeGuin describes the city of Omelas as a utopian city, half encircled by a mountain range with specifically 18 peaks along with a bay. LeGuin portrays the people of Omelas are living in paradise and are completely free of guilt. Throughout the entire story, LeGuin is illustrating these specific details about objects or people that are in the city, such as children, houses that all have red roofs, and the animals. Using the symbols of the child in the cellar, the child with the flute, and the swallows, LeGuin is arguing that the morally correct thing to do is to walk away from Omelas. Each of these symbols possess a very particular meaning, but when they are put together, they hold a powerful meaning that clearly suggests that LeGuin believes that the correct action to do, would be to walk away from Omelas.
The child in the cellar displays LeGuin’s opinion that the morally correct thing to do would be to walk away from Omelas. There are examples that support this throughout the text. The author herself puts in the text: “They all know it is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it, others are content merely to know it is there.”(4) This quote shows that everyone knows about the child and that is in there suffering and yet take no action for it. The child in the cellar is a form of a scapegoat, taking all the blame and punishment for every other citizen in the city to live a full happy life.
Secondly, another interesting symbol in Omelas is the boy playing the flute. The boy playing the flute which no one seems to care about is very symbolic. “People pause to listen, and they smile, but they do not speak to him, for he never ceases playing and never sees them, his dark eyes wholly rapt in the sweet, thin magic of the tune.” (3) The boy playing the flute can be seen as a...