Analysis of the Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
What should a person make of the Omelas? The place is so majestic the author even has a tough time detailing it. The place has everything to tier technology, it doesn’t need religion, and it’s beautiful. Omelas has an atmosphere bountiful in music as well as orgies and festivities. Even with all the indulgences the people somehow manage to stay elite with expert in art, high caliber scholars, gentle parents, and just good people. This prosperity however, comes with a cost. The success of the people derived from the suffering of a small child this child lives in a dark cellar and is constantly abused as well as neglected by the citizens of Omelas. According to the story if the child was to be freed then the city would be destroyed. Keeping the child locked away is for the greater good of the Omelas. The question now is who do we pity? The author gives us a sort of moral crossroad, she questions our ethics. The text can be interpreted any number of ways. One could choose to sympathize with the citizen or they could make a revelation that happiness shouldn’t be based on the misery or others and blindness to the truth because happiness such as that is hollow.
The morality of the citizens of Omelas is strictly based on idealism of their society. They don’t see anything wrong with copulating indiscriminately. It seems with the addition of drugs and alcohol that it is actually encouraged. “Let tambourines be struck above the copulations, and the glory of desire be proclaimed upon the gongs, and let the offspring of these delightful rituals be beloved and looked after by all.” In this line we see that pleasure is very much celebrated in the Omelas. In their society they look at drugs positively. Drooz, a drug mentioned in the story brings great lightness and brilliance to minds and limbs…wonderful visions at last of the very arcane and inmost secrets of the Universe…”
This rampant euphoria can be interpreted as merely that, frivolity that does no harm, or it can be seen as a major factor in the citizens’ rationalization of the ongoing pain of the child. It can be said that the actual misery of this individual in itself is quite pointless, as there is never a concrete explanation given for how it causes Omelas to be such a successful, happy place. However, what is and what man perceives can be two different things. As Jerre Collins describes in Leaving Omelas: Questions of Faith and Understanding, “The connection between the child’s suffering and the people’s happiness is stressed, yet while the narrator says that the connection can be understood, she advances no details…If the child’s suffering makes sense, that sense is not demonstrated.” (Collins 528). From this, one might come to the conclusion that the preservation of the child’s despair is so heavily emphasized to make up for the fact that is completely illogical. To further visualize this concept, one may use this example: if an...