The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas: A Review


Savannah Monfette, Contributing Writer

Using an interesting contrast of cheerfulness and misery, as well as a sense of safety portrayed by the villagers, Ursula K. Le Guin creates an impossible utopia with a dark skeleton in its closet. Le Guin starts off by setting us into the scene of Omelas as the people prepare for a horse race. Omelas is described in images that show an improbable paradise that would be booked year-round if real. She then shows an abominable contrast by describing the child in the basement and “its” role in the village’s happiness. We learn of the horrid conditions that “the child” lives in and begin to feel guilt for wanting to be a part of the village that did this, sacrificing the happiness of a child for the happiness of the rest. We also learn of those who have left the village after discovering what the true cost of their happiness is. If anyone ever discovered Omelas or a place like it, they would be in awe and horror all at once.