“The Ones Who Walk Away from the Omelas” by Ursula K. Guin describes a utopian city that is characterized by a child suffering for the good of the entire society. On the surface, anyone would want to live in Omelas. The citizens live with luxuries, without wars, or competition. The children are happy and the adults are intelligent and passionate. Then the caveat comes when it is learned that the basis for the city is the maintenance of a suffering child.
The theme of the story arises from the psychological term “scapegoat.” The term means that a person or group is made to bear the blame or to suffer in their place. This is true for Omelas. Life will go on in the utopia as long as one child lives in agonized loneliness.
The story emphasizes the individual versus society. In Omelas, the child is sacrificied for the good of everyone. When society discovers the child, the people handle the knowledge in...
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