The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas Questions and Answers
by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Does "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" relate to American culture today?

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Scott David eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would suggest that Ursula K. LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" has a universality about it such that it can quite possibly be applied to just about any society or culture in human history and still hold relevance. The modern-day United States is certainly no exception.

Even as it is painted in terms of being a thought experiment, the imagined utopia of Omelas can be understood as a microcosm for all of civilization: because just like Omelas, civilization itself has been built on suffering (and this applies regardless of what periodization we would wish to examine, whether it be Ancient, Classical, Modern, etc.). That same observation can be found in the modern-day United States.

Consider, to give one example, the dramatic wealth disparity that can be observed in the United States and the degree to which a large proportion of its population lives below the poverty line. Furthermore, you can expand this criticism to address the subject of capitalism itself, which has always...

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