LeGuin’s story is a definite criticism of any society that condones suffering. Although is was originally published in the 1970’s, its lesson unfortunately still applies to our current world.
The people of Omelas allow the poor child to suffer. They choose not to think about it as they go about their daily lives. They hold festivals and parades, and they have convinced themselves that one person’s misery is acceptable for the happiness of the entire society. How can they allow this child to live in squalor? Because they
understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery.
They have been brainwashed into acceptance. Most do not visit the child. They can continue to lie to themselves that they are happy, good, deserving, and worthy,...
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