Questions and Answers for The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What terrible paradox must those who observe the suffering child face?

A paradox can be defined as a situation that has seemingly contradictory features or qualities. When the young townspeople are between eight and twelve and develop a sense of reasoning and...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Assess the moral condition of Omelas.

I think that this question becomes one of the most fundamental arising from the story. Essentially, the question of morality on many levels is raised. Can morality be considered transcendent and...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2012 9:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In Ursula K. LeGuin's short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," what does the child in the closet represent ?

One way to interpret the symbolic significance of the mistreated child in Ursula K LeGuin’s short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” is to see the child as symbolizing the suffering the...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2011 1:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Does the narrator live in Omelas?

The narrator does not live in Omelas but, instead, talks about it as an outsider watching from afar. For instance, the narrator speaks of the citizens of Omelas using the pronoun "they." If the...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2018 3:40 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why is there no guilt in Omelas?

In the town of Omelas, the suffering of one child provides the seeming sacrifice needed to allow for the happiness and beauty of the rest of the town. When the townspeople are young, they are taken...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is a socially-just solution to the problem in Omelas?

Inspired to write "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" partly as a response to utilitarianism, Ursula K. Le Guin creates a fantasy land called Omelas where smiles have become "archaic." In Omelas,...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2017 8:50 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How is "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" an allegory?

To answer this question, we first need to establish what an allegory is. In a nutshell, an allegorical story is one that can be unpacked to reveal a hidden meaning, moral, or deeper truth. There is...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 7:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the logic behind having religion with no clergy in “The Ones Who Walk away from Omelas”?

I think that there might be a couple of reasons for this construction in Le Guin's short story. One reason might be that the individuals of Omelas are so immersed in happiness that they do not...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2011 8:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the social commentary of the story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"?

In Le Guin's story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," social commentary is made as the author raises questions about the extent of the responsibility of a society to its members. Interestingly,...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 11:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Would the utilitarian live in Omelas (from "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas") or walk away, and what would the...

For a Kantian, there's only one appropriate response to the scenario Le Guin depicts in "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas." Kant offered several, interrelated formulations of his categorical...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2019 5:29 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the point of view of "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas"?

The point of view of this unusual short story by Ursula K. LeGuin is first-person objective. The phrase first person refers to the fact that the narrator uses the first person pronoun I as they...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:39 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the significance of the title in relation to the rest of the story?

In the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin, the author begins by presenting a seemingly beautiful utopia in the midst of a dazzling and joyous celebration. A long...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2020 1:56 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How do you compare the symbolic use of the scapegoat in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" and "The Lottery"?

This question brings to mind a third classic short story: "The Bet" by Anton Chekhov. The central question which drives the story is this: Which is a worse punishment—the death penalty or life...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2019 1:10 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Discuss the significance of the quote below from LeGuin's short story, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas." "The...

Le Guin's quote appears at the point where she is at her zenith in describing the citizens of Omelas. In articulating the state of happiness that exists in the town, Le Guin breaks off a bit in...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2011 12:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Discuss the themes in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin. 

“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin presents an unusual utopian type of city. Everything is beautiful and well done in the city. The people seem happy in this world. The...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2012 12:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How can the ones who walk away represent an evil just as bad as those who stay in Omelas? in "The Ones Who Walk Away...

I think that there can be different ways to view what the people who walk away represent. On one hand, it can be argued that the people who leave Omelas are morally superior to those who stay....

Latest answer posted June 28, 2011 12:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What type of society is Omelas?

Omelas at first appears to be a perfect Utopian society: beautiful, communitarian, and joyful, with a bright medieval aesthetic and judicious use of whatever aspects of modern technology are needed...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 1:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What would happen to omelas if the person in the basement were released and comforted?

The people of Omelas believe that the suffering of this child allows for everything beautiful in their lives. Although they initially struggle with the abuse of the child, over time they justify...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What elements in our current society is this story warning us about? How are we heading for this version of dystopian...

Le Guin published "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" in 1973, and it holds up quite well as a cautionary tale today. Le Guin has exaggerated for effect, of course, but in some ways it does feel...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2016 2:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is a utopia? Does Omelas meet the definition?

A utopia is a perfect, ideal place in terms of social conditions and laws. It is a veritable paradise, the promised land, a place that approximates heaven. For this reason, I would claim that...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2019 11:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Who is the suffering child in "The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas"?

We are never told directly who the child is or how it comes to be imprisoned and tortured. In fact, the child’s identity is so eroded that it “could be a boy or a girl.” The story gives us clues,...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2016 1:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the relationship between the narrator and narratee in the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"?

In this story, the narrator often speaks directly to the readers, assuming we're incredulous about the utopian nature of Omelas, anticipating and addressing our logical objections, and even...

Latest answer posted March 27, 2016 11:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What does "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" say about the conditions of happiness? "The Ones Who Walk Away from...

LeGuin's disclaimer, "How is one to tell about joy?" leaves the defining of happiness to the reader who becomes involved in the creation of an alternative reality. With her suggestions of adding...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2010 1:32 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," what does the author achieve by the changes in tense throughout the story?

You are right in identifying the change in tense from the past to the present in this thought-provoking story as one of significant importance. It is important to remember that the author is asking...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2010 4:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Which one of the following options would you choose if you were a citizen of Omelas? Would you stay in Omelas even...

In the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin, the author describes a city that seems to be ideal. It is the Festival of Summer and the city is decorated for the...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2020 2:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Examine the various ways that the theme of happiness is developed in Ursula LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walk away from...

Certainly, the mood of the story begins quite happily. It is the Festival of Summer in the "bright-towered" Omelas. The boats "sparkled with flags" and the swallows "soar[ed]" among the "moss-grown...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2018 11:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What do you think that author is saying about modern society in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"? 

With its alternate title of "Variations on a Theme by William James," LeGuin's story challenges the sophistry of Pragmatism. In other words, this story of LeGuin explores how people interpret...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2015 4:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why does the narrator doubt that we will believe in and accept the description of the festival, the city, the joy? 

The narrator presumes that the reader will be skeptical that a place as good and beautiful as Omelas could exist. There is the sense that the reader will have to imagine things on his own to...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2016 1:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why does the child have to be shut up in the basement?

There's a direct causal link between the poor abused child being locked up in a basement and forced to live in unimaginable squalor and the continued happiness of the people of Omelas. Simply put,...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Who are the main characters of "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"?

The only character who is specifically referenced is the child whom the people of Omelas keep imprisoned, forcing this child to suffer so that they can live a better life. The child is...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2020 1:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How might the child's release affect the town and its citizens in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas? 

The citizens of Omelas strongly believe that their “perfect” society depends upon the child’s imprisonment, so its sudden freedom may potentially disrupt their culture by presenting challenges to...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2016 4:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is actually happening when the people of the community learn about the child? Ursula LeGuin "The Ones Who Walk...

Taking the pragmatism of William James--the concept of the greater good--to its moral conclusion, Ursula LeGuin writes of a utopian community that maintains its order by having what Jerrie Collins...

Latest answer posted April 3, 2012 4:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why is the child's suffering not justified?

Many of the citizens of Omelas do manage to justify the miserable child's suffering to themselves. They might even come back as adults to see the child in its horrible closet sitting in its own...

Latest answer posted June 8, 2020 12:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What, according to the narrator, is the most incredible thing of all about Omelas?

If you look down toward the very end of this short story, "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula Le Guin, you'll see where the narrator describes "one more thing to tell" which is "quite...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2016 5:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why does the society keep hiding the truth in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"?

In this story, we learn that the society of Omelas enjoys all its beauty and prosperity because of the suffering of one innocent child. This fact is not hidden from anyone in Omelas past a certain...

Latest answer posted June 8, 2020 1:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula Le Guin, what dilemma do the citizens of Omelas face?

The citizens of Omelas face the following dilemma: they can continue to have the prosperous lives they lead in a wondrously beautiful city, or they can give love and nurture to the one child whose...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2018 8:14 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Do you find in the story any implied criticism of our own society?

Without a doubt, Le Guin's purpose in writing this horrifying story was to cast a subtle spotlight on the injustices of our own society. While no town in the world has full happiness and no child...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

After reading "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," discuss the people who walk away in terms of who they are, why...

The people who walk away from Omelas are those individuals who cannot talk themselves into remaining members of this community, enjoying grace and happiness at the cost of the dignity and care of...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2017 5:06 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is Le Guin trying to express to her readers about Omelas in the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from...

I sense that there is an element of agony attempting to be brought out by Le Guin's short story. On one hand, there are the citizens of Omelas. These are individuals who are enjoying all that...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2010 7:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. LeGuin, what is the theme?

“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...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2013 4:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why would anybody stay in Omelas when his/her happiness depends on a child's suffering? "The Ones Who Walk Away from...

This becomes the fundamental question in the story. Le Guin's story helps to highlight how an individual responds to suffering in the midst of their own happiness. This child's suffering is the...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2010 1:43 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why do the people who leave in "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" leave alone? 

We know that most of the people who live in Omelas find a way to justify the choice to allow the miserable child in the broom closet to remain there. Though, at first, they cry about the "terrible...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2020 12:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How old is the suffering child in Omelas?

When people are taken to see the suffering child for the first time, they are instructed that they must not speak even one kind word as they observe the child's condition. Therefore, it is likely...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In "The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas," do the author's answers to the questions provide sufficient information to...

I think that some of the most rich elements of the story is how LeGuin poses philosophical questions and frames them in the context of action in the narrative. The questions posed by the author...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2010 11:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the character or personality of the narrator in the story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas"? 

The narration in "The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas" is given in the first person using a written voice that is very commanding and present. Where many first person narratives are designed to...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2016 6:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Contemplate your reaction if you were in the situation described in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas." How does...

it seems to me that your original assignment and then the second question are two different ideas. The first part of your assignment is about a personal reaction to the story. The second part of...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2015 3:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What would you think the symbols of the story, "The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas" would be?

The darkness that lies beyond Omelas is symbolic as well. It signifies the possibilities not yet considered by humans. Omelas is a "perfect" society, but it is at the cost of the suffering of...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2018 11:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What kind of story world is presented in "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Le Guin?

At the beginning of the story, the world presented seems like some idealistic utopia. It seems like a paradise. The world is full of joy and this is exemplified by the upcoming Summer Festival. The...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2015 7:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Explain the significance of the impact that the tormented child  has on the citizens in "The Ones Who Walk Away from...

In "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," LeGuin attacks the philosophy of utilitarianism, which argues that society should pursue the greatest good for the greatest number. Omelas has reduced...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2018 8:12 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why do some people stay in Omelas?

The people who decide to stay in Omelas are able, eventually, to accept the "terrible justice of reality": that their own happiness and the happiness of thousands of others depends upon the abject...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2020 3:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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