Questions and Answers for The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

If our comfort depends on the suffering of others, Le Guin asks, how should we feel about these comforts, and what...

I think that Le Guin is asking the reader to make critical judgements and about who we are and what we should do. Le Guin presents a complex and nuanced view of happiness. She presents Omelas as a...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2016 4:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Discuss the symbolism in "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas."

Le Guin's short story begins with the following sentence: "With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city of Omelas, bright-towered by the sea." This...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2019 2:39 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In reading "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," what are the parts of the story that tell you how the writer...

The people of Omelas are are happy. If some want excess, they can have it. If some want simplicity, they can live that way. There are no structures in place to dictate how they should be happy, and...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2016 10:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Where is the key sentence in the story that tells about the theme of the story, "The Ones Who Walk Away from...

"But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else"Le Guin write a compelling story in which she really gets humans to consider their...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2008 5:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the significance of the child in the short story "The ones who walk away from Omelas"?

The child in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" is significant as a scapegoat who bears the burden of misery for the community. This child also represents the dilemma of pragmatism. With the...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2015 6:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Is Omelas a utopia or dystopia?

In most dystopias, the numerous evils of the relevant society exist above ground, so to speak; they are out in the open and obvious to anyone with eyes to see. A good example would be the...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Does "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" pose a challenge to cultural relativism?

It's an interesting question because at its core, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" is a thought experiment which poses a moral question. The interesting thing to consider, however, is that...

Latest answer posted July 4, 2019 3:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Does the narrator live in Omelas?

It would seem, from the kind of statements that the narrator makes in the story, that he or she does not now nor has ever lived in Omelas. It is statements such as How can I tell you about the...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 12:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Explain how the people of Omelas are validated or not validated by their ritual in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas."

In Omelas, the happiness of the many depends on the suffering of one innocent child, who is forced to live a loveless life and is hungry, covered in sores, and mired in filth so that the rest of...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2020 4:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What would make it different if Omelas was not a Utopian Society?

Omelas is a dystopian, rather than a utopian society. At first, from the narrator's description, it appears to be a utopia, full of peace and plenty, a beautiful and orderly place with delightful...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2018 1:53 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What does the significance of the child’s oppression reveal about Omelas? Or give the reader  Ursula LeGuin's "The...

In her story, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," Ursula LeGuin takes the pragmatism of William James to its moral conclusion. In this story, the utopia of Omelas functions only as it maintains...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2010 3:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How does the narrator invite the reader to imagine the utopian city of Omelas?

As the story opens, the narrator invites the reader to imagine Omelas as a beautiful, joyous place. It is filled with festivals, celebrations, and a community of well-fed, well-cared-for citizens...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How does this story fit in with the concept of group dynamics (group think) in Social Psychology? Would you walk away...

The answer depends on your personal point of view and the kind of person you are. Are you the type of person who could be happy living in the "Utopian" town of Omelas knowing that a child...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2007 10:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Are the people of Omelas happy?

For the most part, it's fair to say that the people of Omelas are happy. This is a town in which the sun never seems to stop shining, and where the people live out a hedonistic existence in which...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How would you describe the city of Omelas?

One might describe the city of Omelas as exceptionally beautiful. The narrator says that it is “bright-towered,” evidently referred to the illumined beauty of the city buildings. The flags on the...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 12:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How does the poem "Nothing in Heaven Functions As It Ought" compare to the story "The Ones Who Walk Away from...

Nothing in Heaven functions as it oughtPeter's bifocals blindly sat on, crackHis gates lurch wide with the cackle of a cock.Not turn with a hush of gold as Milton had thought;....The nimbus off the...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2015 6:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the identity issue of the characters in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"?

LeGuin's story is morally ambiguous at best. Perhaps this is intentional since LeGuin's allegory takes William James's theory of pragmatism to lengths that put it in question. For "the greater...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2011 7:50 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is a good thesis statement to relate American cultural and national identity to the story "The Ones Who Walk...

I think that there is much to be said here about a cultural and national identity present in America regarding how the underclass is perceived. Certainly, one can point to the period in American...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2010 4:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the function of the suffering child in "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas"?

The suffering child functions to set up the central conflict in the story. At first, Omelas sounds like a perfect utopia, a beautiful, joyous place that combines the best of Medieval community and...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is the main theme of "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas"?

It is a well-known fact that life is a blend of joy and hardship. Anybody's life is a blend of both, unless you are a resident of Omelas. Residents of Omelas experience nothing but happiness and...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," how important are the minor characters to the story's primary conflict? How...

First, I think, we have to establish what kind of conflict the story portrays. It is, as the other educator wrote, an unconventional story, certainly, and I would argue that the reader becomes the...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2018 8:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Who are the ones who walk away from Omelas, and why do they leave?

The ones who walk away from Omelas are those who, having seen the abuse of the young child, decide to walk away from their beautiful city. We are told they leave one by one, walking through the...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2020 11:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. LeGuin, how would you characterize the plot? Is it driven by...

This is an unconventional story in terms of its structure. It begins in a conventional way with an unnamed narrator. The setting and general situation is introduced and exposition provides...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2009 1:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What seems rather strange about the description of the child playing the flute?

The child playing the wooden flute is described as sitting "at the edge of the crowd, alone." His isolation is thus the first part of the description that we might regard as strange. The people who...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2019 7:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How many people left Omelas out of guilt and how many survived?

We are not told exactly how many people leave Omelas. We do know that they leave because they cannot tolerate the knowledge that their happiness rests on the misery of another person. However,...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2018 5:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What does the child symbolize in Omelas?

All societies are riven with injustice of one sort or another. But there are few, if any, where the happiness of the people, not to mention the peace and stability of society, is dependent on the...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2020 11:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How do people in "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" struggle to survive? 

The point of this story is that the majority of the people in Omelas do not struggle for survival at all. They willingly exchange the intense and terrible suffering of one little child for their...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2012 2:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

why is the child referred to as "it"?

This child’s well-being is sacrificed for the “common good” of the town. In order for the residents of Omelas to mistreat the child without regret, guilt, or remorse, they are careful not to form...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2011 6:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What do you think about the narrator’s statement in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas that “Happiness is based on a...

In Ursula LeGuin’s short story, society is held together by mutual willingness to designate a child to function as the scapegoat. People believe that their personal happiness cannot be achieved by...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2020 12:36 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How does the setting of "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" develop the central idea of happiness?

The short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin tells of a seemingly idyllic town that is in the midst of a joyous celebration called the Festival of Summer. The tale...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2020 1:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Define Omelas in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas."

To the untrained eye, Omelas seems like a utopia: an ideal state in which everything is just as it should be. The people are happy, the weather is wonderful, and there is a constant round of...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2020 7:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What does Ursula Le Guin base happiness off of in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"?

In Ursula K. Le Guin's short story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," the third-person narrator is an outsider (like the reader), but one who seems to know a lot about the city of Omelas. There...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2018 7:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why doesn't the author describe where the ones who walk away go?

Omelas is a metaphor for societies that victimize their weakest members for the comfort and luxury of the others. The title focuses on the ones that walk away, because they are not willing to be...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2012 5:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Why does Le Guin create a narrator who is intrusive?

Good question. The narrator in Leguin's lovely story is intrusive for the same reasons that the story's early sections has the overall construction it does: to keep the usual fictional dream from...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2007 3:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Who are "the ones who walk away from Omelas"?

The "ones who walk away from Omelas" are those who have seen the miserable and neglected child and who, evidently, cannot accept its misery in exchange for their own happiness. Children are told...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2020 10:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How does the setting of "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" develop the central idea of happiness?

In the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin, the narrator describes a city whose inhabitants seem to exist in a perfect state of happiness. However, they are all...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2019 11:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Do modern societies, in the interest of maximizing the happiness of the majority, contain the same kinds of...

Certainly, modern societies are not necessarily are stringently structured as what is seen in Omelas. A child is not literally locked in a closet with their waste to keep them company. However,...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2013 2:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What literary theories best describe "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Le Guin?

"The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" is a complex short story that lends itself to interpretation via multiple critical theories. However, the two strongest interpretations are probably Marxist and...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2020 6:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How does 'The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. LeGuin speak to the theme of the individual and how he/she...

The story develops some profound, timeless questions about human nature, human society, and the individual's relationship to society. The child who is imprisoned and abused beneath the streets of...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2009 10:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is there none of in Omelas?

With the exception of one inhabitant of a basement utility closet, Omelas is a town free of misery, sadness, and strife. It is filled only with good things, and everyone is happy. An analysis of...

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

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is a hook for a compare and contrast essay on "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" and happiness and suffering?

A hook is an opening to an essay that pulls a reader in and keeps her reading. Some examples of hooks from writing experts William Zinsser (On Writing Well) and John Trimble (Writing With Style)...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2020 8:04 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

How does "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" connect to "Where Are You Going Where Have You Been" by Joyce Carol Oates?

Both of these stories share a dark tone. Consider the narrator's description of the child kept locked in the basement in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas": The door is always locked; and nobody...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2019 2:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What are three ways the story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" represents scapegoating of a minority culture?

Le Guin makes clear in this story that a group whose well-being is based on the suffering or scapegoating of a minority culture must come up with rationales to justify their abuse and exploitation...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2019 9:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What, in the end, is the story suggesting about this complicated concept? What brings people happiness?

In the end, the citizens of Omelas experience joy not because suffering exists but because they are willing to accept it as inevitable and ignore it. In their perfect little society, the members of...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2019 2:12 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What type of dystopia does the text demonstrate?

Omelas is a non-traditional dystopia. Typically a dystopia is portrayed as having a "big brother" type of government that is all-controlling and repressive. About Omelas, it is said that they...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2011 3:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Comparison between the movie "V for Vendetta" and the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" eritten by...

The theme is that you are responsible for atrocities committed in your name, or for which you benefit. The sacrificial lamb in Omelas is accepted by some people of the community, but others are...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2011 12:24 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is a symbolism of the locked, windowless cellar in which the lone child suffers?

In this story, the miserable child on whom the happiness of everyone in the entire community of Omelas depends can be interpreted as a symbol of those who are exploited or forgotten by society:...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2019 8:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

In "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," did they walk away because they were depressed and unhappy people?

No. Or rather, no, they didn't walk away because they were intrinsically unhappy, but rather because they were unwilling to take part in a system that depending on another's suffering. They were...

Latest answer posted March 18, 2007 9:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

 Iannini comments that he would free the child. Does this seem to be a solution? Is it one that LeGuin offers?

I think that the critical issue here is the idea that of how individuals address the condition of inequality of power that exists in social orders. Iannini suggests that he would free the child on...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2010 12:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

What is an analysis of "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" that connects to the theme of the American identity?

Americans like to see themselves as part of an exceptionally prosperous and generous country. However, a minority of people are excluded from this good life of material prosperity. This is often...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2019 1:03 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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