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

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pegeel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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 draw the reader into the story, the narrator in this story is herself external to the story, observing, commenting, and examining. 

LeGuin employs a very dry, ironic voice for this piece, demanding the reader question all the elments she offers up. Her narrator is ironic, even cynical, constantly breaking the fourth-wall, addressing the reader directly, casting doubts on the very things being told. The narrator has a sense of humor, but leans more toward wit than belly-laughs.

The narrator presents "facts": a culture dependent on the suffering of a single child scapegoat. But through the narrator's own cynical questioning the reader is forced to ask if the survival of the culture is worth the suffering of the sacrifice--and even more, if that need is real, or imagined.

The narrator of the story fits LeGuin's goals. It is deceptive in its open quality, making it easy to ignore how powerfully the narrator guides the eye and mind of the reader, demanding questions and inisting on evaluations of everything--including the nature of the narrator.

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The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

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