What does drooz mean?

Drooz is a kind of drug that the narrator of "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" supposes the people of Omelas to take to make them feel happy. But then, of course, the people of Omelas are already happy in the first place due to the fact that a child is locked away in a basement, where he or she is abused and malnourished. The town's continued happiness is entirely dependent on this child's continued abuse.

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At times, the narrator of “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” can be disconcertingly vague about certain of the particulars of life in this fictitious town. It's as if she's inviting us to fill in some of the gaps ourselves. One such vague detail concerns the use of drooz,...

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At times, the narrator of “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” can be disconcertingly vague about certain of the particulars of life in this fictitious town. It's as if she's inviting us to fill in some of the gaps ourselves. One such vague detail concerns the use of drooz, which is supposed to be this ecstasy-inducing, non-habit-forming drug that the narrator supposes the people of Omelas to take. Note, though, how she only supposes that they take it; she doesn't explicitly say that they do.

The narrator apparently finds it hard to accept that people could be so blissfully happy without taking drugs. At first she thought there were no drugs in Omelas, but then came to the conclusion that she was merely being puritanical. In any case, it seems that no one in Omelas really needs drooz, or any other kind of drug, for that matter; the town is always bathed in a kind of “boundless and generous contentment” anyway.

This is all because a small child is locked away in a basement, forced to exist on a daily basis in unfathomable depths of squalor, filth, and misery. The town's continued happiness is entirely dependent on the continued maltreatment of this poor, unfortunate child.

That being the case, one could speculate that drooz acts to take people's minds off the misery on which their happiness depends. Perhaps the existence of drooz in Omelas accounts for the fact that the majority of people choose to remain in the town even after they've discovered the dark, sordid secret on which their bliss depends.

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