illustration of a young boy in a cage in the center with lines connecting the boys cage to images of happy people and flowers

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Start Free Trial

What is the theory considered for Omelas?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In theory, the city of Omelas is a perfect Utopian society. The perfection comes at a cost, which is the suffering of one child, a scapegoat, which makes the reader call in to question whether or not the happiness of the majority is worth the suffering of one. Omelas is only perfect in theory; this is demonstrated through both the title and the ending of the story. If Omelas is such an idyllic place to live and everyone is happy, than why do some people choose to walk away? Do these people who walk away feel guilt for the suffering of the child? If some can feel guilt than is the society perfect? Omelas is an idea rather than a real place. It is an allegory for our modern society and modern governments in many ways. In democracy, where majority rules, what happens to the disenfranchised minorities?

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team