Leguin's 'The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas'

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Conveying messages through the sub-text of the story, LeGuin critiques modern society in a symbolic way. She achieves this with purposefully written symbols, delivering a deeper moral. Taken literal, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” might seem strange with little or no plot, leaving the reader confused about its conclusion. However, this perception leaves room for analysis. With an essential message relating to society’s current attitude, her story conveys the nature of humanity. Through the use of symbolism, LeGuin explores the injustices of society. LeGuin opens “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by defining Omelas as the Festival of Summer, writing that the “boys and girls [were] naked in the bright air” (LeGuin 380). A suggestion to the Garden of Eden in biblical times, the nakedness symbolizes the happiness, freedom, and utopian approach of the citizens of Omelas. Boys and girls race horses, stating the point that this flawless society is free from judgment, or fixed roles for genders. Toward the…show more content…
A scapegoat for the people of Omelas, the child in the basement is referenced to as an “it.” It is an unidentified gender with festering sores on its legs from sitting in its own excrements. With the approach LeGuin was writing to survey humanity, this child can symbolize the faceless, and nameless, needy class. This child cannot relish the indulgences above, and only sits alone in a basement full of misery, obscurity, and sickness. Hiding the poor and accepting an “out of sight, out of mind” mindset for the individuals of this gilded utopia, the basement symbolizes a clear separation in the upper and lower class. On top of the social ladder, lies the upper class, pampering in their riches; on the bottom, lay the poor and deprived, suffering underneath the happiness of the

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