The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas Ageism Essay

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Ageism Our class had a discussion over the short story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. LeGuin. During the discussion, the question arose of do you sacrifice one for the sake of the many? A young female classmate commented “It depends if they are old,” indicating that it would be okay to kill many old people to save the life of one young person. I assume her logic was that the old people have already lived a full life and are not going to live much longer, therefore their dying would be justified. However thinking about it, it is clearly an ageist remark. If we replaced the group of old people with a group of African Americans it would have clearly been a case of racism and not tolerated. I genuinely believe that she doesn’t have a special hatred or aversion towards older people but I think she represents…show more content…
She explains that “ageism” became a term in 1968 by Dr. Robert Butler who saw society develop myths and stereotypes for the elderly. He made the connection that just like sexism or racism, these stereotypes implied that one group is better than the other. With ageism, “it is implied that old age is inferior to youth.” Peppard further explains that one of the reasons why these stereotypes and myths exist is because there hasn’t been much reliable information regarding the aging process. The article talks about ten myths of aging: (1) The idea that they all become more alike as they age. (2) Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is a normal part of aging. (3) They all enjoy their “golden years” of retirement. (4) They should not and cannot engage in sexual activity. (5) They are inflexible and resistant to change. (6) They are unproductive and uncreative because they aren’t working and earning money. (7) They have difficulty learning new skills. (8) They are cranky and difficult to get along with. (9) They are lonely because their family has abandoned them. (10) They are more

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