Far away is the utopian city of Omelas, where the locals are getting ready to celebrate a festival. The people's joy is untainted for children and adults alike as they enjoy music, horse-riding, and feasts. Yet, despite this (apparently) complete happiness, the narrator repeatedly tells the reader that these people aren't any simpler or more naive than those who live in other places. Eventually the reason for such prosperity and contentment is revealed...The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
is a Meta Fiction
by Ursula K. Le Guin
, written in 1973.
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas contains examples of:
- Good Is Not Dumb: The narrator emphasizes that the happiness of the people of Omelas doesn't make them stupid or naive.
- Inherent in the System: In order for Omelas to run properly, one child must be kept in absolute misery.
- Meta Fiction: The narrator speaks directly to the reader, even insisting that they cannot properly describe Omelas in all its glory.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Word Of God says that Omelas was named by spelling Salem, O[regon] backwards.
- Utopia: Omelas is this.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: We learn that a young child is severely mistreated in order for everyone else to be happy.
- Was It Really Worth It?: Everyone in Omelas must face this question. After seeing the suffering child, some people can't bear living in Omelas anymore and walk away.