The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas

A detailed look at Ursula K. Le Guin’s play The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas.

This paper is a critical analysis of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas. Using the components of setting, imagery, and symbolism the theme of man versus self is analyzed. The author evaluates this theme and discusses how it is exposed throughout the play and what messages it contains.
“The utilitarian government or society that Le Guin has created is not unlike many of those of the world today. There are those who suffer at the expense of those who prosper the situation presently in Afghanistan is a dramatic example of this. There is also the choice of what will be done for the child who is suffering. Will he be ignored or will people walk away. That seems to be the saddest part of the story. It seems the only choice the city thinks that it can make is whether to ignore it or move farther away. During Nazi Germany this seemed to be the overall behavior of those living in the country. They also were aware of problem and tried to ignore it or move away. Recognizing a problem is a first step but one must also have a mind to do a thing and foresee a future possibility and a plan for its accomplishment in order to solve a problem. Ignoring a problem will only let it fester and become infectious.”