The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas- Morality

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In the short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” Ursula K. LeGuin tells the story of a town who seems to be a normal and happy town, but which hides a dark secret; trapped in a basement of one of the buildings of Omelas is a child whom the town sacrifices for the people’s “happiness”. LeGuin shows the significance of morality in her story; she raises the question of whether it is moral or not what the town is doing. She makes her argument effective by using characterization, revealing the character with diction, and irony, in her writing, and while LeGuin makes her readers question morality, Joan Didion in “On Morality” and Salman Rushdie in “Imagine There’s No Heaven” support her argument in their essays by arguing that morality is not something given but something a person decides on their own. LeGuin makes her argument on the immorality of the people of Omelas by drawing characterization in her story. She develops this character, which is a child, who is being mistreated and sacrificed, and she focuses on that to show the role morality plays in the story. When she introduces the child she says: “It could be a boy or a girl. It looks about six, but actually is nearly ten. It is feeble-minded. Perhaps it was born defective, or perhaps it has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect.” (LeGuin, 348) LeGuin chooses words to describe the child that creates a feeling of empathy in her readers. By using words like “defective”, “imbecile” and also by referring to the child as “it” as if he/she were not even human, the author draws on her readers emotions to try to reveal the immorality of doing such thing to a child. In “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” LeGuin tries to make her argument effective though the use of irony. She begins her story introducing a happy setting, fathers and mothers and children playing, waiting for the Festival of

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