When you exist in this life, how many times you ask yourself: “if this happens, what should I do?”. I bet it is countless. There are so many authors use the “what ifs” sentences in their articles, and the short story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Le Guin is the one. “If it’s rain this morning, I don’t go to school.” This is an example of “what ifs” sentence which usually presents the reasons for something happened. In the story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, Le Guin uses a series of “what ifs” to presents the reasons for what happened in Omelas. For example, she states: “If the child were brought up into the sunlight out of that vile place, if it were done, in that day and hour all, the prosperity and beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed.”, and also “if the child could be released, it would not get much good of its freedom: a little vague pleasure of warmth and food, no doubt, but little more.”.
One other reason that makes “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” becomes unusual is the way Le Guin creates a very short “what ifs” sentence. For example, she states: “If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em. If it hurts, repeat it.”, or “If so, please add an orgy. If an orgy would help, don’t hesitate.”. This makes a very powerful impressed to the readers. When I read the first paragraph, it seems like Le Guin draws a beautiful picture in my mind: “Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The rigging of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public building…”. I can imagine Omelas look like a village which is full of (Le 2) peace in a fairy tales, where princes and princesses came from.
I’ve never seen a picture like that in any essay. A normal essay usually is the form which authors use to show personal points of their view. But when I finish reading “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, I don’t see any Le Guin’s opinions about why people decide to leave Omelas. She only tells how the child is confined, how people believe in the story about the confining child, and how people feel after they see the child, but they can’t help. I have to find the reasons that make people leaving Omelas myself, and not sure if others have the same thought with me. This is a little success of Le Guin to make the reader think about her story again and again after closing the book.
By the way telling the tragedy about a confining child in Omelas, Le Guin uses her imagination to create a story contains a metaphor for why do people avoid responsibility and walk away without doing anything to help the suffering. She breaks all the rules to write an essay. Real evidences, real examples, and real images are required in a success essay, which gives a clear answer for every topic the authors want to talk about.
Open by the joyous and cheerful scene of the Summer Festival, and end with the image of people silently leave Omelas. Two opposite pictures in one short story. Le Guin doesn’t tell why people walk away from Omelas, where they go, and what next. By the open-ending, the readers can draw their own conclusion, this is a big different from a normal essay.
Courtney from Study Moose
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