The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

by

Ursula K. Le Guin

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The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas Quotes

Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Orion edition of The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas published in 2015.
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The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas Quotes

Joyous! How is one to tell about joy? How to describe the citizens of Omelas? They were not simple folk, you see, though they were happy. But we do not say the words of cheer much any more. All smiles have become archaic.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:

The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 257
Explanation and Analysis:

I think that there would be no cars or helicopters in and above the streets; this follows from the fact that the people of Omelas are happy people. Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 257
Explanation and Analysis:

Let tambourines be struck above the copulations, and the glory of desire be proclaimed upon the gongs, and (a not unimportant point) let the offspring of these delightful rituals be beloved and looked after by all. One thing I know there is none of in Omelas is guilt.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 258
Explanation and Analysis:

A boundless and generous contentment, a magnanimous triumph felt not against some outer enemy but in communion with the finest and fairest in the souls of all men everywhere and the splendor of the world’s summer; this is what swells the hearts of the people of Omelas, and the victory they celebrate is that of life.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Page Number: 258
Explanation and Analysis:

The people at the door never say anything, but the child, who has not always lived in the tool room, and can remember sunlight and its mother’s voice, sometimes speaks. “I will be good,” it says. “Please let me out. I will be good!” They never answer.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), The Child
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:

They all know that it has to be there […] they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers […] depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), The Child
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:

“Those are the terms. To exchange all the goodness and grace of every life in Omelas for that single, small improvement: to throw away the happiness of thousands for the chance of the happiness of one; that would be to let guilt within the walls indeed.”

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), The Child
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:

Their tears at the bitter injustice dry when they begin to perceive the terrible justice of reality, and to accept it.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), The Child
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:

They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
Related Symbols: The Darkness
Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.