The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas: A Thoughtful Short Story

Sunday, July 05, 2020

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

They were not simple fol, you see, though they were happy.


Title: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date of published: Excerpted from The Wind's Twelve Quarters, originally published in 1975

Some inhabitants of a peaceful kingdom cannot tolerate the act of cruelty that underlies its happiness.
The story "Omelas" was first published in New Dimensions 3, a hard-cover science fiction anthology edited by Robert Silverberg, in October 1973, and the following year it won Le Guin the prestigious Hugo Award for best short story.
It was subsequently printed in her short story collection The Wind's Twelve Quarters in 1975.

To be honest, I interest to read this short story because of BTS. Yeah, it is believed that BTS' Spring Day MV using this story as reference. Since I knew about that fact, I would like to know the exact story about it. I think, since this is a short story, it's very hard to avoid spoiler. So, please mind that this review will have a full story about this.

The Omelas

Omelas. It's a fictional town that full of happiness. You can see all the joy in this town. Everyone seems so happy and full of hopes. But, not everyone knows that all of those happiness can be achieved by sacrificing a single innocent person, To be exact, one innocent child. 

The premise of this story is as simple as that. But, when I read the story, I couldn't avoid myself to relate this story to the real life.

No matter how hard we want to ignore it, sometimes, there are a huge gap between the one who is happy and not. Then, it reminds me of the oppression system that happened in our real life. Somehow, there are a lot of people who have to suffer because of the world system. They couldn't resist or complaint. It's like they have to accept what they must. 

I think, reading this book after reading Battle Royale is kind of interesting. For me, both book have the same premise, which is the oppressive system that hard to avoid. It's hard to imagine how we can live in such a horrible life like that.

I am very glad knowing this story, tho. At first, I thought there is only one child that suffered, but seems like it didn't happened like that. There a group of innocent child who suffered for the sake of Omela's happiness.


Even though this story is very short, but I think this a thoughtful one. From this story, it's like we questioning what we must do to be happy? Is that necessary to sacrifice the other, or anything, to achieve happiness?

4.5 out of 5 stars



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