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Literature, Children, Society, Development, Life, Ethics, Morality, Nation
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It is conventionally accepted that literary works are written by people who live I the society. As such, much of the work reflects the ideals of the society; it could talk about the virtues, values, vices or moral ethics in the society. Literary writers tend to draw from these aspects to write their works. Such a piece of work is “The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas” as it was written by Ursula in 1973.
He story features a fictitious place called Omelas where the people live in perfect peace and no struggles in life. However, it so happens that in order to attain this, there has to be a sacrifice. In this case, the people of Omela had a child living in a solitary, dark place. The child suffered so that everyone else could live peacefully. When the children of Omelas lived to a certain age, they were told of the “sacrifice,” which had a great psychological and emotional effect o them. Some decided to brush it aside and go on with the happy life while others could not live with it so they chose to move away from Omelas.
This story employed a lot of symbolism to represent how the American society was at the time. It was a time while most of the revolutions that shape the nation today were taking place. There were wars, especially the Vietnam War, technological developments, the rise of feminism and the introduction of the birth control pill and ruling that the nation could not bar women from aborting during the first three months of pregnancy. Amidst these developments, the morals and values in the nation were affected. As such, Ursula sought to bring out this picture, indicating that there were some people who chose to ignore the wrongs and go on with their lives, while others stood up and fought against the vices and moral decadence that were gradually rising.
Ursula, Le Guin K. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. 1973.
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