Absence of a Utopia in “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

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In today’s society, there is a range of diversity among several things. This world is full of different people with different hopes and dreams. The stories of Genesis and “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” prove that Utopias are not possible. A Utopia creates a sense of perfection, which is missing in many areas. A Utopian society does not exist for several reasons, such as individuals struggle with happiness, temptation exists, and it is not economically possible due to emotion.

A Utopian society calls for happiness amongst everyone, which is impossible in this world. There are several people who face life-changing obstacles. Life is certainly not perfect. Throughout “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, an absence of a Utopian society is portrayed. At first, there is this image of bliss. However, underneath there is suffering. The people of Omelas are living a great life due to a young boy trapped in a room. Their happiness heavily depends on him. In this story, it states, “In a basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas . . . a child is sitting” (Guin 4).

This poor child is trapped. There is no way the city of Omelas could be a Utopia with this information. Also, happiness includes the feeling of being free, which is missing in “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”. Throughout this story, it states, “They know that they, like the child, are not free” (Ruin 6). This is also proof that they struggle to feel happy because they are not completely free. Therefore, it shows that a Utopia is absent due to a lack of happiness.

Temptation is one of the many explanations of how a Utopian society does not exist. It is known that when people are tempted, bad things are prone to come about. It is hard to be happy when you have things constantly tempting you. Also, many people struggle with being content on what they have in life. Individuals always want more and strive for better. The story of Genesis displays an example of why a Utopian society does not exist due to temptation. In this story, the Lord God states, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2 16-17).

However, the snake told Eve the woman that she would not die, which led them to eating the forbidden fruit. This proves that Adam and Eve took the chance of facing death just so they could eat the fruit. It shows that people are not always content or happy with the rules, which leads to bad situations. Therefore, Utopian societies are lacking because temptation is real and exists all around the world.

It is not economically possible for a Utopia to exist due to emotion. Individuals have specific wants and needs that most likely fall short in a society where everything is perfect. Money also plays a big role in this situation. For instance, if fifty people wanted a black Toyota Camry but only twenty were produced, then that would cause thirty people to get upset. Situations like those could even lead to arguments or fights. Also, in “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, people’s emotion rises to the top. It is known that a child is held in a basement for others in the area to receive happiness.

However, some people have trouble baring this information, “Often the young people go home in tears, or in a tearless rage, when they have seen the child and faces this terrible paradox” (Guin 6). This news also causes some people to leave, as stated, “They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the gates” (Guin 7). This proves that emotions can pull individuals toward their senses. Overall, it is not economically possible for a Utopia to occur because people have emotions.

A Utopia is proven to be nonexistent. Throughout the stories of Genesis and “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, several valid points are made arguing against a Utopia. Both of these stories provide individuals with false hope. Individuals always strive for more and continue to show emotion. This feeling that others exhibit shows that being perfect is only a fantasy and that a Utopian society is just a dream. There will always be someone who does not follow the rules, which is not possible in a Utopia. No matter how good a Utopia sounds, this ideal place where everyone is happy is simply not possible.


Cite this paper

Absence of a Utopia in “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. (2021, Jun 25). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/absence-of-a-utopia-in-the-ones-who-walk-away-from-omelas/



How is The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas a dystopia?
The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is a dystopia because it is a society that is controlled by the government and the people are not able to make their own choices. The government makes all the decisions and the people have to obey them or they will be punished.
Is the city of Omelas a utopian space?
Omelas is a city that is close to perfect, however, it has a dark secret. The city's happiness and prosperity come at the expense of one child who is kept in misery.
Why is Omelas not a utopia?
Omelas is not a utopia because it is based on the suffering of a single child. The child is kept in a dark room and is never allowed to leave, despite the fact that the people of Omelas are otherwise happy and prosperous.
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