The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

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I reached for this story that has been sitting in my Kobo since forever, or at least it feels like it, because of the recent BTS Spring Day music video. It seems weird that a Korean boy band would cause me to read this short written in 1973 but if you watched the music video the hotel that they are stay at is call Omelas.

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The story is about the town of Omelas, the entire’s town’s happiness rests on the misery of a small child who lives under the city. The truth of the boy is explained to all of the occupants of the city. However, sometimes the truth is not something that people would readily accept and they leave the town forever.

This story has been discussed and nit picked so much that there are essays longer than the actual story (13 pgs). Each reader has a different view on what happens with to the people, or the meaning that is hidden behind the story.

The idea of other’s happiness being hinged on a scapegoat is not a new concept or even revolutionary. The way that this short story demonstrates the entire city turning a blind eye to the boy simply for their own comfort is very sad. It almost reminds me of how people turn a blind eye to bullies so they don’t turn their attention to anyone else. This story sent chills down my spin and I absolutely love it. This is a story with a strong impact even though it’s short. It’s totally worth a read.

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