Rethinking Utopia

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Julia Faragher


The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas, Ursula Le Guin, utopia


In her short story ‘The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas’, Ursula Le Guin manipulates her use of language to reveal the necessary horrors that lie beneath a utopia. She initially invites you into a beautiful festival exploding with colour and life, but soon exposes the child locked in the basement whose suffering is required for the city to function. She poses the ultimate question: if your society was built on the absolute misery of someone else, would you walk away from it? Or would you simply continue to live and ignore it?

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