Within “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, Ursula K. Le Guin proposes a moral conundrum with the power to persuade any eager mind to ponder the power of choice concerning our reality.
By thought, I do not believe that any single person has an utmost control over the moments that occur within their lives, but I do believe that a single person has the capacity to be the sole figure that chooses to accept or not accept any occurring moment. By this acceptance or lack thereof, I am referring to the capacity that one has to choose what a moment amounts to within his or her own mind. When contemplating what I am referring to when I use the word moment, I consider a moment to be a time period that encompasses any given combination of events that may be occurring. For any interpretation, I believe each resort back to the root of each person having the ability to control what a moment amounts to while simultaneously choosing the effect that the moment has. In regard to how this momentous ability applies to “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, Le Guin writes with a manner that illuminates a similar form found within the moment that the children of Omelas are initially introduced to the hidden child. Le Guin writes, “no matter how well the matter has been explained to them, these young spectators are always shocked and sickened at the sight. They feel disgust, which they had thought themselves superior to” (282). As a reader, I acknowledge the power that such a moment of introduction has on a child occupant of Omelas. The moment seized the superior privilege of the child being able to view the happiness within Omelas as unfeigned.
Within the depicted moment, Le Guin can be interpreted as presenting a choice that has a root within the moral code of every mind. It’s a choice that determines reality. The choice can be further interpreted as a form of division between those who are able to accept the notion of accepting happiness while enabling brutality rather than choosing to venture into the unknown due to a lack of acceptance for the paradox. Le Guin writes, “they keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gate” (283). In regard to these sentences, I think that they can be interpreted as a depiction of one choosing the reality that they exist within. Those who chose to remain within the gates of Omelas continue to live within a realm of deceptive happiness, while Le Guin portrays other occupants of Omelas choosing to deny such a reality at the risk of venturing into the unknown. Le Guin stations a light upon the notion of one being able to determine the reality in which they exist rather than falling victim to falsehood at the cost of another human.
Furthermore, Le Guin writes with this manner to provoke a reader to ponder the own reality that they reside within. It provokes a thought of breaking from our own reality and enabling the thought of whether our freedom or comforts are unfeigned.
Conclusively, I believe an interpretation of the moment depicted by Le Guin arises an uncomfortable yet quite suited moment of reflection, which may vary due to eagerness or interpretation of the reader. However, Le Guin positioned the moment of introduction of brutality toward the innocent as an illumination of the ability that we are each capable of choosing our own reality in which we accept and reside.