”Omelas sounds in my words like a city in a fairy tale, long ago and far away, once upon a time. Perhaps it would be best if you imagined it as your own fancy bids, assuming it will rise to the occasion, for certainly I cannot suit you all.” (Page 278)
“…I fear that Omelas so far strikes some of you as goody-goody. Smiles, bells, parades, horses, bleh. If so, please add an orgy. If an orgy would help, don’t hesitate”. (Page 279)
In class, we spoke about the meaning of a utopia. We established that its meaning is “no place”. And indeed Omelas is not a real place. We the readers are given a general description of what you will find, may find, and may not find in Omelas. But a lot of non-concrete words are used such as “I think”, “I thought”, “It ought”, and “If”. From this we can say that Omelas is actually whatever the individual fancies as the perfect society to live in. As individuals we all have different views of how a utopia and its inhabitants should operate. There will be certain general topics that everyone would agree on but as the text is saying, if Omelas is lacking something feel free to add it as you so choose.
Moving on to the child I believe that he is the physical culmination of any negative aspects of anything you would want in your perfect society. An example would be religion without clergy to hold you accountable for your actions and inspire guilt or shame. You would be free to engage in orgies if you fancy, or any sexual practices with whomever, drink whatever beverage pleases you, take drugs that are of the non-habit forming type. Guilt being a thing that is not found in Omelas, not found in anyone’s perfect society. Therefore, I believe that the people who walk away from Omelas are people that have realistic and scientific view of reality and society. They have the ability to acknowledge all the aspects of what would make a society ideal in a realistic way and make those more realistic ideals come true through action. They came to Omelas which represents the acknowledgement of unrealistic but generally ideal circumstances, the saw the child which represents the realization or awakening of more realistic possibilities of future societies, and finally leaving Omelas signals the beginning of action. They are putting into action the accomplishable, realistic goals and ideals that were forged from their experience in Omelas.