August 26, 2015
I believe that “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omlelas” is a microcosmic example of why science fiction is important and what society can potentially take away from science fiction if utilized appropriately. Imarisha, in the article we read on Tuesday, spoke about science fiction being a tool to imagine life in a different way than it already is and to examine those other possibilities against our own, current reality to compare the two and hopefully elect a best possible candidate. The example used in her article was to think of those living during Medieval times and how they probably assumed it was the only possibility. Now we know that there are other possibilities with the moral being that there are still other possibilities.
“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omlelas” is a prime example of this, because it pertains to capitalism. I believe that the sickly child kept in Omelas is a metaphor for those in a capitalist society who fall through the cracks and are not able to succeed. Theses people are guaranteed in a capitalist society as the system pits competition which also guarantees losers. I think that the successful citizens in Olemas represent the winners in this society. This idea is supported by the idea that they think of the sickly child as an unfortunate necessity to their happiness as is the case in capitalism.
Also, I like the language used at the end of the story and how I believe it relates back to the Imarisha article. The children who choose to walk away do not know where they are going. I believe this is a metaphor for how the author does not offer their take on a potential alternative for capitalism. The work merely suggests that it is not perfect. This is also evident in how the world in the story is described as being unknown outside of Omelas to indicate that the alternatives are not yet known.
This is also relevant for the entire genre. Science fiction should be used as a survey of options and a tool to examine what does not yet exist. “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omlelas” serves (like the rest of science fiction) as a sort of brain storming exercise for other options rather than a conclusion. This is evident also in the story as it is not said how the children end up or what becomes of Omelas.