Conflict between Individuals and Society in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas Essay


The society in Omelas was a happy society with all kinds of merry in the city. People sang, played music and engaged in enjoyable sports such as horse-riding. A near-Utopian living condition for the people of Omela was created (Mike 2005). However, there still were several people who fell out with the merrying society and the way some of the things were done in the city. They fell out due to the way the happiness in Omela was created. We shall, therefore, look at some of the individuals who developed a conflict with the society.

The child in the dark room

The first individual to fall out with the society was the source of the city’s source of happiness: a young dilapidated child who was kept away from the rest of the city. The child was locked up in a dark room. Malnourished and dirty, with very poor living conditions (sitting on its own excreta), the child had to be confined there for the merry to the rest of the people to last. It was the sacrifice that the society had made. When the child was thrown there, it always cried to be let out and enjoy some freedom and its mother’s company, but the rest of the society could not accept that to happen. The child was not happy with the society’s perception about it and always cried with discontent. The child’s wails and promises, that it would become a good child if let out, shows discontent and the fact that it had truly fallen out with the society.

Those who walked away from Omela

Different people went to see the child at different times. Some were young children who had attained the age to understand the circumstances of the child and others went there for a revisit. No one was allowed to touch the child (Mike 2005). After leaving the room where the child lived, some of them never went back to their homes. They went away to the mountains and left the luxurious life of the city. They felt that the child was being mistreated and they could not enjoy happiness that had been obtained by torture on an innocent child. However strong their sentiments could have been, they could not allow themselves to fight the society by expressing their discontent and they chose to leave the city. This way, they showed their conflict with the system through which the Omela society made its life good with. However, there is nothing they could do to the child and instead of fighting the society, they decided to leave. Surprisingly, they never left as groups. Each of those who left did so alone and never returned. It was believed that wherever those left went to was not as good and life was not as happy as in Omela. However, they still left the city and never came back. They were fed up with the life of Omela and could no longer enjoy it as a child remained confined in merciless living conditions. This was another case of individuals fighting the society.


Some of the people in Omela completely fell out with the society and left the city. It was either the society decided to chase them away like the child or individuals decided that they could no longer live with the society, as in the case of those who left the city. None of those who fell out with the society went back to live the luxurious life of Omela.

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