Unfortunately I was unable to attend this class, after reading the short story, ‘the ones that walked away from omelas’, I was very disappointed I missed the conversation. I found the story and its ideas, incredibly interesting. The story is about a city that is in every way perfect, the inhabitants who live there, live a perfect existence. They want for nothing, and have everything at their disposal. They feel no negative emotions like anger, guilty etc. What I like about the story was that as I progressed through the text, I built up a vision of what a perfect existence would be for me, blissfully unaware of what was to come.
The catch to this perfect life, is that everything in the city is dependant on one person, a small helpless child who is in constant suffering, he lives in a small cellar, living on morcles and scraps of food, suffering unimaginably his whole life. The author is careful to include the fact that he is fully aware of the goings on outside of his confinement. Something I was hoping she would forget to include. No longer could I pray fool myself into thinking he has lived like this forever and knew no better.
A stipulation of staying in the city, the inhabitants must visit the boy and then decide if they want to stay, knowing full well the consequences of their happiness. Which leaves them with a moral dilemma. The story is a metaphor for the society we live on today. Almost every society, down the structure is based upon the praying on the ones that are below us, the less fortunate.
I began to ponder what road I would take, naturally I took the moral high ground and judged anyone who would dare stay. And as I sit here, writing this blog post, on my high tech Apple mac laptop, I realised I cannot afford to take such a firm stance. In today’s society, the want for convenience through the use of technology, comes at a cost and I am fully aware of this, yet I participate. The minerals used to make this laptop function are mined from mainly from the Congo and Zambia, under horrendous conditions, by children who earn next to nothing, under the authority of militia who rule with unimaginable violence. Most of us know this but the lure of that half eaten apple proves too much. It is common knowledge yet is very rarely spoken about. Ask yourself, are you so sure you would walk away?