Episode 202: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

This week on The Easy Chair, it’s Ursula Le Guin’s startling short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. Le Guin was a brilliant storyteller of mostly science fiction with a cautionary twist- not unlike Margaret Atwood. In this tale, the nation of Omelas sounds like a utopia, populated by compassionate, earnest citizens who spawn golden, happy children…but at its very root lies a hideous truth upon which the ongoing existence of Omelas rests. Many have seen this dark reality with their own eyes, and the more sensitive others know of it but refuse to look for themselves. Then, there are the ones who walk away from Omelas. This is a powerful, thought-provoking tale about free society and the imperfection of human nature, with abundant parallels to the state of our nation and our world.

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