Physical setting

Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” is set at the beginning of the summer, during a festival in the imaginary city of Omelas (p. 35, ll. 1-2). While the city is imaginary, the time setting seems contemporary to the time of writing (1972) as the residents of the city refuse “the stock exchange, the advertisement, the secret police, the bomb” (p. 36, ll. 32-33). However, there are other hints that suggest that Omelas might exist in some parallel universe, where they have potentially futuristic technology as well, as we can see from the mention of “marvelous devices not yet invented here” (p. 37, ll. 13-14).

Omelas is surrounded by mountains and water (p. 36, ll. 11-12), suggesting it is a unique place, cut off from the rest of the world both geographically and in terms of social prac...

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