Individual Liberty in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" and "Matchimanito"
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The paper highlights the similarities between "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin and "Matchimanito" by Louise Erdrich, and shows how the stories differ in how they treat the concept of individual liberty. This paper examines how "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" focuses on philosophical differences between an individual and his/her society as the main reason that an individual abandons his/her society, whereas "Matchimanito" presents individual emotions, specifically love and lust, as the main reason an individual abandons his/her society. This paper also argues that there are major differences in the settings of the two stories, and therefore it is difficult to determine whether the two authors differ in their views of the forces that do or should cause individuals to abandon their societies.
From the Paper:"Despite the different settings of the two stories, there are parallels in specific scenes. For example, both stories contain confrontation scenes between outcasts and accepted members of society. In "The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas," the author describes the different reactions of accepted members of society upon meeting an outcast child. Some people react with tears and rage upon meeting the neglected, outcast child, but "as time goes on they begin to realize that even if the child could be released, it would not get much good of its freedom" (Le Guin, 1975, p. 458). Others leave Omelas forever, walking "straight out of the city of Omelas" (Le Guin, 1975, p. 458). "Matchimanito" also describes the confrontation between outcasts and accepted members of society. Upon meeting the outcast family of Pillagers, the narrator saves the one living member and takes her back to his home, whereas his companion Edgar Pukwan "watched but refused to touch her, turned away, and vanished with the whole sled of supplies" (Erdrich, 1988, p. 238). This parallel in different reactions to neglected outcasts highlights the fact that in both stories' societies, individuals have some freedom in how they react to possible atrocities."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Erdrich, Louise. 1988. "Matchimanito."
- Le Guin, Ursula K. 1975. "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas."
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Individual Liberty in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" and "Matchimanito" (2013, May 16) Retrieved May 30, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/individual-liberty-in-the-ones-who-walk-away-from-omelas-and-matchimanito-153279/
"Individual Liberty in "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" and "Matchimanito"" 16 May 2013. Web. 30 May. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/individual-liberty-in-the-ones-who-walk-away-from-omelas-and-matchimanito-153279/>