My Favourite Book Quotes from The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula Le Guin


The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is a short story about the city Omelas, where everyone is happy except one child. That child must be sacrificed for the happiness of the others. You can find my full spoiler-free review here. I gave it 4.5/5. You should read it, especially if you are reading my blog. It is a quick read and it makes you think deeper about happiness and the right to be happy. If you are still hesitating, let me show you 3 quotes from this story and hopefully, after reading them, you will give this story a try.

  1. The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is a treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe a happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.
  2. Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive.
  3. Yet it is their tears and anger, the trying of their generosity and the acceptance of their helplessness, which are perhaps the true source of the splendor of their lives. Theirs is no vapid, irresponsible happiness. They know that they, like the child, are not free. They know compassion.

I hope this blog post can motivate you to read this story or inspire you somehow. Keep reading crazily!


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