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The Ones Who Walk Away

By Holly Lyn Walrath
Jan 22, 2019 · 1,482 words · 6 minutes

Photo by Ben Waardenburg via Unsplash.

From the author: On the anniversary of her death, Ursula K. Le Guin’s most famous short story is just as relevant as it was 46 years ago.


The people at the door never say anything, but the child, who has not
always lived in the tool room, and can remember sunlight and its mother’s voice, sometimes speaks. “I will be good,” it says. “Please let me out. I will be good!” They never answer. The child used to scream for help at night, and cry a good deal, but now it only makes a kind of whining, “eh-haa, eh-haa,” and it speaks less and less often.
— Ursula K. Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Ursula K. Le Guin’s most...

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