Symbolism

Symbolism

The short story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is filled with a variety of symbols. This makes the difficult part sorting through the various symbols and choosing those which are more important to the development of the story. Below is a list of symbols we believe to be important and their corresponding dissections.


Summer Solstice:
This is symbolic of the light of our consciousness shining more brightly in our awareness.

Horse:
* Power
* Grace
* Beauty
* Nobility
* Strength
* Freedom
Note: Both the horse and the citizens of Omelas seem to show these characteristics. Also the quote with the horses being a part of the ceremony might be a part of this.

Bird (specifically, the swallow):
Represents freedom, but in the case of the swallow, it's a limited amount of freedom. Swallows can fly, but only so far before they have to rest.

Colors:
* Grey -> Neutral, balanced, in control
* Green -> Life, nature, fertility and well being
* Silver -> Justice and purity
* Gold -> Power, wealth and faith
* Red -> Danger, emergency and love
* Blue -> Truth, peace and distance
* Yellow -> Warm, cheerful and summertime
* White -> Serenity, purity and virtue
* Black -> Night, death, and sadness

Flute Player:
Lonliness? Are the people of Omelas really happy and living full lives? Sure, they all live together in the city but their lives might not be as connected as depicted in the story. The flute player is making beautiful music, an attraction. Yet people seem distant towards him. Maybe judgement?

Eyes:
More judgement. The people of Omelas are supposed to live without anything morally wrong yet they are constantly judging people. In fact their way of life is dependent on remembering they are better than someone else.

Understanding:
None of the citizens seem to have a complete grasp of what to think. During their young years they seem to almost always be in a state of confusion because of the child in the cellar.

Drugs/Sex Reference:
The importance of drooz could really be anything but we've speculated that it probably is a way of showing that not everyone in the city is really happy and they require (like us) another means of escape from their lives. The allusion to sex might be something that helps us relate to the people of Omelas as it is a primal urge which all humans feel.

Cellar Child:
This child is really a scapegoat. Something the town uses to push all of the blame onto so that they can live happily. He plays a pivotal role in Omelas but it's really not a great job to have.


These are just some of the symbols we were able to pull out of the story, but we believe that these are some of the most important. Each symbol adds to the story and helps shape the meaning into something unique.