Read “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” available under the “Lit Readings” tab of the course website.
Print out a copy, and as you read, underline the sentences that tell us something important about the character & lifestyle of the people that live in the city of Omelas. What kinds of things do they do? How would you describe the way they live? What kind of people are they? Underline sentences that answer these questions, then write the answers in the margins.
On page 3, you will read about a child. In another color, underline the sentences that tell us something important about this child’s life, and explain what you learn from these sentences in the margins of the story.
Marking up the story this way will help you get a feel for how the story is structured, along with helping you notice important details about the characters in the story. As usual, marking up a physical copy of the text generally helps you think more deeply about it.
I’ve put an essay by David Brooks, published in the New York Times, up along with the story; we’ll discuss some of his points in class, but if you want to get a head start, fel free to read the essay as well.
Trigger warning: This story contains descriptions of (fictional) child abuse.