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Utopian Suicide - Guin and Old Short Stories

            The "Ones who walk away from Omelas" by Ursula Le Guin is a short story depicting a utopian city where people live happily content, modest and seemingly perfect lives. On the day on which the narrator is focusing, the city's people are celebrating the summer festival. The children ride willing horses in races and race about the fields in their bare feet. The day is bright and clear, music of all kinds fills the air, bells ring, and the air itself is sweet. This story is written in a similar way that resembles and also contrasts the short story poem written by Sharon Old, "Summer Solstice." This short poem evokes emotion and imagery and is written with many elements of a full story. A clear central plot of a man considering suicide, and emergence of a defined character such as the tall cop and the man on the roof, lastly, by using a comprehensive setting, detailing time and place provided a strong backdrop for the poem. They both have distinct fundamental groundwork that provided basis for a compelling and intriguing story line.
             The first prevalent literary element in both is the setting which is either told or implied. For instance, Ursula Le Guin uses very descriptive methods in portraying the people of the painted utopian. Guin is mindful that the happiness, and in specific the happiness of an entire city, may be a doubtful concept to readers. So in order to convince readers of the utopian, Guin utilized descriptive settings to build the blissful utopian environment that captures the reader's attention. She uses direct lines that point to happiness, such as "ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air that from time to time trembled and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells" (Guin). This line in many ways describes the festive atmosphere that gives the reader a better understanding of who these people are.

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