If you are thinking about writing your final essay about Ursula LeGuin's short story, "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," I strongly encourage you to do some extra reading. Here are some timely, relevant, and helpful sites:
This essay compares the people of the fictional town of Omelas to the people who attend or work at or support Penn State University. The people of Happy Valley may -- or may not -- turn out to be very Omelas-like. What do you think? Truth in advertising: one of my best friends in the world has been a professor at Penn State for twenty years, and he is about to "walk away . . ."
And here is a blog post written by a young man from Ireland. This essay convicts all of us. His argument is that in one way or another we all live in Omelas -- and we have not walked away.
UPDATE (12/06/2012): Here is a link to a video clip from ABC News, which discusses a raid on a sweatshop in India.
ANOTHER UPDATE (5/1/2013): Here is a link to a cool Tumblr page that might lead you to some thought-provoking questions.
There's more out there: timely writing about the state of the world RIGHT NOW, which uses this short story as a way of framing a particular argument. So my challenge to you is -- find it. Think about it. Respond to it. And then write about it. This is the true point of literature.
And dudes: Cite your sources!
BEST UPDATE OF ALL: Many, many thanks to Noor A. who pointed out the connections between our story and this lovely animated short:
Posted by Liz Holmes