How does this ethical/moral issue apply to real life?

In the story by Ursula LeGuin we’ve read, the narrator describes an imaginary city, Omelas, which is a Utopia. The existence of this Utopia rests on one condition – the child who is kept, alone and miserable, in the cellar. All residents of the city are aware of the child, and of the condition. The story does not present any option for “saving” the child or changing the condition; the only options are to accept the situation and live with it, or to walk away into an unknown future.

Here is the prompt for this essay:

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What do you believe is the “right” decision – to stay and accept or to walk away? How does this ethical/moral issue apply to real life, and in real life, do you respond to this problem the same as you said you would respond in Omelas, or differently?

What the essay must include:

A relevant title, numbered pages, double-spaced text; 
A brief, basic explanation of the facts – What the story is about and what the problem is; 
A thesis statement that is complete and says both your position and why you hold it; 
An introductory paragraph that works to introduce the issues or questions; 
Discussion and support of your position, using clear arguments; 
At least two outside research sources that will be used to support your position; 
Paragraph unity and overall organization that is clear and makes sense; 
A Works Cited page, in proper format, that includes MLA citations for the story and for any outside sources you use; 
A finished, proofread and edited draft. 
This is the final essay and there is a very short time between the due date and posting of grades. Therefore, no late essays will be accepted. If you will not complete the essay in time, contact me before it is due. Essays not turned in by the due date will receive a zero. 
The essay has a 1200-word minimum length. Essays not meeting the word-length minimum will receive a completion credit between 25-45 points at my discretion.

It must include a Works Cited page, which includes any source you use in the essay. You may use any of the research sources I provide on Eagle Online.

The essay must contain at least two acceptable, relevant research sources, with at least two direct cited quotes from that source. The source material must help explain or support what you are saying. See below for more on this.


– It must be clear how the research material you use helps explain or support what you are saying in some way that is useful or necessary. That means you must tell us what it means and why it is important.

– Do not use research sources or quotes to state commonly known or inarguable facts.

– Do not use quotes that come from Wikiquote, Brainy Quotes, or any other “quotation-aggregator.”

– Dictionary definitions, encyclopedia entries, and Wikipedia entries do not count as research. (Wikipedia entries can be very useful for links and general information, but never use Wikipedia as a cited source.)

– “Note” sites such as Schmoop, SparkNotes, etc. cannot be used or cited as research. Free-essay sites such as 123helpme also cannot be used and should never be part of your essay in any way.

– Do not plagiarize. If you are using the words of a source, use quotation marks. If you are using just the ideas of a source, it still must be cited in the text.

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