- Term Papers and Free Essays

Howard Zinn And Ursula K Le Guin

Essay by   •  November 27, 2010  •  854 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,449 Views

Essay Preview: Howard Zinn And Ursula K Le Guin

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

~this is a paper compairing Howard Zinn's "Columbus, Indians, and Human Progress" to Ursula K Le Guin "the ones who walked away from omlas" ~

We must digress. A fundamental aspect of American society is our right to digress. Whether it is with other citizens, or the government, or even HISTORY itself, we have inalienable right to say Ð''no'. Some choose to exercise this right, some choose to let it wither away, but seek contentment in knowing it is there, Ð''just in case'.

Disagreeing is a major theme in Howard Zinn's story "Columbus, Indians, and Human Progress". It seeks to enlighten the reader in regard to America's history; the REAL history where our forerunners murdered countless indigenous peoples so that they could "discover" this land; the history where our founding fathers built our courthouses and libraries on the cold earth where the blood of the Ð''Indians' was spilt because Ð''it was just too hard to do it any other way'; where bodies of the innocent natives lay in silent anguish, outraged that their homeland, for so many generations was cruelly wrested from their grasp by the strangers from distant lands. It paints a picture of our country's Ð''glorious' history that the average American is not used to seeing.

The piece, "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula Le Guin, creates an elaborate metaphor to describe the actions of those who are faced with the cold hard reality that, as a country, we are not heroes. We are not pioneers. We are not worthy of praise and admiration. We are murderers.

In Le Guin's story, the town of Ð''Omelas' is described as being nearly perfect. All types of excellence is found there, ranging from artistic and musical, to medical and technological. "But even with such splendor to their name, the people of Omelas find no joy." I find this to be correlative with the contemporary view of America and its people that, although we lead the world in almost everything, have better and larger quantities of things than any other people in the entire world, we are still unhappy. Our society is as much proof of the progress paradox as anyone should ever need.

The people of Omelas live under some unspoken horror; some realize this, some do not. As the story says, "Some people come to see it, some are merely content to know it is there." Those that know it do not speak of it, and those that do not know it shall eventually come to meet it. There is something horrible in the darkest recesses of that town. Something disturbing; Something chilling; Something no one wants to know, but that no one can escape. American History is like that. Regardless of whether you perceive what it really is, it is there, waiting for you to find it. Some discover it relatively early. Some go to their graves without ever meeting it, but it is there either way: the cold hard truth. For the town of Omelas, that truth is a small child, "malnourished and neglected" as the story goes, but



Download as:   txt (4.8 Kb)   pdf (75.4 Kb)   docx (10.4 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on