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The stories “2BR02B” and “The Ones That Walk Away from Omelas” are literary works that explore the essence and life of man succinctly and effectively. “The Ones That Walk Away from Omelas,” written by Ursula K. Le Guin, portrays an empyreal community where the inhabitants derive the most pleasure. Alternatively, “2BR02B” refers to a world of people with infinite lifespans that are subject to population control imposed by the ruling regime. The subjects in the story are constrained to a fixed population growth rate. There are some parallels and variations in the tone and atmosphere of the two novels.
In both the stories, the setting is mainly drawn from the imaginary world. The settings do not allude to a specific and existing locations on earth. To begin with, in the story “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas”, Omelas is an empyreal setting which is said to be the ideal place for human existence. Essentially, it contains everything that one might think of and consequently, the author indicates that the reader can picture the city “as they like it” and it would be just that. Similarly, in the story “2BRO2B”, the setting is projected to be one which is made up of a specific 40 million individuals (Vonnegut 9). In the setting, the individuals are allowed the freedom to live indefinitely. Furthermore, there is absence of prisons, slums, cripples, poverty and war in the setting. Thus, in both scenarios, the authors create settings which are perfect and ideal for human sustenance.
Alternatively, the tones engaged by the authors of the stories reflect several similarities. The speakers in the stories both engage a language that shows an indifference to the plight of the characters documented in the stories. In the story “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas”, the speaker distances themselves from their and shows an indifference to the tribulations that face the child who is plagued by a defection. The speaker employs the word “it” to refer to the child and further goes ahead to call the child feeble-minded (Le Guin 358). Equally, the tone of the story “2BR02b” is indifferent to the plight of individuals who have to sacrifice their loved ones as a result of the limiting population policies in the setting. The speaker in the story predicates that the government-assisted suicide is a necessary measure in order to ensure that the manifestation of evil is preempted and every individual is extended equal opportunities.
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Despite the many similarities which are shared across the two stories, there are tone and setting differences to be found. To begin with, while the tone engaged by the narrator in “2BR02B” is hopeful, the tone in “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas” is resigned (Le Guin 359). In the former, the speaker engages that portrays the people of Omelas to have accepted the fate of the child as a necessary evil to an otherwise perfect existence. Consequently, none of the residents of Omelas is willing to alleviate the tribulations which face the child. The author indicates that these individuals know where the child is, “some of them have come to see it, others are content merely to know it is there” and refuse to take any responsibility with regards to the child.
On the other hand, while the setting in the story “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas” is presented to have a fault in the form of the child, the speaker in “2BR02B”, despite the glaring inadequacies in the population policies in the region, presents an image of a region that is utopic. Furthermore, the setting of the story “2BR02B” is limited in scope given that the story mainly circulates around the hospital (Vonnegut 12), while the setting in “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas” is more expansive as it covers the entire Omelas region .
There are several similarities and differences observed in the two stories. They share similarities in the setting and tone structures. For instance, the stories were both created in utopic settings which were presented to be without problems. Likewise, the narrators in both the stories engage a tone that is indifferent to the pleas of the afflicted in the given communities. Some of the tonal differences are observed when the speaker in the story “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas” applies a tone that is resigned, the story “2BR02B” engages a hopeful tone.
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Le Guin, Ursula K. The Wind's twelve quarters: Short stories. New York : Harper & Row , 1975.
Vonnegut, Kurt. 2BR02B. South Carolina: CreateSpace Publishing Platform , 2012.
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