Anna X.

"The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" Book Illustrations

Three illustration spreads for a hypothetical book of the Ursula K. Le Guin short story, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas." Done in watercolor, gouache and color pencil.

"But even granted trains, I fear that Omelas so farstrikes some of you as goody-goody. Smiles, bells, parades, horses, bleh. If so, pleaseadd an orgy. If an orgy would help, don't hesitate. Let us not, however, have templesfrom which issue beautiful nude priests and priestesses already half in ecstasy andready to copulate with any man or woman, lover or stranger, who desires union with thedeep godhead of the blood, although that was my first idea."

                                                                                                                         - Ursula K. Le Guin (The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas)

"Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy? No? Then let me describe one more thing.In a basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas, or perhaps in the cellar of one of its spacious private homes, there is a room. It has one locked door, and no window. A little light seeps in dustily between cracks in the boards, secondhand from a cobwebbed window somewhere across the cellar. In one corner of the little room a couple of mops, with stiff, clotted, foul-smelling heads stand near a rusty bucket. The floor is dirt, a little damp to the touch, as cellar dirt usually is. The room is about three paces long and two wide: a mere broom closet or disused tool room. In the room a child is sitting. It could be a boy or a girl. It looks about six, but actually is nearly ten. It is feeble-minded. Perhaps it was born defective, or perhaps it has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect."

                                                                                                                         - Ursula K. Le Guin (The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas)

"At times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go to see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all. Sometimes also a man or woman much older falls silent for a day or two, and then leaves home. These people go out into the street, and walk down the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas .... The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas."

                                                                                                                         - Ursula K. Le Guin (The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas)

Spreads with text

Thumbnails and Color Studies

Using Format