The narrator

The unnamed narrator who tells the story. The narrator provides a combination of first-person limited narration by speaking directly to the audience and third-person omniscient narration while describing the city of Omelas. As details emerge, it becomes apparent that the narrator may be inventing the city as they are telling the tale.

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The suffering child

The central figure of the story and the allegory’s primary symbol. The suffering child is kept underground in a dark room and receives no kindness or help from the people who come to observe it. If the child is helped or shown kindness in any way, the perfect utopia of Omelas would be destroyed.

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The ones who walk away from Omelas

The handful of citizens who decide to leave Omelas forever after seeing the child. They are of all ages and genders. Their rejection of Omelas reflects their rejection of the oppression of others as a means to perpetuate a seemingly perfect society.