“The people at the door never say anything, but the child, who has not always lived in the tool room, and can remember sunlight and its mother’s voice, sometimes speaks. ‘I will be good,’ it says. ‘Please let me out. I will be good!’ They never answer.”

This quote highlights the unfairness and cruelty behind the child’s suffering. The child has been locked away and neglected for years, and yet it can still recognize the gravity of its suffering. It remembers its mother and sunlight, and therefore it remembers being free. The fact that the child remembers some semblance of happiness and freedom is a devastating revelation, and it further condemns the contract of Omelas. By calling out that it will be good, the child shows that it knows that its punishment is cruel and unfair. The descriptions of the child’s treatment and of its awareness are meant to startle.

“Their tears at the bitter injustice dry when they begin to perceive the terrible justice of reality, and to accept it.”

This quote appears at the end of the story. The narrator describes the ones who leave Omelas, the ones who reject the terms of the city due to their inability to enact any meaningful change for the suffering child. The narrator is unsure of where they go as they walk into the “darkness.” Omelas has been imagined by the narrator, and by describing their destination as “less imaginable,” the narrator suggests that they are unsure whether a fully fair and just society actually exists.