The essay should be saved as word doc and sent as an attachment

Essay 2 is based on Ursula K. LeGuinn’s short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (1973) and George Saunders’ “The Semplica Girl Diaries” (2002)

Overview: Both “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” and “Semplica Girl” are stories that write “allegorically” of exploitation.

In an article from the New York Times, “The Child in the Basement” David Brooks (posted on Blackboard) writes that “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” is a parable of exploitation, mirroring the exploitation on which the happiness and wealth of many a modern day society is based.

Likewise, “Semplica Girl” explores modern-day slavery in America. When you write about the story, please focus on the SG’s as “property” or objects owned by the rich of America as “lawn ornaments.” We concluded that the story is on human trafficking, but you need to ask who benefits from human trafficking in this story, how, and who are the victims of human trafficking?

Write an essay on “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” and “The Semplica Girl Diaries” as allegories that explore the dark side of capitalism and consumerism. Use ideas from David Brook’s article in your essay. One of the ideas proposed by Brooks is that we suffer as a society because we buy into a “social contract” that make us turn a blind eye to exploitation on which our very own lives are based. Instead of a “social contract” should we base our lives on a “moral contract” instead? A “contract” that would inspire us to live morally good lives, like the child Eva in “Semplica Girls Diaries”?

Essays should be:

  • 3-4 pages long.
  • Double-spaced
  • Sent as Word Document and not cut and pasted on Blackboard
  • Should have the writer’s name and the class specifics
  • Should have a title
  • Should have a font size of 12, Times Roman

Your essay will be evaluated on the basis of two aspects of essay writing:

  • Content or the quality of your thoughts expressed
  • Structure or the adherence to the rules of grammar, organization and clarity


  • Essay must have a central thesis. The topic is not=a thesis. A thesis is an argument you make that you then support with analysis of materials from the texts. “Omelas is a parable of exploitation” is not a thesis but a statement or an observation. A thesis is your point of view on how happiness in our society is dependent on exploitation. Eg. “Though most citizens in Omelas are good people, sometimes it is not enough to be good to achieve the ideal of peace and happiness; citizens have to turn a blind eye to many injustices to make a trade off with larger goals of happiness.” A Thesis is a complex sentence, and can often have two parts to it as evidenced by the example above.
  • Essay must have a solid structure with an Introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion.
  • The Introduction is key to an essay; the introduction establishes a bigger context within which the thesis can then be understood
  • In your essay you need to be analytical, not simply describe the plot summary of stories
  • In the essay, you need to use at least 3 quotations from the stories and you can use outside material as well.
  • The essay must demonstrate paragraphing skills, i.e. paragraphs must have unity and focus and specific topic sentences.


  • The essay must be organized well.
  • There should be transition from paragraph to paragraph in the essay. Avoid abrupt moves from one point of the essay to another.
  • Essays must be grammatically correct.

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