an After abortion

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Monday, January 26, 2004

The post just below is about Ursula Le Guin's allegedly positive feelings about her youthful abortion. Sharp-eyed reader The Raving Atheist sent me some links about one of her famous short stories, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.

This essay includes a synopsis. As you read it, bear in mind that Le Guin speaks positively of her abortion because of the life it made possible for her.

Let’s recall the story told by Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” In this short story, the residents of the town Omelas live in perfect harmony. They enjoy a heavenly utopia of beauty, friendship, and vitality. But by some cosmic juxtaposition of Ying balancing Yang, the foundation of all their delirious joy is the suffering and indignity of small child who remains alone locked in a basement without light or visitors.

Le Guin writes: “They all know [the child] is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it; others are content merely to know it is there. They all know that it has to be there. Some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendship, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery.”

Or its death, as the case may be.

I can't read this and believe that Le Guin isn't experiencing significant mixed feelings about her abortion, if only on a subconscious level.

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