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Word Count: 922
True happiness is relative Often people decide that certain achievements will bring them to be happy such as money family and friends However sometimes the means by which people strive to achieve these goals are evil or immoral This contradiction is depicted vividly in the story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula LeGuin in which one towns entire success is based on one boys suffering Another prime example of the misguided motive is the story Greasy Lake by Tom Boyle in which three bad boys come to terms with their unhealthy and destructive behavior The two stories present very similar points with slightly different lessons While the people of both Omelas and Greasy Lake have misconceptions about their supposedly happy lives they differ in that the bad boys of Greasy Lake learn why they need to change their behavior while the people of Omelas are already aware and continue to accept the evil root of their happiness The life that the people of Omelas live is one of mindless happiness Everything in their world is given to them and no one suffers No one has any problems However at the stem of the happiness is a tormented boy locked in a broom closet Without his suffering the towns contentment cannot continue All of the people of Omelas are made aware that he is there and they have to choose to live with that knowledge Similarly the boys of Greasy Lake are living a life that they think is happy They think they are bad because they drink do drugs and get in fights In both cases they are merely ignoring the possible consequences of their actions because they are so intent on fulfilling their goals They fail to realize that happiness can never be rooted with something degenerate The difference between the two situations is that the people of Omelas arent doing bad things to themselves They are letting someone else suffer
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