Le Guin primarily intended to portray Taoist enlightenment in “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” rather than a moral contemplation or lesson. She first describes Omelas as the pinnacle of human flourishing from a Taoist perspective, then how the residents of Omelas have achieved moral maturity through coming to terms with the necessity of evil, and finally she describes the even greater transcendence of those who have achieved detachment from the goods of Omelas, the Tao Masters. This interpretation is supported by parallels with the Tao Te Ching.

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