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Somebody mentioned this story on the Utena tag on tumblr... and looking into it there are a lot of similarities.
, which alone makes the comparison clear. I wonder if this was an inspiration.
I'm skeptical. It's been ages since I read that story but I think Le Guin was critiquing utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number). That's not what the duels are about. The one commonality is walking away from an immoral situation.
the commonality is a world that is like a fairy tale but comes at the cost of one person's suffering; one with a vaguely defined outside world that few choose to go to
the stories don't have to share the same "moral" to be similar, as all stories work on multiple levels
Ohhhhhhhh my god was this some-triangles.tumblr.com?
I've been a fan of his for a while now, which is a weird thing to say since he's (by his own admission) just some guy with a tumblr and makes me feel a little creepy. His liveblog has been basically the best though. He does have a tendency to hamfist literary references into scenarios that don't exactly apply, though. Which is fine and I love because it helps me pad my kindle.
People who love to talk about all the books they've read are good even if it sometimes makes you an asshole.
I'm having a little difficulty locating the post but I think he was specifically referencing Anthy's position in all this, as the person who bears the world's scorn. Anthy embodies a pretty common literary device there, and The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas explores that literary device about as thoroughly as something can in like a page and a half. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a relationship, intentional or not.
A lot of his interpretation also rests on the notion that Anthy is necessary for Akio to maintain the school as an illusion (which parallels omelas). I'm not going to speak to it that much other than to say that that was, at one point, a super unpopular theory in the fandom.
Does anyone know if it still is?
It's not a super popular theory that I'm aware of, no. It does tend to run alongside readings that basically suggest Akio, and the school by extension, are figments of her imagination, and both 'die' once she no longer relies on them. The counter to that theory, and the theory that he can't maintain the illusion without her, is that she says at the end:
Anthy: It's alright now. Please go on playing make-believe "Prince" in this comfortable little coffin forever.
On the other hand, the general impotence metaphor with Akio's keys from the movie suggests he's powerless without her. Both could be true--even if he can maintain the illusion without her, the point of the exercise revolved around Anthy. So he can keep the school, but the extremely flimsy rationale he had for its existence is gone. Arguably, this in and of itself implies the illusion will fall apart without her. The danger in that reading is now you have to have an answer, one way or another, for what Akio is and what happens to him. Leaving him in the school to play games forever dodges that a little more effectively.
I need to read this short story now. I have on and off been a fan of hers!