She seems to try and do away with one’s sense of immediate compassion and reason by lulling one into a false sense of justification.
Every detail she puts in the story is there to persuade the reader to think like the narrator and like the people of Omelas: to believe in a lie.
If the child were freed, it would supposedly lead to the destruction of this great city, therefore keeping it there is for the greater good. Le Guinn presents us with a moral crossroads, a true question of ethics that is left open ended. They may choose to sympathize with the people of Omelas and agree with the narrator.
Or, they may choose to make the revelation that there should be no happiness founded on the misery of others and blindness to truth, and if there is, that happiness is hollow.
As Jerre Collins describes in Leaving Omelas: Questions of Faith and Understanding, “The connection between the child’s suffering and the people’s happiness is stressed, yet while the narrator says that the connection can be understood, she advances no details…If the child’s suffering makes sense, that sense is not demonstrated.” (Collins 528).
From this, one might come to the conclusion that the preservation of the child’s despair is so heavily emphasized to make up for the fact that is completely illogical.
That is, the acquiescence of the Omelasians’ minds to believing the delusion of a sense of harmony provided by the child’s grief.
One could say that all the delights present in the city—the drugs, beer, and sex—all of them seem to provide distraction from the ugly truth of Omelas.
It can be said that the actual misery of this individual in itself is quite pointless, as there is never a concrete explanation given for how it causes Omelas to be such a successful, happy place.
However, what is and what man perceives something to be are two different things.