I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream Essay

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In the following essay, Harris-Fain compares various versions of "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream," and finds that the narrator, Ted, is more completely divine and human than the computer.

And man has actually invented God ... the marvel is that such an idea ... could enter the head of such a savage, vicious beast as man.

If the devil doesn't exist, but man created him, he has created him in his own image.—Fyodor Dostoevsky

"I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" first appeared in If: Worlds of Science Fiction in March 1967, bought and edited by Frederik Pohl. It was printed without the now-familiar computer "talk-fields" and also was edited in several places: Ellison calls this "the Bowdlerizing of what Fred termed 'the difficult sections' of the story (which he contended might offend the mothers of the young readers of If." Specifically, Pohl omitted a...

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This section contains 5,123 words
(approx. 13 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream Study Guide
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