I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.
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Individual versus Machine

Any number of critics have noted that one of Ellison's favorite themes is the relationship between humans and the machines they create. Certainly, "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" explores what happens when people create machines "because our time was badly spent." Like other dystopian writers of the 1950s and 1960s, Ellison extrapolated trends he saw in his own culture and carried them to their extreme conclusions in an imaginary future he envisioned. Unlike a utopia (an imaginary, ideal world), a dystopia is a form of literature that describes a future, imaginary world that is far from ideal. In a dystopia, current trends are carried out to their most horrifying conclusions.

In "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream," humans have created computers as weapons of mass destruction. Although they have given the computers the ability to reason and think, they have not...

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This section contains 724 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.