I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream Analysis

Decent Essays

“I have no mouth, but I must scream”, is a book written by Harlan Ellison that recounts the tale of the demise of the human civilization at the hands of a sentient master-computer named “AM” who, after gaining sentience, picks five random people to torment for eternity to appease its endless rage. Ted, one of the “survivors” who has been tormented for the past 109 years, proves that despite living in a literal hell, a human is inherently an altruistic being able to sacrifice himself to save his kin from despair. Two of the main points that lead me to this thesis and that will touched on are: The buildup of the heinous acts of “AM” on the group, and Ted’s selfless act to save the others despite not being too close with each other. Firstly, we must understand to what abominable extent AM has gone to torture these poor souls and how low of a point he drives them to. Four of them are altered physically and mentally. “AM” gave them all artificial immortality to survive the most …show more content…

While the group is looking for the next stash of food "promised" by "AM", the group stumbles upon a cavern with ice crystals and Ted realizes how he can save them. "All in an instant: I drove the great ice-point ahead of me like a battering ram, braced against my right thigh. It struck Benny on the right side [...] All in an instant." The use of "All in an instant" here leads me to believe that Ellison wanted to show us that when Ted finally found a way to beat "AM", he didn't think about the consequences afterwards and his human nature took over his body in a way. This eventually lead to everyone dying except for himself. Furthermore, Ted stated about his group "But those scum, all four of them, they were lined and arrayed against me.", which leads us to think that he'd never do anything to save their skins over his; once again implying that human nature is inherently

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