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I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
[PDF] I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream PDF by Harlan Ellison
No. Of Pages: 13
PDF Size: 82 KB
Language: English
Category: eBooks & Novels
Author: Harlan Ellison

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream Summary

The horrifying vision of Gorrister hanging upside down with his neck severed starts “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.” Gorrister rejoins the group almost immediately, and the reader realises that the initial picture was manufactured by the supercomputer, AM.

The scenario is described by Ted, the narrator, as follows: five survivors of a nuclear holocaust have been kept alive and tortured by a sentient supercomputer that has annihilated the rest of humanity. Ted informs the reader that they have spent 109 years inside the computer.

The survivors haven’t eaten in five days when the narrative begins, so they decide to go to the ice caves. One of the members of the gang, Nimdok, is confident that canned foods are there. The reader is then introduced to the remainder of the survivors by Ted. The four guys had sex with Ellen, a black lady. Benny, who was formerly a smart university professor, is now a deranged ape-like monster. Nimdok has no backstory other than AM’s decision to call him Nimdok since he enjoys unusual sounds. A gorrister is also defined as a “shoulder-shrugger,” someone who is incapable of making choices or taking responsibility.

Benny gets blinded by AM on the way to the ice caves. Gorrister consoles him by telling him how the Chinese, Russians, and Americans’ allied master computers connected up and became sentient. As a result, the reader gradually learns about these individuals and how they came to live within the computer, harassed and tortured by it. “Speaks” to the pilgrims after Benny is blinded, teasing their minds with horrific sensory illusions. Ted is especially affected by the event, and when he rejoins the gang, he seems to have changed. He is certain that the other survivors despise him.

AM then sends a storm, which is generated by a massive bird. The survivors take a beating and are thrown into the air. AM appeared to Ted as a “pillar of stainless steel displaying brilliant neon writing” in the middle of this. AM’s message to Ted is one of disdain for all people.

They get into the ice cave after these challenges and discover heaps of canned goodies. AM, on the other hand, has not provided them with a can opener. Driven insane by hatred, Benny assaults Gorrister and starts devouring his face. At this point, Ted recognises that death is their only option and that he has the tools to murder them all. With an ice spear, he charges towards Benny and Gorrister and kills them. Ted murders Ellen after she kills Nimdok.

At the end of the narrative, Ted describes how AM has transformed him. He has transformed into a “huge soft jelly thing.” Smoothly rounded, without a mouth, and where my eyes used to be, throbbing white holes filled with fog. ” AM has insured Ted’s inability to kill himself by altering him in this way. As a result, Ted is stuck for the rest of his life with his intellect intact but no means to be human. Ted’s greatest desire is to scream, yet he is unable to do so due to his lack of a mouth.

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