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...
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