I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream ' By Harlan Ellison And Bloodchild By Octavia Butler

1719 Words Dec 5th, 2016 7 Pages
A hit tv-series like The Walking Dead (2010- ), a recent movie on vampires called Dracula Untold (2014), and popular games about aliens like Destiny (2014) are proof that monsters and, more generally, the uncanny are recipe for success in entertainment. However, the horror genre is founded in literature, the predecessor to visual mass entertainment. The narratives this essay focuses on to demonstrate that the representation of monsters is based on uncanniness are Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend as well as two short stories, namely ‘I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream’ by Harlan Ellison and ‘Bloodchild’ by Octavia Butler. My definition of monster encompasses any being or thing that creates fear in us. Thus, even artificial intelligence, or computers, will be considered monsters for the purpose of this essay. I will argue that it is specifically the loss of control over our lives and the associated helplessness that leads to extreme anxiety, fear and horror.

On the one hand, I argue that the appearance of the monsters is essential in establishing their uncanniness. This essay deals with three different monsters: mythical, technological and alien.
Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend is founded on monsters that have been written about for centuries. Vampires have been the essence of childish nightmares as well as adult anxieties for a long time and it is their long-standing mythical existence that exacerbates our fears. A sense of the uncanny arises ‘when the…

Related Documents