The Unmarried Mother

991 Words4 Pages
Initially published in the March 1959 issue of “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction”, the story explores the notion of causal loops – a sequence of events that form the antecedent of a future event which is a cause of the original sequence of events – as possible consequences of time travel. It introduces the reader to the intersex main character (known as the ‘Unmarried Mother), who through a tangled series of time travels, realizes that he is the cause of his own birth in that he is his own mother and father. However, at the end, when the author reveals that all the major characters within the narrative were one and the same, it is also possible to view the story as a framework for an investigation into solipsism. Solipsism is the…show more content…
In the phrase, the Unmarried Mother questions the existence of people external to him. He understands that he is the cause of his own existence whereas others are not able to determine the cause for their existence. To the Unmarried Mother this implies that they do not really exist which is evident in the phrase “You aren’t really there at all. There isn’t anybody but me”. This is consistent with the ideas of solipsism which takes the stance that the self is the only thing that can be known to exist and knowledge of the external world is unjustified. According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, solipsism is occasionally conveyed through the view that "I am the only mind which exists," or "My mental states are the only mental states." This view of the existence of the mind or the mental state of the individual self is consistent with the idea that only the individual self exists. This idea of the existence of the mind of the individual has also been addressed within the…show more content…
This is evident in the phrase “I felt a headache coming on, but a headache powder is one thing I do not take. I did once—and you all went away.” The headache is an experience or sensation experienced by the individual. By taking the headache powder to soothe his mind the Bartender realises that other people no longer existed.This emphasizes the idea that the existence of others is not independent but are just dependent solely on the mental states of the individual whose mind is the only mind that
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