“He That Hath Wings,” Edmond Hamilton, 1938

“He That Hath Wings,” Edmond Hamilton, 1938 — A winged man is forced to choose between being a “freak”and a productive member of (capitalist) society (i.e., a provider-husband and son-in-law who can inherit the family business).  His wife and father-in-law pressure him to become normal; they’re repulsed by the idea that he might continue to fly, living life like a “roaming” creature, more like an “animal” than a man.  He cuts off his wings for love, has a son, and seems satisfied. When the wings grow back, he can’t resist the urge to test them out before cutting them off again–but during his test flight, he flies over the ocean and allows himself to die.

Comments:  Icarus undertones, perhaps. Another Hamilton story in which the protagonist commits suicide rather than continue to live in a world that rejects or offends him. Read in The Best of Hamilton.

Author: Wikipedia: “Edmond Moore Hamilton (October 21, 1904 – February 1, 1977) was an American author of science fiction stories and novels during the mid-twentieth.”  “World-wrecker” Hamilton was an extremely prolific writer, particularly of space opera, and appeared frequently in Weird Tales.  He was close friends with many prominent genre writers, including Jack Williamson, and was married to Leigh Brackett, a science fiction writer and a screen writer of several notable screenplays.


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1926-1939, animals/insects, capitalism/Marxism, freaks/misfits, male anxiety, masculinity, myth, primitive/civilized, suicide, the body, the Other. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “He That Hath Wings,” Edmond Hamilton, 1938

  1. L M says:

    Sad story . Ahead of its time in a certain way. Has far reaching meaning.
    It is still a mainly forgotten story. If it were not for the internet and websites like this, it would probably be completely forgotten.

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