Howard Philips Lovecraft: Master Of Gothic Stories

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Howard Philips Lovecraft: Master Of Gothic Stories

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The last point is how Willy's denial of reality made him miserable. One of the key points of the story is, without a doubt,. His Sunday-school book is his guide to became a good little boy when he tries to help the bad little boys to become good but it always got him in trouble. By using the critical strategy formalism helps identify why foreshadowing, point of view, and characterisation to explain the story. When you try to help someone you eventually get pulled into the bad that they are doing. That is what this story is all about. Which is inferred more as the novel continues. Lovecraft did not made up the terror he reflected in his stories, it is the terror of what he faced and struggled, that affected him deeply to the extent to write about it.

He had a rough life, as the history of his family is full of human delicacy and nervous breakdowns. Moreover, he dropped out of school, without graduating, and that made Lovecraft battle unemployment for the rest of his life. Lovecraft depended on a theory, which is a result of his lifetime results and beliefs that he applied in his works.

This theory is Cosmicism,. What was it? Again the author shows what kind of negative impact the lack of communication can have, in this case particularly with the child, which is caught in the middle of his parents. He ultimately fails miserably and everyone, including himself, becomes taken over by their inner savage. William Golding took his own experiences in order to create the novel Lord of the Flies. The memory of their former world is heavily engraved in the kid 's minds as they attempt to create a civilized society.

Growing up in a Hispanic household and wanting to learn and become like his teachers separated himself from his culture. Rodriguez began to lose his own identity. His desire to read and write created an isolation from his parents. Although he loved them, he was embarrassed of their lack of education. A few years later he and Greene, still living separately, agreed to an amicable divorce, which was never fully completed.

He returned to Providence to live with his aunts during their remaining years. Due to the unhappiness of their marriage, some biographers have speculated that Lovecraft could have been asexual, though Greene is often quoted as referring to him as "an adequately excellent lover". Back in Providence, Lovecraft lived in a "spacious brown Victorian wooden house" at 10 Barnes Street the address given as the home of Dr. The period after his return to Providence—the last decade of his life—was Lovecraft's most prolific.

During this time period he produced almost all of his best-known short stories for the leading pulp publications of the day primarily Weird Tales as well as longer efforts like The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and At the Mountains of Madness. He frequently revised work for other authors and did a large amount of ghost-writing, including " The Mound ", " Winged Death ", and " The Diary of Alonzo Typer ". Despite his best writing efforts, however, he grew ever poorer.

He was forced to move to smaller and meaner lodgings with his surviving aunt. He was also deeply affected by Robert E. Howard's suicide. In he was diagnosed with cancer of the intestine and he also suffered from malnutrition. He lived in constant pain until his death on March 15, in Providence. Lovecraft was listed along with his parents on the Phillips family monument. Lovecraft's grave in Swan Point Cemetery in Providence is occasionally marked with graffiti quoting his famous phrase from "The Call of Cthulhu" originally from " The Nameless City " :.

Lansdale, to name just a few — have cited Lovecraft as one of their primary influences. Lovecraft himself, though, was relatively unknown during his own time. While his stories might have made it into the pages of prominent pulp magazines such as Weird Tales often eliciting letters of outrage from regular readers of the magazines , not many people knew his name. He did correspond regularly with other contemporary writers such as Clark Ashton Smith and August Derleth , people who became good friends of his, even if they never met in person. Would Lovecraft have approved of Derleth's expansions?

Lovecraft's fiction has been grouped into three categories by some critics. While Lovecraft did not refer to these categories himself, he did once write, "There are my 'Poe' pieces and my 'Dunsany pieces' — but alas — where are my Lovecraft pieces? Some critics see little difference between the Dream Cycle and the Mythos, often pointing to the recurring Necronomicon and subsequent "gods". A frequently given explanation is that the Dream Cycle belongs more to the genre of fantasy, while the Mythos is science fiction. Also, much of the supernatural elements in the Dream Cycle takes place in its own sphere or mythological dimension separated from our own level of existence.

The Mythos on the other hand, is placed within the same reality and cosmos as the humans live in. Much of Lovecraft's work was directly inspired by his nightmares, and it is perhaps this direct insight into the unconscious and its symbolism that helps to account for their continuing resonance and popularity. All these interests naturally led to his deep affection for the works of Edgar Allan Poe, who heavily influenced his earliest macabre stories and writing style known for its creepy atmosphere and lurking fears.

Lovecraft's discovery of the stories of Lord Dunsany with their gallery of mighty gods existing in dreamlike outer realms, moved his writing in a new direction, resulting in a series of imitative fantasies in a "Dreamlands" setting. Another inspiration came from a totally different kind of source; the scientific progresses at the time in such wide areas as biology, astronomy, geology and physics, all contributed to make the human race seem even more insignificant, powerless and doomed in a materialistic and mechanical universe, and was a major contributor to the ideas that later would be known as cosmicism , and which gave further support to his atheism.

Because of his love for his own heritage and because of the USA's relatively young age as a nation and therefore the need to create locations that would still give the feeling of something old and at the same time western, Lovecraft also added elements such as fictional New England towns and locations where the stories took place. It was probably the influence of Arthur Machen , with his carefully constructed tales concerning the survival of ancient evil into modern times in an otherwise realistic world and his mystic beliefs in hidden mysteries which lay behind reality, that added the last ingredient and finally helped inspire Lovecraft to find his own voice from onwards.

This took on a dark tone with the creation of what is today often called the Cthulhu Mythos , a pantheon of alien extra-dimensional deities and horrors which predate humanity, and which are hinted at in aeon-old myths and legends. The term "Cthulhu Mythos" was coined by Lovecraft's correspondent and fellow author, August Derleth, after Lovecraft's death; Lovecraft jocularly referred to his artificial mythology as "Yog-Sothothery"[2]. His stories created one of the most influential plot devices in all of horror: the Necronomicon, the secret grimoire written by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred.

The resonance and strength of the Mythos concept have led some to incorrectly conclude that Lovecraft had based it on pre-existing myths or occult beliefs. Faux editions of the Necronomicon have also been published over the years. His prose is somewhat antiquarian. Often he employed archaic vocabulary or spelling which had already by his time been replaced by contemporary coinages; examples including electric torch flashlight , Esquimau, and Comanchian. He was given to heavy use of an esoteric lexicon including such words as "eldritch," "rugose," "noisome," "squamous," "ichor," and "cyclopean," and of attempts to transcribe dialect speech which have been criticized as clumsy, imprecise, and condescending.

Lovecraft was a prolific letter writer. During his lifetime he wrote thousands of these letters, however the exact number of letters he wrote is still hotly debated. An estimate of , seems to be the most likely figure, arrived at by L. Sprague de Camp. Lovecraft inscribed multiple pages to his group of correspondents in small longhand. He sometimes dated his letters years before the current date, which would have put the writing back in U. He explained that he thought that the 18th and 20th centuries were the "best"; the former being a period of noble grace, and the latter a century of science.

Lovecraft's protagonists are nevertheless always driven to this "piecing together," delving into aspects of the universe which humanity has not - or should not - tried to understand. When such vistas are opened, the mind of the protagonist-investigator is often destroyed. Those who actually encounter "living" manifestations of the incomprehensible are particularly likely to go mad. Those characters who attempt to make use of such knowledge are almost invariably doomed. Sometimes their work attracts the attention of malevolent beings; sometimes, in the spirit of Frankenstein, they are destroyed by monsters of their own creation.

The beings of Lovecraft's mythos often have human or mostly human servants; Cthulhu, for instance, is worshipped under various names by cults amongst both the Eskimos of Greenland and voodoo circles of Louisiana, and in many other parts of the world. Likewise, certain locales or groups of people owe their heritage or are influenced by nonhuman forces; Innsmouth, a town whose population has a history of interbreeding with Deep Ones and worshipping Dagon, is an example.

These worshippers served a useful narrative purpose for Lovecraft. Many beings of the Mythos are too powerful to be defeated by human opponents, and so horrific that direct knowledge of them means insanity for the victim. When dealing with such beings, Lovecraft needed a way to provide exposition and build tension without bringing the story to a premature end. Human followers gave him a way to reveal information about their "gods" in a diluted form, and also made it possible for his protagonists to win temporary victories. Lovecraft, like his contemporaries, envisioned "savages" as closer to the Earth, only in Lovecraft's case, this meant, so to speak, closer to Cthulhu.

Another recurring theme in Lovecraft's stories is the idea that descendants in a bloodline can never escape the stain of atrocities committed by their forebears. In some cases, this atavism manifests physically, with characters showing genetic traits that link them to nonhuman or inhuman ancestors, and thereby to the grotesqueries associated with them. Often in Lovecraft's works the protagonist is not in control of his own actions, or finds it impossible to change course.

Many of his characters would be free from danger if they simply managed to run away; however, this possibility either never arises or is somehow curtailed by some outside force, as in " The Colour Out of Space ". Often his characters are subject to a compulsive influence from powerful malevolent or indifferent beings. As with the inevitability of one's ancestry, eventually even running away, or death itself, provides no safety The Thing on the Doorstep , The Outsider , The Case of Charles Dexter Ward , etc. In some cases, this doom is manifest in the entirety of humanity, and no escape is possible The Shadow Out of Time. Lovecraft frequently dealt with the idea of civilization struggling against more barbaric, primitive elements.

In some stories this struggle is at an individual level; many of his protagonists are cultured, highly-educated men who are gradually corrupted by some evil influence. In such stories, the "curse" is often a hereditary one, either because of interbreeding with non-humans e. Physical and mental degradation often come together; this theme of 'tainted blood' may represent concerns relating to Lovecraft's own family history, particularly the death of his father due to what Lovecraft must have suspected to be a syphilitic disorder.

In other tales, an entire society is threatened by barbarism. Sometimes the barbarism comes as an external threat, with a civilized race destroyed in war e. Sometimes, an isolated pocket of humanity falls into decadence and atavism of its own accord e. But most often, such stories involve a civilized culture being gradually undermined by a malevolent underclass influenced by inhuman forces. Despite the unique and interesting nature of many of Lovecraft's works, several are marred by a racist streak deeply ingrained in the author's personality. Lovecraft once took this to an extreme, explicitly characterizing black people as sub-human:.

In " The Call of Cthulhu " he writes of a captured group of "mongrel" worshippers of Cthulhu:. The residents of Innsmouth not only worship the Deep One gods of Dagon and Mother Hydra but intermarry with the creatures, resulting in hybrids whose features are frequently described as repulsive and seem to have no personal interests beyond swimming and drinking bootleg liquor. The elderly Zadok Allen , a remnant from before the Deep Ones completely took over the town, seems more horrified by the concept of interbreeding than by his neighbors' habit of human sacrifices. The people outside of Innsmouth think this is the result of interracial matches and that the mysterious Innsmouth religion is also the result of mixing the beliefs of foreigners with Christianity but feel this is enough reason to hate them.

The town itself is destitute and rotting, as though the hybrids have no desire to fight the decay of their home. The Elder Sign , which is used by islander to protect themselves from the Deep Ones, is described as looking like a Swastika. In " Herbert West--Reanimator ," Lovecraft gives an account of a newly deceased black male. He asserts:. In " The Horror at Red Hook ", one character is described as "an Arab with a hatefully negroid mouth". In " Medusa's Coil ," ghostwritten by Lovecraft for Zealia Bishop , the story's final surprise--after the revelation that the story's villain is a vampiric medusa--is that she:.

In " The Case of Charles Dexter Ward ," there is a somewhat more patronizing description of an African - New English couple: "The present negro inhabitants were known to him, and he was very courteously shewn about the interior by old Asa and his stout wife Hannah. Lovecraft married a woman of Ukrainian Jewish ancestry, Sonia Greene, who later said she had to repeatedly remind Lovecraft of her background when he made anti-Semitic remarks.

He seemed almost to lose his mind. To some extent, Lovecraft's ideas regarding race reflect attitudes common in his era; racial segregation laws were enforced throughout much of the United States and many states had enacted eugenics laws and prohibitions against "miscegenation" which were also common in non-Roman Catholic areas of Europe. A popular movement during the s succeeded in drastically restricting immigration to the United States, culminating in the Immigration Act of , which featured expert testimony to the United States Congress on the threat to American society from the assimilation of more "inferior stock" from eastern and southern Europe.

Lovecraft was an avowed Anglophile, and held English culture to be the comparative pinnacle of civilization, with the descendants of the English in America as something of a second-class offshoot, and everyone else below them see, for example, his poem "An American to Mother England". Lovecraft's ideas about eugenics often extended to his white characters.

He showed greater sympathy for white and culturally European groups. The narrator of " Cool Air " speaks disparagingly of the poor Hispanics of his neighborhood, but respects the wealthy and aristocratic Spaniard Dr. In " The Temple ," Lovecraft's narrator is a highly unsympathetic figure: a World War I U-boat captain whose faith in his "iron German will" and the superiority of the Fatherland lead him to machine-gun survivors in lifeboats and, later, kill his own crew, while blinding him to the curse he has brought upon himself.

However, according to Lovecraft: A Biography, by L. Sprague de Camp , Lovecraft was horrified by reports of anti-Semitic violence in Germany prior to World War II, which Lovecraft did not live to see , suggesting that Lovecraft was opposed to violent extermination of those he regarded as "inferiors". Lovecraft's racism has been a continued focus of scholarly and interpretive interest. Joshi , one of the foremost Lovecraft scholars, notes that "There is no denying the reality of Lovecraft's racism, nor can it merely be passed off as "typical of his time," for it appears that Lovecraft expressed his views more pronouncedly although usually not for publication than many others of his era. It is also foolish to deny that racism enters into his fiction.

Lovecraft: Against The World, Against Life, " Michel Houellebecq argues that "racial hatred" provided the emotional force and inspiration for much of Lovecraft's greatest works. Lovecraft racist antagonism is a corollary of his nihilistic notion of biological determinism: At the Mountains of Madness , in which explorers discover evidence of a completely alien race the Elder Things who created human beings through bioengineering but who were eventually destroyed by their brutish shoggoth slaves. Even after several members of the party are killed by revived Elder Things , Lovecraft's narrator expresses sympathy for them: "They were the men of another age and another order of being God, what intelligence and persistence!

What a facing of the incredible Radiates, vegetables, monstrosities, star spawn — whatever they had been, they were men! These lines of thought in Lovecraft's worldview -- racism and romantic reactionary defense of cultural order in the face of the degenerative modern world -- have led some scholars to see a special affinity to the aristocratic, anti-modernism of Traditionalist Julius Evola:. Some have interpreted Lovecraft's racial attitude as being more cultural than brutally biological: Lovecraft showed sympathy to others who were pacifically assimilated into Western culture, to the extent of even marrying a Jewish woman whom he viewed as "well assimilated".

Women in Lovecraft's fiction are rare, and sympathetic women virtually non-existent; the few leading female characters in his stories — like Asenath Waite though actually an evil male wizard who has taken over an innocent girl's body in " The Thing on the Doorstep " and Lavinia Whateley in " The Dunwich Horror " — are invariably servants of sinister forces. Romance is likewise almost absent from his stories; where he touches on love, it is usually a platonic love e. His characters live in a world where sexuality is negatively connotated — if it is productive at all, it gives birth to less-than-human beings "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth". In this context, it might be helpful to draw attention to the scale of Lovecraft's horror, which has often been described by critics as "cosmic horror.

Consequently, it is not female sexuality to which the stories categorically deny a vital and positive role — rather, it is human sexuality in general. Also, Lovecraft states in a private letter to one of the several female intellectuals he befriended that discrimination against women is an "oriental" superstition from which "aryans" ought to free themselves: evident racism aside, the letter seems to preclude at least conscious misogyny as does, indeed, his private life otherwise. At the turn of the 20th century, man's increased reliance upon science was both opening new worlds and solidifying the manners by which he could understand them.

Lovecraft portrays this potential for a growing gap of man's understanding of the universe as a potential for horror. Most notably in "The Colour Out of Space," the inability of science to comprehend a meteorite leads to horror. In a letter to James F. Morton in , Lovecraft specifically points to Einstein's theory on relativity as throwing the world into chaos and making the cosmos a jest. And in a letter to Woodburn Harris, he speculates that technological comforts risk the collapse of science.

Indeed, at a time when men viewed science as limitless and powerful, Lovecraft imagined alternative potential and fearful outcomes. Lovecraft was influenced by such authors as Robert W.

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