The Beast in the Cave

In: English and Literature

Submitted By shpawk
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The Beast in the Cave Analysis The horror genre of literature has lasted due to the desire to know what is unknown. Its psychological aspects keeps readers continuing to tantalize themselves as they ponder answers to questions such as “What is behind the door?” Author H.P. Lovecraft understands this concept when he states “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,'' and creates tormenting sensory details within his stories (Handler 1). Written at age 14, The Beast in the Cave shares the same question asked by so many readers (1). Many questions about what exactly this beast is create suspense in readers, leading to a twist in what it truly is, potentially as a symbol for racism. The negative attitudes and moods within Lovecraft’s writings are likely attributed to his tragic childhood. Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1890. At the age of three, his father developed a mental disorder via syphilis that was untreated (H.P. 1). After three years, his father was hospitalized in Providence until his death in 1898. Lovecraft lived a reclusive life, departing high school before receiving a diploma due to a nervous breakdown (H.P.). Lovecraft died on March 15, 1937 from cancer, and after death, grew more popular over time. His stories have inspired writers such as Steven King and Neil Gaiman (2). The Beast in the Cave is a short story of the horror genre, regarding the adventures of an unnamed man through Mammoth Cave. This narrative begins with a man who had previously been with a guide, but had been separated from him. “I was lost, completely, hopelessly lost. . .” (Lovecraft 1) shows that the protagonist is losing his hopes of leaving this cave. After an inner monologue of what could become of him, the unnamed man begins to hear sounds similar to an animal. Believing that it is a mountain lion or a carnivorous beast, he…...

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