"IN THE MIDST OF BLACK SEAS OF INFINITY": THE UNDOING OF THE AMERICAN DREAM OF H. P. LOVECRAFT
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In this paper, I attempt to examine the writing of H. P. Lovecraft as a reflection of the anxieties around the notion of the American national identity in his era. Rather than simply a product of cosmic pessimism, I argue that Lovecraft’s writings reflect his anxieties around the state of America itself. By first examining Lovecraft’s skepticism of American foundational myths and self-conceptions in “The Doom that Came to Sarnath” and “The Dunwich Horror,” followed by an examination of his fears of an encroaching globalization and modernization that threatens the very idea of what it means to be an American as reflected in “The Call of Cthulhu” and “At the Mountains of Madness,” I argue that Lovecraft’s works reflect his own terrors of the instability and insubstantiality of the nation itself in the face of a rapidly changing modern world.