The Beast In The Cave by H.P. Lovecraft (Analysis)

Being a fan of horror and researching the main figures within the horror genre I have found may instances of H.P. Lovecraft.  I decided to purchase all the fiction written by Lovecraft and began reading.  The majority are simple short stories.  Lovecraft made no large works.  The largest being considered a small novella.  Even without the length of most writers I find Lovecraft to have a very unique style.  It is important to remember that during his life Lovecraft was only published once.  He never received the fame he deserved until far after his death.  Luckily his work was uncovered and received the acclimation it deserves.

The first story of Lovecraft’s i have read was “The Beast In The Cave”.  What I find most interesting about this piece was the age of Lovecraft.  At 15 he was able to create a story which  was far more than anyone would expect from someone so young.  The descriptions were beautiful, but more importantly the content was truly original.  The setting is deep within a cave system.  It seems as though Lovecraft took a novel and simply wrote the climax down.  The horror is two fold with the first being very shortly after the story begins.  Here he puts his main character alone, lost, underground, and in pitch black.  Each of these separately can cause extreme fear within many individuals.  Writing a horror story in a cave is an extremely brilliant setting.

The next fear is in the form of danger.  We have already discussed what fears have been present from the beginning, but for many this would not be enough to inspire anxiety, but with the addition of an unknown animal the fear begins to intensify.  Even if you are not afraid of being lost within a cave, having to content with a threat which may end your life would probably at the very least inspire some distress.  The tale continues with the character grabbing large stones and very quietly and patiently waiting for the right moment to strike.  Though this part is only a few hundred words from the beginning of the story it still is a very suitable climax.  I was easily able to place myself in the position and was able to feel what it would be to have a very limited ability to protect myself.

The story continues just like the majority of horror tales.  The ending offers quite a surprise I would prefer not to spoil.  Suffice to say this very simply and very small introduction to the works of Lovecraft exemplifies his ability to create terror and an interesting tale.  I am sure after a hundred years the tales of Lovecraft can be found online for free, but if you are a fan of the horror genre then I recommend stopping by amazon or barnes and noble to pick up a copy.