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Hidden knowledge and Man's Place in the Universe: a study of human incompetence and insignificance in the works of H.P. Lovecraft
2010 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay examines the works of New England's Howard Phillips Lovecraft, an early Twentieth Century writer of Horror and Science Fiction. His stories revolve around alien monsters and magical secrets that have a tendency to drive people mad, or lead to their death. In the first chapter of this essay the theme of Hidden Knowledge is explored and it is established that Lovecraft used it to show that humanity is not mentally capable of handling the truth about the Universe, but too curious to stay away from scientific research. It is also established that Lovecraft uses science to bridge the gap between traditional folklore and science fiction by the use of scientific explanations of traditional horror themes. Furthermore, Lovecraft is shown to portray humans as incapable of wielding the power that hidden knowledge brings and to argue that endeavoring to do so is akin to what used to be known as sorcery. This aspect of his writing is explored further in the second chapter, in which the main focus is on the theme of Man's Place in the Universe. Here the aforementioned alien monsters, called the Old Ones, are examined because they serve as a measuring stick to which humanity is compared. Next to them humanity seems miniscule, and the Universe seems much bigger and more bizarre than we ever knew. This is meant to humble us and make us realize that in the grand scheme of things, we are practically insignificant.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Humanities Theology
Keyword [sv]
Humaniora, Teologi
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-47498ISRN: LTU-CUPP--10/100--SELocal ID: 5093dbc0-d796-41e7-9aa9-16986507c052OAI: diva2:1020823
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
English, bachelor's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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