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Horror, History and You: A Reader-Response Analysis of the Function of History in Two Works of H.P. Lovecraft and Its Relevance for an EFL Classroom
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this essay, reader-response theory is used to explore the application of history in "The Rats in the Walls" and "At the Mountains of Madness" by H.P. Lovecraft.Utilizing the concepts of the informed reader and temporal reading, this essay concludes that Lovecraft used history in two distinct ways. Firstly, history is used as a means to build immersion, ambience, and explore the individual's place in history by drawing upon English cultural layers. Secondly, it functions to reflect on human history in relation to human existence and geological history by turning the history of Earth into the history of an alien species.

Furthermore, this essay concludes that Lovecraft and history could be valuble assets to an EFL classroom by relating the findings to theory on reader-response in education. Firstly, it enables students to reflect on social issues in the past and the present by looking at Lovecraft's historical settings, his antiquated prose and the casual racism he exhibits in his texts. Secondly, Lovecraft's apparent obsession with his historical identity and ancestry provides an opening for the students to contemplate their own sense of identity as it relates to culture and history. The underlying idea being that the best way to reveal Lovecraft's use of history is to consider what the individual reader brings to the reading experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 46
Keywords [en]
Lovecraft, Reader-response theory, Cultural History, Didactics, The Rats in the Walls, At the Mountains of Madness
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-76757OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-76757DiVA, id: diva2:1232178
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Available from: 2018-08-13 Created: 2018-07-10 Last updated: 2018-08-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf