The Beast In the Cave Essay

The Beast In the Cave Essay

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“You’ve just crossed over into The Twilight Zone” says Rod Serling before every episode of The Twilight Zone. A show that leaves it’s viewers in a macabre state. Instead of drawing a conclusion like most shows, the show usually ends mysteriously. It utilizes similar elements as other short half-hour shows, but goes about it in a different way. This outlandish style is seen in literature, more specifically short stories, as well. Even though other short stories employ the same literary devices, “The Beast In The Cave” by H.P. Lovecraft is uniquely mysterious because of the story’s suspenseful plot, compelling diction, and, most important, overshadowing theme.
In “The Beast In The Cave”, H.P. Lovecraft develops a suspenseful plot in order to build tension throughout the story that inevitably leaves the reader feeling disturbed and the story hanging. The plot itself is seems simple, but is complicated at the same time. Victoria Nelson talks about how Lovecraft’s stories tease the reader “with the tantalizing prospect of utter loss of control, of possession or engulfment, while remaining at the same time safely contained within the girdle of a formalized, almost ritualized narrative”. With “The Beast In The Cave”, the protagonist faces only one conflict throughout the story making it a simple plot line; however, the predicament he is in provides the complexity and tension that Lovecraft creates in other stories as well.
The complexity of the plot starts when the reader is introduced to a man lost in a cave and his source of light goes out and continues when the man realizes that “starving would prove [his] ultimate fate” (1). Readers get a sense of hopelessness the man is feeling, and this is where the tensions begins to build. Alt...

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King, Stephen. “Gramma.” Skeleton Crew. New York: Signet, 1986. 464-494.
Lovecraft, H.P.. “The Beast in the Cave.” The Transition of H.P. Lovecraft: The Road to
Madness. New York: Ballantine Books, 1996. 1-6.
Nelson, Victoria. The Secret Life of Puppets. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2001. WNC Database. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.
Tibbetts, John C. The Gothic Imagination: Conversations on Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction in the Media. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print.
"The Use of Force--William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)." Classic Short Stories. B&L Associates, Bangor, Maine, U.S.A., 1995-2007. Web. 10 Dec. 2011. .

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