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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Magna Mater : women and eugenic thought in the work of H.P. Lovecraft Moreno-Garcia, Silvia


H.P. Lovecraft is considered one of the most influential and important speculative writers of the 20th century. Despite the eugenic concerns inherent in many of his stories, much of his output has not been analyzed against the pervasive “scientific racism” of his time. This thesis looks at Lovecraft’s depictions of women and sees them as strongly related to eugenic thought, representing in various ways the biological dangers associated with unfit women. Lovecraft’s women embody the worries of miscegenation, show the results of the unfit giving birth, and ultimately showcase the collapse of society under the weight of monstrous Others. Therefore, though Lovecraft does not feature many women in his stories, he nevertheless manages to construct them as agents of biological chaos, much in the same way eugenicist thought commonly portrays unfit women as highly dangerous to the fabric of the nation.

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