An Ecofeminist Reading of H. P. Lovecraft’s Selected Works with Reference to Catherine M. Roach’s Theory of Mother/Nature

Document Type : Original Article


1 MA in English Language and Literature, Department of English Language and Literature, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran



Ecofeminist discourse is experiencing its peak importance with the rise of both feminism and ecocriticism to the summit of cultural and literary studies. Going back and revisiting authors and texts which helped shaping the current cultural forces through ecofeminist lenses may help us understand how nature and femininity both are viewed separately and together. As one of the most prominent and influential figures in horror and science fiction (and perhaps pop culture in general), Howard Phillips Lovecraft presents a thought-provoking portrait of women and femininity in his texts and since nature plays an integral role in worldview, femininity and nature almost blend into a single concept throughout his fiction. This paper intends to analyze the works of H. P. Lovecraft through Ecofeminist lenses and apply the Ecofeminist theory of Mother/Nature, developed by Catherine M. Roach, on Lovecraft’s life and fiction. The researchers intend to find a correlation between the idea of Bad Nature presented by Roach and the almost always evil representation of femininity in H. P. Lovecraft’s fiction.


Main Subjects

Duquette, Lon Milo. The Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult: Hidden Magic, Occult Truths, and the Stories That Started It All. Newburyport: Weiser Books, 2014.
Flood, Alison. “World Fantasy Award Drops HP Lovecraft as Prize Image.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 9 Nov. 2015,
Garrard, Greg. Ecocriticism. London: Routledge, 2004.
Glotfelty, Cheryll, Teresa Shewry, and Harold Fromm. The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology.University of Georgia P, Athens, 1996.
Halldórsson, Kristjón Rúnar. H.P. Lovecraft. The Enlightenment and Connection to the World of Cosmicism. University of Iceland: Hugvísindasvið, 2010.
Joshi, S. T. A Dreamer and a Visionary: H.P. Lovecraft in His Time. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 2001.
---. A Subtler Magick: The Writings and Philosophy of H.P. Lovecraft. R. Reginald, the Borgo Press, 1996.
Lovecraft, H. P. The Fiction: Complete and Unabridged. New York: Barnes and Noble, 2008.
Mies, Maria, and Vandana Shiva. Ecofeminism. London: ZED Books, 2114.
Moreno-Garcia, Silvia. “Magna Mater: Women and Eugenic Thought in the Work of H.P. Lovecraft.” T. University of British Columbia, 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2019. <>. Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), 2008.
Plumwood, Val. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. London:  Routledge, 1993.
Roach, Catherine M. Mother/Nature: Popular Culture and Environmental Ethics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.
Sederholm, Carl H., and Andrew Jeffery, Weinstock. The Age of Lovecraft. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
Steadman, John L.  H. P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition: The Master of Horror's Influence on Modern Occultism. Newburyport: Weiser Books, Newburyport, 2015.
Taylor, Bron R. The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature. New York: Thoemmes Continuum, 2005.
Tyson, Donald. The Dream World of H.P. Lovecraft: His Life, His Demons, His Universe. Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, 2010.
Wisker, Gina. “Speaking the Unspeakable: Women, Sex, and the Dismorphmythic in Lovecraft, Angela Carter, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Beyond.” New Directions in Supernatural Horror Literature: The Critical Influence of H. P. Lovecraft, edited by Sean Moreland. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp. 31–54. Print.
---. Spawn of the Pit: Lavinia, Marceline, Medusa, and All Things Foul: H. P. Lovecraft’s Liminal Women.” New Critical Essays on H.P. Lovecraft, edited by David Simmons. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp. 209–234. Print.