Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Charles Cunningham, PhD

Committee Member

Abby Coykendall, PhD


This literary and sociological study examines H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space” alongside New England agricultural societies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as their members faced socio-political change. Anxieties expressed in the short story reflect fears of communities facing erasure at the hands of a reservoir project. Patterns of historical American rural communities facing destruction in the name of progress as well as modern communities facing similar threats show the endurance of Lovecraft’s specific brand of fear.