In "The Silver Key" Lovecraft presents his views on what constitutes the beautiful, on what makes a well-told fantasy, and on the role a youthful spirit plays in successful writing. The ideas are complex, but they explain some of Lovecraft's difficulties as a professional writer. He believed that a writer's literary success should be gauged by how beautiful his fictional world was. The story's main character, Randolph Carter, tries to sort through the problems of the modern world and spends much of his life searching vainly for absolute truth. Eventually, he resolves his unhappiness with modern life by returning to his origins. The notion that people can find answers to the problems of life in their family histories is a comforting one. That history can provide solutions to some of the problems of modem life is an important idea.