Friday, February 15, 2019
Freuds Concept of the Uncanny Essay -- Freudian concept of the uncann
When a person experiences chills or goose bumps as a reception to something strange or unusual, they are beingaffected by a sense of uncanniness. The psychoanalystSigmund Freud endeavored to explain this picture ofuncanniness in his essay empower The Uncanny. Freudstheory focuses around two different causalitys for thisreaction. Freud attributes the feeling of uncanniness torepressed infantile complexes that have been revived by someimpression, or when primitive beliefs that have beensurmounted seem once more to be confirmed. The first point of his theory that Freud discusses inthe essay is the repression of infantile complexes that type an uncanny experience. Freud uses E.T.A. Hoffmansshort tommyrot, The Sandman, to explain the idea ofrepression of infantile complexes. The story centers aroundthe character of the Sandman, who steals the eyes ofchildren. Freud states that the affright that the characterNathaniel feels towards the Sand man has more to callable with aninfantile castration complex than with the actual fear oflosing his eyes. In Freuds theory he states that the Studyof dreams, phantasies and myths has taught us that a morbid disturbance connected with the eyes and with going blind isoften enough a substitute for the dread of castration(Freud383). If Freuds belief is true, than it is Nathanielsfear of castration that causes him in the end to go mad andthrow himself from parapet. Nathaniels fear is embodied inthe character of the Sandman, whom Freud says representsNathaniels father, and thus is the cause of his fear ofcastration. The Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex would also beaffected by Freuds theory. When examining Oed... ...s the knowledge of something inthe recesses of our memory that is unattainable in alldefinite sense. Freud does indeed succeed in explaining twovery key causes of uncanniness, and they are easilyidentified in literature and in society.Freud believes that uncanniness is a resu lt ofrepressed infantile complexes and also the confirmation ofprimitive beliefs. Freuds observations are importantbecause they help us better understand our reactions and ourfears, which in turn help us better understand ourselves. As keen-sighted as people continue to gain some sort of pleasancefrom enduring this sense of uncanniness, writers and filmmakers will continue to use Freuds methods to bring aboutthe uncanny.Works CitedFreud, Sigumund. The Uncanny. Literary Theory An Anthology. Ed. by Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. bran-new York Blackwell, 1998.