Sigmund Freud Uncanny Analysis

1257 Words6 Pages
This essay will serve as a summary of The Uncanny by Sigmund Freud, published in 1919. According to Freud (1919) “that what is ‘uncanny’ is frightening precisely because it is not known and familiar” (418) – suggesting instances like that of going back to a place you have never been before, or experiencing a situation that you can not remember. The effect of being helpless, or the feeling that something or someone external is in control of your mind or behaviours is what the uncanny embodies. Freud begins by looking at the different definitions of the german word unheimlich which is the opposite of heimlich. He mentions that the word Heimlich means “familiar” and expresses the need to find a meaning for unheimlich beyond “unfamiliar”. However Freud (1919) mentions that “something has to be added” to the above mentioned effect of “what is novel and unfamiliar” (418) for it to be understood as…show more content…
However he disregards Jentsch’s previously mentioned theory of one being uncertain of an inanimate object as the main reason for the effect of uncanny. He mentions that “children do not distinguish at all sharply between living and inanimate objects” – and therefore the idea of a doll that comes to live can not be considered a factor for the effect of a more striking uncanny and Freud (1919) labels it as a “contradiction” (425). Freud (1919) uses psycho-analytical studies to illustrate the immense fear in specifically children in the losing or damaging of their eyes – stating “that anxiety about ones eyes, the fear of going blind, is often enough a substitute for the dread of being castrated” . This suggests a theory where Freud makes a link between the story of the Sand-Man and the uncanny that accompanies it to a fear created in early childhood based on what he calls the “castration complex”
Open Document