Freud and how the Uncanny Affects Us…

Sorry about the late post, like really late, but this is about the Freud and how the unheimlich works.

Refer to Pg. 155-156 in  Freud’s The Uncanny
-The last sentence in italics that carry on to the next page
-Freud says the the uncanny in literature and in real life are not taken in at the same level, yet many fears, or many uncanny effects in literature, are manifested some way or another….
-Therefore, can it be said that the unreal and real start to meld and we as humans are affected by the uncanny effects that are absent in real life?
What is Freud’s purpose? What is he trying to reveal about the uncanny in The Sandman?

Refer to Pg. 141
-Children are not afraid of dolls coming to life but in reality, there are many with an aversion or uneasiness with dolls (many horror movies have to do with dolls).
-So, why is it that we have a fear of dolls (Dolls an example since it is addressed in Freud’s The Uncanny)? Is it because of the uncanny/unheimlich?

1 Thought.

  1. We had a very good discussion about your second question in class (we just ran out of time so I had to pick one). People had a lot to say about this…it really gathered quite a bit of interest! I can’t remember what all was said, but one thing I do remember is that dolls are frightening when they are doing evil things because it is so against the sort of childhood image of innocence that we might associate with them (at least, I think that’s one of the things that was said). Freud’s explanation, as I remember it, is that dolls might be considered uncanny insofar as they remind us of repressed childhood thoughts that inanimate things can come alive. When we were children, he says, that may have seemed normal and even desired, but when we get older and realize it’s impossible, that such magical thoughts belong to the realm of fantasy rather than reality, then if we have the sense that maybe it could happen, or we read about it happening (or see it happening on a screen), then that is uncanny because it’s bringing up that old repressed belief. I don’t know if he’s right, but for me, even if dolls aren’t doing something evil but are just coming alive, unless it’s in a fairy tale or a story where a lot of other magical things are happening, it seems very creepy!

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