Essay on Freud's Concept of the Uncanny

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When a person experiences chills or goose bumps as a reaction to something strange or unusual, they are being affected by a sense of uncanniness. The psychoanalyst
Sigmund Freud endeavored to explain this feeling of uncanniness in his essay entitled “The Uncanny”. Freud’s theory focuses around two different causes for this reaction. Freud attributes the feeling of uncanniness to repressed infantile complexes that have been revived by some impression, or when primitive beliefs that have been surmounted seem once more to be confirmed. The first point of his theory that Freud discusses in the essay is the repression of infantile complexes that cause an uncanny experience. Freud …show more content…

This statement is supported by the laws of ancient Greek society which would have called for his castration due to the incest with his mother. While the infantile castration complex is the only one
Freud goes into detail with in the essay, there are many others that would cause uncanniness if they were revived.
The reason for this is that once the child grows up these complexes are hidden deep within the subconscious and are totally without logical reason. The adult does not realize that he fears castration, instead he can only rationally explain his fear as that of being blinded. The feelings of childhood remain with us throughout adult life but they are only faintly perceptible, and this too can cause uncanniness. The foggy remembrance of a sensation that can no longer be grasped but still affects our emotions in ways that we can not explain to ourselves.

The second point of Freud’s theory states that uncanniness is experienced when primitive beliefs which have been surmounted seem once more to be confirmed. These surmounted beliefs are usually beliefs concerning the after-life, magic, and other such supernatural things that were once part of early man’s belief system. This part of his theory is closely connected to superstition. For example, most modern individuals do not believe in the existence of ghosts, yet some religions bless houses. The question arises then, why

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