Assessment 1: Critical Commentary
Freud’s The Uncanny and Emily Bronté’s Wuthering Heights
The principal idea in Sigmund Freud’s interpretation of The Uncanny theory centres around the Heimlich, translating to ‘homely’ and thus, what is familiar, and the Unheimlich, which is often translated to what is ‘Uncanny’ defined as ‘what is […] frightening precisely because it is not known and familiar’ (Freud, 1919) or later described as something that is ‘secretly familiar which has undergone repression’. He extends the theory further by placing the uncanny in to two classes, those are, thoughts that have been ‘surmounted’, for example, superstitious beliefs that have been discarded but re-emerge when an event occurs that could potentially confirm these beliefs. The second class being that of the ‘repressed complexes’ such as recalling repressed trauma, most specifically from childhood, fear, and unconscious desires.
The essay by Freud begins with the essential factor proposed by Ernst Jentsch relating to the uncanny theory, which Freud later attempts to contradict. The theory proposed is that of ‘intellectual uncertainty’, and thus ‘something someone does not know one’s way about in’ as well as the uncertainty over whether an object is inanimate or alive. Although it appears that Freud agrees partially with these ideas proposed by Jentsch, he adds further to this with his own principles and those are that of the castration anxiety, which in its literal sense is the fear of the