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Speculation That Freud Made upon the Concept of Something Being Uncanny Is Largely Ambiguous

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The entire speculation that Freud made upon the concept of something being uncanny is largely ambiguous, but with the information provided, he mentions that the, “uncanny,” is an uncertainty with one’s position or familiarity in the world. In a brief excerpt from the reading, “The better oriented he was in the world around him, the less likely he would be to find the objects and occurrences in it uncanny.” It’s a particular feeling of dread associated with multiple unknown unknowns, it’s also described in this piece as, “intellectual uncertainty,” which I found minorly conflicting to the previous articulation of this open definition. Perhaps he’s referring to a troglodyte of sorts, but rather in the manner in which a person such as that would be unfamiliar with most things – those things being a rather unfamiliar sense of dread in response.

“... It can be shown that the frightening element is something that had been repressed and now returns. This species of the frightening would then constitute the uncanny.” (147) In essence, perhaps response of the amygdala is encompassed within this entire reaction to some repressed feeling of dread (or unfamiliarity with a given situation as mentioned above). This sense of the, “uncanny,” is best represented by the situations found in particular horror movies, as a given set of individuals can be seemingly unaffected by the perils depicted in these films, some are deeply disturbed, which could be classified as uncanny within the context of this reading. As mentioned,“People differ greatly in their sensitivity to this kind of feeling.” (125) This phenomena of the uncanny is deeply rooted within our hind brains, the most primitive reactions arise from it, as it’s the oldest acting section of the brain.

“Our unconscious is still as unreceptive as ever to the idea of our own morality.” (148) An interesting foresight with relevance to the concept of the uncanny, I feel. The uncanny can also be characterized as person if, “the intent to harm us is realized,” a serial killer, or a general murderer would fall beneath this category. I was recently watching this entirely new series that was just released called Mindhunters, which follows the story of two FBI agents in 1977. They attempt to understand the consciously acting minds of a multitude of serial killers (though they call them sequence killers, as the name hadn’t been materialized yet), and it’s almost entrancing to see the motives of these variously mentally ill individuals. Freud speculates upon our inherent resistance to speak with such individuals that would commit such heinous acts. He refers to our natural instinct to avert anything that we are inherently programmed to avoid, or are unfamiliar with to avoid a sense of discomfort or dread.

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