precis-the uncanny

In Freud's treatise, he seeks to find the origins of, or explanation for, "the uncanny," feelings of uneasiness, fear, or dread.  He does so by first examining the etymology of synonymous words and their definitions, and ends on the conclusion that the uncanny can simplistically be related to "something that should have remained hidden but has come into the open."  

In order to both support this initial claim, and extrapolate further upon it, Freud moves on to analyzing examples of situations or experiences that he deems as having an "uncanny" quality.  He looks in literature at the story of the Sand-Man, concluding that the uncanniness in that instance originates from the "infantile castration complex," as evidenced by the symbolism supposedly inherent in the fear of losing one's eyes and the trauma related to the loss of one's father.

The following example deals with the idea of the doppleganger, which, Freud claims, initially served as a comfort for the fear of death for primitive man, but has become fearful and uncomfortable since primitive narcissism has been overcome after the formulation of the modern ego.

Freud then goes on to examine the fear that derives from being reminded of man's alleged "compulsion to repeat," arriving at the conclusion that being reminded of such a primal compulsion brings about feelings of the uncanny.

The examples treated by Freud culminate in his conclusion that the fear or dread of the uncanny can be attributed to an unconscious reminder of the forgotten, animistic, primitive stages of human psychological development, and thus, the psychoanalytical representation of that which "should have remained secret but has come into the open."

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