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One of the major contributions of Sigmund Freud in the field of psychology is psychoanalytic theory of human development. In this theory, he demonstrates how human behavior is heavily influenced by their childhood experiences. This is the concept which he employed in illustrating uncanny. According to his point of view, this term refers to anything experienced during the adult stage that reminds individuals of their past experience. It is usually signified by a class of frightening things which act to lead people to what they already know (Hale, N.G., Jr., 2007).
In explaining uncanny, Freud argues that human being is a product of the past. Most of the experiences people had while still young end up making an enormous contribution in their behaviors during adulthood. He used the knowledge of dream analysis, free association and Oedipus complex to shed more light on this topic. These are used to show how an individual’s past experiences can provoke feelings like fantasy, fear, nervousness and excitement.
Uncanny is mostly concerned with aesthetics. It contrasts a set of familiar and unfamiliar, hidden and unhidden and agreeable and unaccepted traits. These often work better in situations where people are confronted with fears. In such a situation, Freud says that an individual has to require harmonious operations of ID, ego and super ego as the main arbiter. Otherwise, the situation may become frightening to the extent that it can be so destructive.
Whenever there is any case of conflict between the ID and ego, the super ego intervenes. In this case, a person unconsciously of consciously develops defense mechanisms to deal with the problem at hand. This means that they retreat to a set of activities which can help them to retreat and escape from the perceived dangers associated with his problem. For instance, Oedipus having feared that his father would castrate him for admiring his mother, decided to leave his father alone (Hale, N.G., Jr., 2007). Hence, he escaped the castration which would harm him. The explanation given here expounds the role of positive aesthetics in justifying the effect of uncanny.
Freud also used the concept of free association and dream analysis in his extensive coverage of uncanny. He said that these are some of the situations in which individuals can unconsciously reveal their true identities. They can use them to show how they understand life. This is the same concept depicted from Robert Wiene’s Cabinet of Dr. Carligari in which Francis’ fantasies are used to interpret his condition. He was so much glued to the past to the extent that he would not understand the real situation in which he was living. In fact, he could not separate the real Dr. Carligari from the serial killer he had seen in a horror movie in the past (Budd, M., 2010).
On the other hand, Cesari demonstrates his aesthetic perception of Jane. He believes that she is a very beautiful lady who should not be killed whatever the circumstances. In this regard, he violates his boss’ order to do so. Instead, he salvages her and from the perceived danger. Their fantasies are directly linked to their past experiences. Hence, the free association is used by physicians to offer the most recommended medication. Their fantasies appear to be familiar, but make them so uncomfortable in life.
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