We begin to understand what is real or not when we are young children. This age is especially important to Freud because the mind is still trying to create a formal construct that can be used to separate things that are facts and things that are just stories. Young Nathanael was able to consciously realize that the story of The Sandman was not real, h...
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...ple, but the abrupt change from something that we always expected to be “familiar” converting to something that is “unfamiliar” affects our minds greatly. Nathanael was unable to cope with the persistent loss of things close in his life left him sensitized, as an adult, to childhood traumas ultimately leading to his suicide. Giovanni conversely disregarded any notions of the “unfamiliar” that he encountered which would prove to not last forever. The things that were anchored in Giovanni’s life were actually false and shocked Giovanni back into reality. In agreement with Freud, we should not try to manipulate what we consider “familiar“ or “unfamiliar” but rather have strong anchors in our own realities that we know are absolute truths or we risk unhinging ourselves. It is through the strange and abstract that we can learn more about our own nature and that of others.
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