Essay on Freud's Viewss of The Uncanny in Hoffmann's Sand-Man

Essay on Freud's Viewss of The Uncanny in Hoffmann's Sand-Man

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In Sigmund Freud’s examination of The Uncanny he looks at this subject through the lens of psycho-analysis and aesthetics and seeks to establish the meaning of uncanny and relate it to occurrences and circumstances. Therefore, it is not surprising that Freud relies on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Sand-Man as a primary model. What is surprising, however, is Freud’s partial interpretation of the literature. Freud’s treatment of Hoffmann’s Sand-Man is not a valid rendering because it focuses too heavily on attributing the uncanny to the castration complex, while rejecting Jentsch’s theory of intellectual uncertainty, and altogether neglecting the profound spiritual constituents of this tale. Freud’s summary is incomplete because it only furnishes one perspective and omits relevant information. However, his exploration of themes, especially that of ‘double,’ does provide exemplary insights and equips readers with the necessary information to formulate their own perspectives.
Beginning with Freud’s summary, although it is accurate, it is not complete. Freud focuses solely on the perspective of Nathanael. In doing so, Freud finds the fertile ground needed to plant and cultivate his views. It is through Nathanael’s perspective that readers eventually learn that Coppola is indeed the lawyer Coppelius and the Sand-Man. By itself, this effectively negates the idea of intellectual uncertainty. However, in failing to acknowledge the other perspectives from Hoffmann’s story Freud also diminishes Hoffmann’s expert abilities. In agreement with this, Michiel Scharp’e asserts:
So Freud only focuses through Nathanael and never speaks from a coordinative perspective. And yet, one of the more remarkable narrative techniques of the story is precisely the us...


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Bresnick, Adam. "Prosopoetic compulsion: reading the uncanny in Freud and
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Carriker, Kitti. Created In Our Image : The Miniature Body Of The Doll As
Subject And Object. Bethlehem, Pa: Lehigh University Press, 1998. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 2 Dec. 2013.
The European Graduate School (EGS) Web. 2 Dec. 2013.
Freud, Sigmund. The Uncanny. San Diego State University. Regent University.
Web. 15 Oct. 2013.

Hoffmann, Ernst T.W. The Sand-Man. Weird Tales, Vol. one of two. Trans. J.T.
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Holy Bible. New International Version. NIV. Biblica Inc.: 2011. Bible Gateway.
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