Poe’s “Ulalume” illustrates characteristics of Freud’s “Uncanny” in various ways, which allows for psychoanalytical insight into the poem. In Freud’s “The Uncanny,” Freud works to establish the “uncanny” as a “class of the frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar” (“The Uncanny” 1-2). This means that inst...
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...d in a way that may be unsettling for the reader, albeit innocuous. The ability of the narrator to demonstrate the “departure of the event” through his separated psyche offers a temporary relief for the reader as he safely witnesses the trauma of the speaker. The doubling of the reader and writer, however, complicates this, suggesting that the poem is a source of trauma in itself. The “uncanny” that is utilized in the poem serves as a form of psychoanalysis not only because it permits the reader to experience the trauma of the unsalvageable narrator in a way that perhaps allows reflexive reflection of the reader’s own trauma, but also because the reader is doubled with Poe, which positions the reader in the crisis of witnessing a new trauma. The result is that the poem illuminates certain aspects while consequently bestowing the burden of experience on the reader.
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