In his argument in _the Uncanny, _Freud looks at how the odd or different affects the human psyche. From examples in literature to examples in art, anything that differs from the norm has a very interesting and profound effect on the human brain. It can change and warp human perceptions.

Main Points:

  1. The first main point in his discussion is the idea of “unheimlich,” which means far from the familiar or unsettling. For the most part, this word weaves its way through all of Freud’s argument — the word gives the very meaning of what Freud looks to accomplish, that being the display of the unfamiliar and its strength in our perception.

  2. The second main point made by Freud is the idea of psycho-analytic experiences based upon tales told to us. He looks at multiple different examples of the non-ordinary and how they have managed to overwhelm our culture, including the Greek myths and Sleeping Beauty.

  3. Freud’s third topic point within the article is the idea of ego-disturbance, which means the alternation from the norm that leads to a changed line of though, also contributing to a decreased sense of confidence. He discusses the ideas of inner demons and such, and anything out of the ordinary that can contribute to our warped senses of self.



  1. There’s a lot of strange wording throughout Freud’s work, although I am positive that is due to the translation from German. I would love to know the relevance of each of the definitions he gives; for example, with heimlich the first two make sense but the third definition seems a little out of place.
  2. I was definitely interested in the psycho-analysis within the piece. My question for Freud is the ending conclusion to the variations that “uncanny” finally produces within the human mind.

Questions for the Class:

How have you encountered out of the ordinary things in your everyday life, and how have they changed your perception on the world? Have they caused you to think illogically about situations?