Crystal Kan- The Uncanny

“Uncanny” is usually used to describe something supernatural or beyond expectations. Freud uses this word aptly to title his essay because he discusses the ability to give life to something inanimate or an imaginary being through the story, The Sandman. Nathaniel, the student in the story, is warned about the Sandman, and through his curiosity, gave creation to the monstrous being that haunts him throughout the story. Later in the story, he falls madly in love with Olympia, only to find out that she was a doll that he believed was human. So how exactly is this uncanny? I presume that by giving life to something that does not, it emulates a god-like power that we humans normally do not possess.

I think everyone has the ability to give life to inanimate objects. I can't imagine how many times I have played with dolls and used my voice to give them a voice. Even with the smallest gestures, it gave them personality that not only entertained me, but many other kids. But aside from childhood memories, it also had me wondering how exactly to connect a viewer to my story emotionally. How do I get them to care about characters that I have created? We, as artists, much search for new ways to breathe life into our creations.

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