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– Mark Acuña

The word uncanny, such a particular and out of the common vocabulary of many Americans. How would one help explain the meaning behind when something is particularly uncanny? Sigmund Freud, a neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, states in his renown novel The Uncanny, that “uncanny, in discussing things that appear to slip outside of normal assumptions…effects of the unconscious that surprise us and create an effect of uncanniness, because we are unaware of the operation of the unconscious.” (418). Why is this material so relevant to the passage in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelly? As critical thinkers, we can make a connection between the passage on Chapter 5, pg. 60 and analyze the thoughts going on through Victor Frankenstein. In the novel Frankenstein, it demonstrates that Victors dream was described as, “I saw Elizabeth, in the bloom of health, walking in the streets of Ingolstadt. Delighted and surprised, I embraced her; but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms…”. This envision of Victor’s mother seems very repulsive and very confusing for many readers that aren’t too familiar with the psychoanalytical breakdown. The best way to put it is from Sigmund Freud in The Uncanny, he states that “The source of uncanny feelings would not, therefore, be an infantile tear in this case, but rather an infantile wish or even merely an infantile belief. There seems to be a contradiction here; but perhaps it is only a complication.” (425) He also states that “the discovery that whatever reminds us of this inner repetition-compulsion is perceived as uncanny” (427) We can see that Victor Frankenstein see’s his sister as a replacement or for comfort for the absence of his dead mother, wanting to have sexual relation with her and create life. Which also leaves us wondering whether the creation of the “monster” was an attempt of bypassing the thought of falling in love with his mother, and instead create his own – which he ultimately regrets with disgust and horror.