Understand 'The Uncanny' and how it applies to Gothic literature

Understand 'The Uncanny' and how it applies to Gothic literature

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. In this lesson, we will look at a famous psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud: who he was, why he was famous and then understand and apply his theory of 'The Uncanny' to Gothic literature we have already looked at. Then, we will end on a quiz exploring what you have learnt.


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5 Questions

What is the first stage of Todorov's narrative theory?
Correct answer: equilibrium
What does the second stage suggest typically happens in a story?
equilibrium is continued
Correct answer: equilibrium is disrupted
recognition that the equilibrium has been disrupted
What is the final stage?
attempt to repair
Correct answer: resolution and reinstatement of equilibrium
What does resolution mean?
feeling happy at the end
Correct answer: solving the problem that caused the disruption
worrying about what will happen next
Which of the following is an example of disruption in Jekyll and Hyde?
Correct answer: Hyde battering Carew with his cane
the maid looking out of her window
two gentlemen talking to each other

5 Questions

Who was Sigmund Freud?
He studied how people dream.
He was a German theorist who studied how anatomy worked.
Correct answer: Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist (studied the brain) and the founder of psychoanalysis.
What is psychoanalysis?
The belief that all people have repressed memories which they can only share through hypnosis.
Correct answer: The belief that all people possess unconscious thoughts, feelings, desires, and memories.
The belief that all people share similar thought patterns and unconscious destires.
What does Freud list that is associated with the Uncanny?
Correct answer: death, dead bodies, zombies, spirits, ghosts, doppelgangers and magic
science, knowledge, reason and acquisition of new knowledge
violence, murder, blood and gore
How can the Uncanny best be defined?
Correct answer: that which is familiar to us in spite of the dread it evokes
that which we cannot comprehend nor understand
things that make us terrified
How does the Gothic genre link to the Uncanny?
Gothic novels often deal with ghosts and the supernatural
Correct answer: They are full of such uncanny effects – simultaneously frightening, unfamiliar and yet also strangely familiar.
They often deal with horror.

Lesson appears in

UnitEnglish / Gothic Literature