Uncanny is a term used to express strange and mysterious feelings. Many terms could be added as examples under this broad term. Uncanny experiences can bring familiarity in unfamiliar objects or scenes and unfamiliarity in familiar objects or scenes. Following are some terms related to uncanny.
We feel that we have encountered similar situations in the past. We even tend to predict what is going to happen next. Sometimes a few dialogues, the place of occurrence, the people around us, everything seems to be very familiar at the time of occurrence. It is also known as deja vu.
Some odd coincidence that could create a positive or negative impact on our life forces us to believe in fate. Even though someone claims to be an atheist some incidents may make him believe in an ‘unknown controller’.
This term refers to the situation in which inanimate objects are attributed with the features of animated objects. We can find an example in Wuthering Heights, where we read ” the soft wind breathing through the grass.”
It refers to the situation in which human attributes are given to non-human objects. Children’s fairy tales present a lot of anthropomorphic images. Painting a tree with a head, hands, and legs and talking like a human could be another image.
This term indicates human activities that are merely mechanical. It could be mentioned better by using the example from John Keats’s poem Ode to a Nightingale where the writer asks “Do I wake or sleep?”
- Uncertainty about sexual identity
It could be elaborated better under the light of Queer theory. As the title states it is a kind of uncanny feeling where one finds strangeness about his/her gender and sexual identity.
- Fear of being buried alive It could be more related to the experience associated with Claustrophobia, a fear that makes someone avoid confined spaces. The idea is about a premature death, which generates uncanny images.
In Postcolonial literature, Silence itself is a great concept. Silence is considered as a form of communication that can effectively communicate what a million words cannot.
It is a method in which communication happens between the two through extrasensory methods. There are some days in our life when our friend or co-worker brings the exact coffee or snack that we wish to have for that day.
Even though death seems to be a familiar term it brings unfamiliar emotions.
- The Death Drive
This term was introduced by Sigmund Freud in 1920 ( Beyond the pleasure principle). He states everyone has an innate drive to die. As W. B. Yeats stated ” longing for the tomb.”
- Ghosts The idea of ghosts unleashes all the difference between being alive or dead.
Language could also generate uncanny experiences. Most of the time it generates some inexplicable feelings Reference Bennett, Andrew, and Nicholas Royle. An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. Pearson Education Limited, 2009.