Write an Essay on the Significance of the Supernatural and Uncanny in Austen's Wuthering Heights and Poe's Ligeia.

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

The word ‘supernatural’ is generally accepted to pertain to ghosts, witchcraft and life after death. If reading the epigram above we immediately imagine the ‘man’ is a ghost we are accepting the supernatural. If we deny the existence of ghosts and believe it is purely the author’s over imagination; because of some repressed memory of a time when he did meet a man on the stairs; a sense of déjà vu; a trick of the light casting a fleeting shadow or just a strange unexplained ‘feeling’, we are dealing with the ‘uncanny’. In 1906 Jentsch attempted to define the uncanny as ‘doubts whether an apparently animate being is really alive; or conversely whether a lifeless object might be, in fact, animate’ .   This could relate to such things as a doll coming alive as in the Child’s Play films   or an evil car with a mind of its own ; the concept could be taken as far as the dead returning as living beings; as in the persona of vampires or zombies. In the latter case the ‘uncanny’ and the ‘supernatural’ would be entwined. Yet, in the case of fairy tales, talking trees or animals and living inanimate objects exert no ‘uncanny’ feelings or even fear. This is more fully explained in Freud’s essay The Uncanny . According to Freud the uncanny ‘derives its terror not from something externally alien or unknown but – on the contrary – from something strangely familiar which defeats our efforts to separate ourselves from it.’     He argues that uncanny effects can result from repetition of the same thing; becoming lost and accidently retracing ones steps and finding oneself back where one started, or, the repeated occurrence of a number or name; a concept that Jung later referred to as synchronicity . Freud goes on to state that the uncanny in our real life experience differs with relation to fiction. To summarise his explanation; fiction creates an uncanny effect if the...