The Themes Of Uncanny In 'The Heart Of Another'

1398 Words 6 Pages
The uncanny is a simultaneous attraction and repulsion that a person may feel towards another person, thing, or situation, it is something that “excites dread” (Freud). Throughout our course, we have seen the uncanny used to drive a number of literary devices and themes. The stories explored in this essay will be: “The Wrong Grave” by Kelly Link, “The Heart of Another” by Marcus Sedgwick, “Kissing Dead Boys” by Annette Curtis Klause, and “Sunbleached” by Nathan Ballingrud. Through these stories we observe how a revenant named Gloria, a mysterious heart transplant patient, a vampire slayer, and a deceitful vampire all work to elicit a feeling of uncanny from their readers, thus propelling the main theme of each of their stories.

In the story
…show more content…
The story remains vague about which of the two the protagonist actually experiences. The uncanniness from this story derives from this character’s power to suspend our belief as readers. It is very possible that throughout the story this character experiences a psychosis relating to her heart transplant, but; using her cleverness and fact she wills the readers to suspend their belief and believe that she has actually been possessed by the spirit of her donor. “’The Tell-Tale Heart.’ Remember that story – the one with the mad narrator? My heart had told a tale. My heart had found its murderer.” (Sedgewick 89). Using this intertext: ”The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, she justifies her actions after she kills her professor, suspecting that he was the person who murdered her heart donor. While suspecting that this narrator may be going mad, and being disgusted in her actions; she manages to justify herself and make the situation seem more like justice taking action rather than a cold blooded murder. Therefore, while we are unsure of the mental state of the narrator, a possible theme: the undead coming back for unfinished business, is driven by the capability of the narrator to draw attraction towards an otherwise repulsive action. It is not only the undead that can be uncanny, it is possible for a human to still …show more content…
This is a more modern vampire story, where they are depicted as brooding, attractive, Goths who appear on the outside to just be an exclusive clique. The protagonist in this story often goes into a bar notorious for being a meeting place for vampires to find human “blood donors”. She attends under the pretense that she is a willing donor in hopes of singling out a lone vampire she can kill easily. The uncanniness of this story is not in one of the main characters, rather in the way that the vampires feeding ritual is described. When speaking about one of the willing “Blood-bags” she describes the reason for their desire to have their blood sucked. “Her kind confused the ecstasy of anesthesia with power over death. They reveled in being wanted, of having something that the vamps craved, as though they had the upper hand” (Klause 55). An act as gruesome as willingly having the blood sucked out of you is described here as almost euphoric; as well as allowing people to feel as if they have reversed the power between mortality and death. This power reversal is also similar to one of the main themes in the story. Whereby becoming a vampire slayer the human reverses the role between predator and prey. The uncanny in the human’s euphoria in such a grotesque act because of their power craving is similar to the

Related Documents