November 2nd, 2011

Freud’s Dream-Method

Posted by sasha in Uncategorized

“A dream-thought is unusable so long as it is expressed in an abstract form; but when once it has been transformed into pictorial language, contrasts and identifications of the kind which the dream-work requires, and which it creates if they are not already present,can be established more easily than before between the new form of expression and the remainder of the material underlying the dream. This is so because in every language concrete terms, in consequence of the history of their development, are richer in associations than conceptual ones. We may suppose that a good part of the intermediate work done during the formation of a dream, which seeks to reduce the dispersed dream-thoughts to the most succinct and unified expression possible, proceeds along the line of finding appropriate verbal transformations for the individual thoughts.”

When treating literary works from the point of view of Freud’s Dream-Work there are two things we should keep in mind.

1. Dream-thoughts are given to us in visual form, since we cannot dream abstract things. This is the same as when we read a literary work. If the author doesn’t want to literally say that his work is about social issues, he’ll use a metaphor to help us visualize it in another way. So, we shouldn’t take anything at face value. Anything can be a metaphor. Look for metaphors when reading.

2. Metonymy is very important in Freud’s Dream-Work. Because of the way our language is set up, even concrete meanings have varying associations, and it comes across in our dreams as well as in our literary works. We should look for associations we make when reading, because this lends to our interpretation. This could possibly skew what meaning we get from the piece.

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3 Responses to ' Freud’s Dream-Method '

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  1.    Kevin L. Ferguson said,

    on November 4th, 2011 at 12:40 am

    It seems, like with metaphor and metonymy, that nothing is really what it is–it’s all about association with something similar or unlike, but never the thing itself.

  2.    Lane said,

    on February 18th, 2015 at 6:01 am


  3.    Gidget said,

    on March 22nd, 2017 at 11:19 am


    Elementary » Freud’s Dream-Method

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