Dreams Their Analysis Essay, Research Paper
Dreams Their Analysis
The assignment is to recall a dream and analyze it from one or
two theoretical perspectives we’ve learned thus far in dream analysis. Dreams
have been a vehicle to express emotions, thoughts and feelings. Sometimes they
pose questions which have been rooted in our conscious. Dreams are personalized
works which we have consciously directed and created in our minds and no one
interpretation is right or wrong. Weeks later upon receiving this assignment I
had an incredible dream of my mother of which I will never forget.
It was a beautiful sunny day, not one cloud to blemish the sky.
I remember this particular afternoon being warm and bright. The scenery seemed
to depict a post card perfect summer’s day. My mother and I were walking in a
park, a park I’ve never visited or seen. I felt as if anyone were to stare at
us they could see the contentment and harmony radiating from myself. I was
watching myself lay down on very soft green grass, but before I did I turned
around to see if my mother was still near. I saw myself lay down under a tree.
This tree was uniquely beautiful because of its thin twisting, almost fragile
looking branches. The tree was unusual for it was bare, there were no leaves,
nor was it green. The tree just stood by itself colored naked and bare for all
to witness. The birds of summer seemed to favor this unique looking tree by
gathering and sitting on its thin but strong branches. I laid under this tree
looking up towards the birds feeling happy. I heard myself laughing and
listening to these birds singing. Where after I walked towards a pond, a man
made pond of gray marble brick. An immense wall lining a narrow stairwell was
to its left. My mother was kneeling by the pond wading her hand just above the
water, touching it very delicately. This was her pond and her pond had the most
incredibly beautiful bright fish. They consisted of aqua blue, yellow and green
colored fish with fins that seemed to be as fine as hair as it floated towheads
my mother’s hands. I watched myself watching her, feeling as if I was invading
a private moment and in awe of the spectacle I was witnessing.
We left the park and her pond and were on our way home. As we
walked arm in arm the weather seemed to be getting darker and colder. The
clouds rolling in seemed to be constricting and threatening to engulf us. We
arrived an immense bridge which was hundreds of feet above a body of murky water.
I felt threatened and didn’t trust crossing this bridge and my mother
instinctively new my fear and preceded to cross, reassuring me it was safe. I
didn’t cross the bridge but watched her take her steps alone. She reached the
middle of the bridge and it collapsed. I ran towards the edge looking down at
my mother as she was struggling to hold on and trying to get a better grip. She
was calling out my name, begging me to help her, but I just stood there frozen
in silence and feeling no emotion. I saw her fingers turn white as they lost
their hold one by one, until she was holding on with just one hand. She turned
her head to look at me one last time before she lost the grip in her other hand
and fell. I remember hearing no noise of her body hitting the water, just empty
silence, but the expression of her face is etched into my memory.
Remembering this dream brings up emotions of guilt and was
painful to envision. There are many theoretical perspectives one can use to
analyze such dreams. Ultimately to find a potential explanation or
interpretation of what dreams mean. I have looked closer into the works of
Sigmund Freud to study what this all means and maybe find an appropriate
analysis of my dream.
Freud is one of the most popular theorists today and has
developed many theoretical perspectives pertaining to personality. He organized
three levels of mental life; the unconscious, preconscious and the conscious.
Simply put the unconscious is the irretrievable stuff in our memory, the
preconscious if the retrievable stuff and the conscious if the stuff in current
Over lapping this concept is his three levels of the mind which
are the Id, Ego and Superego. The ?id? is a part of the mind which seeks
pleasure, it is irrational and not rooted in reality. The ?ego? serves the
reality principle and is more rational and connected to reality. Finally, we
have the ?superego? which is our moral and idealistic principle. It speaks as
your conscious, judging and making you feel guilty. All these concepts display
sides of personality whether good or bad.
Freud believed that dreams or ?Freudian slips? were a ?disguised
means of expressing unconscious impulses or hidden desires.? He gave greater
emphasis to that of the latent content over the manifest content . The latent
content being the unconscious material in our dream which reduces anxiety.
Where as the manifest content is the surface meaning or the dream as recalled by
the dreamer. Freud’s basic assumption was that all dreams are wish-
Freud noted three typical anxiety dreams: the embarrassment
dream of nakedness, dreams of death of a beloved person and dreams of failing an
exam. In my case I dreamt the death of my mother and felt guilty for not saving
her. Freud interprets the death of an older person such as a parent as
fulfilling the Oedipal wish. During my dream I felt anxiety and guilt which he
depicts as typical for adults as well as children. The female Oedipus complex
is a term used by Freud to indicate feelings of hostility for the mother and
sexual love for the father. Although I dreamt of death, he states that I do not
necessarily mean to have a death wish for my mother. I agree it could have been
a reflection of hostility towards her but disagree greatly with the
generalization of sexual love for my father.
There was a significant emphasis on the description of the tree.
The tree looked fragile, thin and naked. This could be interpreted according to
Freud as an anxiety of the embarrassment dream of nakedness. Adults repress the
desire to exhibit the nakedness of oneself. Freud may have interpreted the
tree as a reflection of myself and the birds as spectators. These particular
spectators refrain from scolding and make me feel accepted and happy.
Dream content may be distorted through condensation and
displacement according to Freud. Condensation is the compression of several
ideas of the latent manifest content. Condensation is embodied by three
characteristics of compression, omission and fragments. Compression is the
latent content projecting itself towards the manifest content. Omission is a ?
guardian? which doesn’t let the latent element through. Fragments are pieces
of the latent element which does get through. Displacement is the shift of
emphasis from important to unimportant (vice-versa) in the manifest content or
the replacement of latent item with a remote item. My dreams seem to have a
greater emphasis on the ?nice’ things such as grass, trees, water and de-
emphasized the ?dark’ side of the dream leading up to my mother’s fall. Freud
concluded this structuralization of the dream to reduce fearful or anxiety -
Sexuality is a recurring them in the works of Freud and it is
believed to be the root problem or feeling in our dreams. Nakedness and
sexuality also play a major role in my dream which display symbolic meaning,
psychoanalytic importance (latent content). Freud generalized the manifest
content to always relate to conscious and preconscious material from the day
Freud believed that dreams were wish-fulfillment’s, of course
this is not the case with my dream of my mother falling. He perceived many of
our wishes in dreams as originating during our early childhood experiences.
This resulted from the suppression of infantile sexual behaviour which recur
many years later in our dreams. He distinguished that not all dreams originate
in childhood experiences, but result from adult wishes. Freud contributed to
the works of dream interpretation and his is just one of many insights to the
mystical world of dreams. Everyone has their interpretative analysis and no one
answer is right, but we may come closer to a simplistic generalization, maybe
even produce a dictionary on how to read your dream.