Freuds Psychoanalysis Essay, Research Paper
The main idea of Sigmund Freud?s infamous psychoanalysis is the interpretation of dreams. Freud called dream interpretation the ?via-reggia,? or the ?royal road? to the unconscious, and it is his theory of dreams that has best stood the test of time over a period of more than seventy years.
We dream every single night whether it stays with us or not. It is a time when ?our minds bring together material which is kept apart during waking hours?(Craig, 1992). When we dream we entertain a wider range of human possibilities then when we are awake. It has been suggested on more than one occasion that we in fact have no knowledge of the dreams that we set out to remember, actually occurred. What we have remembered of a dream has been told to us by our brain, which seems incapable of remembering a whole dream and may have lost precisely the most important parts of its content. Often we regret the fact that we can not remember anything of our dream except a single part. Which itself is unclear. Secondly, there is every reason to suspect that our memory of dreams is not only short but wrong and fake. On the other hand it may be doubted whether what we dreamed was really as hazy as our memory of it. It also may be doubted that in our attempt to remember a dream we do not fill in what we never actually dreamt(Freud, pg. 512). Dream accounts are public verbalizations and as public performances, dream accounts resemble the anecdotes people use to give meaning to their experience, to entertain friends and give or get a form of satisfaction (Erdelyi, 35). In order to talk about the memory of a dream there are at least three steps one must take. First putting a remembered dream into words requires labeling categories and labeling categories involves interpretation. Next since the dream is multimodal, putting them into words requires the collapsing of visual and auditory imagery being put into words. Finally since dreams are dramatizations narrating a dream is what linguist call a performance or demonstration and the rule, ?What you see is what you get,? cannot apply, since only one person can see (Denten, Ph.D. 1988).
In the case of remembering a dream, it is the context, which is vital. After all since meaning is context, they are by definition meaningless. David Foulke, who wrote the book Dreaming states, ?That dreams don?t mean anything but people make meaning, as bees make honey continuously until it satisfies their dreams and their lives,?(Foulke 1992). IN analyzing the dreams of Frued?s patients he would sometimes use certain test. If the first account of the patient?s dream were too hard to follow he would ask them to repeat it. In by doing so the patient rarely uses the same words. But the parts of the dream, which he describes in different terms, are by fact the weak parts of the dream. By Freud asking the patient to repeat the dream the patient realizes that he will go to great lengths to interpret it. Under the pressure of the resistance he hastily covers the weak spots in the dream?s disguise by replacing any expression that threaten to betray its meaning by other less revealing ones (Freud, pg515). It will be no doubt a suprise to anyone to be told that dreams are nothing more than fulfillment?s of wishes. According to Aristotle?s accurate definition, ? a dream is thinking that persists in the state of sleep.? Since than our daytime thinking produces physical acts, such as judgement, denials, expectations, intentions and so on. The theory of dreams being wish fulfillment has been divided into two groups. Some dreams appear openly as wish fulfillment and other as the wish fulfillment is disguised. Others disagree and feel that dreams are nothing more than random memories that the mind sifts through (Globus, 1991). The next question is where the wishes that come true in dreams come from? It is the contrast between the consciously perceived life of daytime and a psychical activity, which has remained unconscious and only becomes aware at night. There is a distinguishing origin for such a wish. 1) It may have been aroused during the day and for external reasons may not have been satisfied. There fore it is left over for night. 2) It may have been aroused during the day but been repudiated, in that case what is left over is a wish that has not been dealt with but has been suppressed. 3) It may have no connection with daytime life and be one of those wishes that which only emerges from the suppressed part of the mind and becomes active at night. 4) It may be current wishful impulses that only arise during the night such as sexual needs or those stimulated by thirst. The place of origin of a dream wish fulfillment probably has no influence on its capacity for instigating dreams (Freud, pg. 550-551). Freud states that a child?s dreams prove beyond a doubt that a wish that has not been dealt with during the day can act as a way to start a dream. But it must not be forgotten that it is a child?s wish (Stanley Palombbo, 1986). Freud thinks it is highly doubtful that in the case of an adult wish that has not been fulfilled during the day would be strong enough to produce a dream. He admits that a wishful impulse starting in the conscious will add to the beginning of a dream, but it will probably not do more than that. Freud explains his theory in an analogy: ? A daytime thought may very well play the part of the entrepreneur for a dream, but the entrepreneur, who, as people say, has the idea and the initiative to carry it out, can do nothing without capital. He needs a capitalist who can afford the outlay for the dream, and the capitalist who provides the psychical outlay for the dream is invariably and indisputably, whatever may be the thoughts of the previous day, a wish from the unconscious.? (Freud pg. 230)
Affects in dreams cannot be judged in the same way as the remainder of their content, and we are faced by the problem of what part of the psychical processes occurring in dreams is to be regarded as real. That is to say,as a claim to be claimed to be classed among the psychical process of waking life.(Freud Pg. 74) The theory of the hidden meaning of dreams might have come to a conclusion merely by following linguistic usage. It is true that common language sometimes speaks of dreams with contempt, but, on the whole, ordinary usage treats dreams above all as the ?blessed fulfillers of wishes?. If ever we find our expectations surpassed by the event, we exclaim,? I should never have imagined such a thing even in my wildest dreams?(Freud pg. 132-133).