FREUD'S REVOLUTIONARY THEORY
This ground-breaking work, which Freud considered his most valuable, forever changed the way we think about our dreams. In it, Freud made this century's startling discoveries about why we dream, what we dream about, and what dreams really mean.
Now, in this definitive translation by James Strachey, Freud's timeless exploration of the dream world is clearly and precisely rendered. Including dozens of case histories and detailed analyses of actual dreams, THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS remains an invaluable tool in helping us all discover the truth about ourselves.
• What does a dream about a loved one's death mean?
• What is the significance of anxiety dreams?
• What do dreams of swimming, failing, or flying symbolize?
• What is expressed in dreams about baldness or loss of teeth?
• What are the most common dreams and why do we have them?
About the Author
The Father of Psychoanalysis, Freud ranks among the most important figures in Western psychology, and this is his most famous work. Freud is responsible for the theories behind parapraxis (Freudian slips), dreams as wish fulfillment, the Oedipus complex, repression, the unconscious mind, and other concepts.
Read an Excerpt
In the pages that follow I shall bring forward proof that there is a psychological technique which makes it possible to interpret dreams, and that, if that procedure is employed, every dream reveals itself as a psychical structure which has a meaning and which can be inserted at an assignable point in the mental activities of waking life. I shall further endeavour to elucidate the processes to which the strangeness and obscurity of dream are due and to deduce from those processes the nature of the psychical forces by whose concurrent or mutually opposing action dreams are generated. Having gone thus far, my description will break off, for it will have reached a point at which the problem of dreams merges into more comprehensive problems, the solution of which must be approached upon the basis of material of another kind.
I shall give by way of preface a review of the work done by earlier writers on the subject as well as of the present position of the problems of dreams in the world of science, since in the course of my discussion I shall not often have occasion to revert to those topics. For, in spite of many thousands of years of effort, the scientific understanding of dream has made very little advance--a fact so generally admitted *'in the literature that it seem unnecessary to quote instances in support of it. In these writings, of which a list appears at the end of my work, many stimulating observations are to be found and a quantity of interesting material bearing upon our theme, but little or nothing that touches upon the essential natureof dreams or that offers a final solution of any of their enigmas. And still less, of course, has passed into the knowledge of educated laymen.
It may be asked what view was taken of dreams in prehistoric times by primitive races of men and what effect dreams may have had upon the formation of their conceptions of the world and of the soul; and this is a subject of such great interest that it is only with much reluctance that I refrain from dealing with it in this connection. I must refer my readers to the standard works of Sir John Lubbock, Herbert Spencer, E. B. Tylor and others, and I will only add that we shaft not be able to appreciate the wide range of these problems and speculations until we have dealt with the task that lies before us here---the interpretation of dreams.
The prehistoric view of dreams is no doubt echoed in the attitude adopted towards dream by the peoples Of classical antiquity. They took it as axiomatic that dream were connected with the world of superhuman beings in whom they believed and that they were revelations from gods and daemons. There could he no question, moreover, that for the dreamer dreams had an important purpose, which was as a rule to foretell the future. The extraordinary variety in the content of dreams and in the impression they produced made it difficult, however, to have any uniform view of them and made it necessary to classify dreams into numerous groups and subdivisions according to their importance and trustworthiness. The position adopted towards dreams by individual philosophers in antiquity was naturally dependent to some extent upon their attitude towards divination in general.
In the two works of Aristotle which -deal with dreams, they have already become a subject for psychological study. We are told that dreams are not sent by the gods and are not of a divine character, but that they are 'daemonic,' since nature is 'daemonic' and not divine.
Dreams, that is, do not arise from supernatural manifesta-tions but follow the laws of the human spirit, though thelatter, it is true, is akin to the divine. Dreams are definedas the mental activ ity of the sleeper in so far as he isasleep.'
Aristotle was aware of some of the characteristics of dream-life. He knew, for instance, that dreams give a magnified construction to small stimuli arising during steep. 'Men think that they are walking through fire and are tremendously hot, when there is only a slight heating about certain parts.' And from this circumstance he draws the conclusion that dreams may very well betray to a physician the first signs of some bodily change which has not been observed in waking.
Before the time of Aristotle, as we know, the ancients regarded dreams not as a product of the dreaming mind but as something introduced by a divine agency; and already the two opposing currents, which we shall find influencing opinions of dream-life at every period of history, were making themselves felt. The distinction was drawn between truthful and valuable dreams, sent to the sleeper to warn him or foretell the future, and vain, deceitful and Worthless dreams, whose purpose it was to mislead or destroy him.The Interpretation of Dreams. Copyright © by Sigmund Freud. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Table of Contents
|Note on the Text||xxxviii|
|Note on the Translation||xl|
|A Chronology of Sigmund Freud||lii|
|The Scientific Literature on the Problems of Dreams||7|
|(a) The Relationship of Dreams to Waking Life||9|
|(b) The Dream-MaterialMemory in Dreams||12|
|(c) Dream-Stimuli and Dream-Sources||20|
|(d) Why Do We Forget Our Dreams After We Wake?||38|
|(e) The Distinctive Psychological Features of Dreams||42|
|(f) Ethical Feelings in Dreams||55|
|(g) Theories of Dreams and the Function of Dreams||62|
|(h) The Relations Between Dreams and Mental Illnesses||74|
|II The Method of Interpreting Dreams||78|
|III The Dream is a Wish-Fulfilment||98|
|V The Material and Sources of Dreams||126|
|(a) Recent and Insignificant Material in Dreams||127|
|(b) Material from Infancy as a Source of Dreams||144|
|(c) The Somatic Sources of Dreams||169|
|VI The Dream-Work||211|
|(a) The Work of Condensation||212|
|(b) The Work of Displacement||232|
|(c) The Means of Representation in Dreams||236|
|(d) Regard for Representability||254|
|(e) Examples: Calculating and Speaking in Dreams||262|
|(f) Absurd Dreams. Intellectual Performance in Dreams||271|
|(g) Affects in Dreams||298|
|(h) Secondary Revision||318|
|VII The Psychology of the Dream-Processes||330|
|(a) Forgetting in Dreams||332|
|(c) On Wish-Fulfilment||359|
|(d) Arousal by Dreams. The Function of Dreams.|
|(e) Primary and Secondary Revision. Repression||385|
|(f) The Unconscious and Consciousness. Reality||403|