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The Interpretation of Dreams (Freud)

The purpose of this research is to examine The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud. The plan of the research will be to set forth the pattern of ideas emerging in the work in general terms and then to discuss the means by which the ideas are elaborated, with a view toward suggesting the significance of the work in the discourse of culture and experience.

Why persons dream, what they dream, and what their dreams mean, are subjects of interest to a wide range of researchers, and a wide range of artists and clinical practitioners. The Interpretation of Dreams looks at what dreams mean intrinsically and at what meanings dreams make for waking dreamers. It must also be recognized that the perspective from which Freud examines and interprets dreams is that of the professional psychologist and that the clinical neurosis of the subjects of his interpretations is to be presumed. To put it another way, Freud's subjects are patients, but the conclusions that he draws from observing them and interpreting their dreams are generalized to the human condition as a whole.

Three premises dominate Freud's approach to explaining the role of dreams in the human psyche. One is that "interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind." In other words, determining the meaning and significance of a dream may provide clues to the real nature of a dreamer's psyche. Once a dream is interpreted or decoded and the latent content or actual meaning is discovered, then the implications of such content can be dealt with at the dreamer's conscious level. The second Freudian premise is this: "Dreams are the GUARDIANS of sleep and not its disturbers. . . . Thus the wish to sleep . . . must in every case be reckoned as one of the motives for the formation of dreams " (Freud 44; emphasis added). The third premise, which flows from the second, is that "wish-fulfillment is the meaning of every dream" (Freud 44).

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The Interpretation of Dreams (Freud). (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:28, February 19, 2017, from