Курсовая: Sigmund Freud-курсовая на английском
The Herzen State Pedagogical University
“The interpretation of dreams”
(The interpretation of dreams by Sigmund Freud)
2nd year student
"The Interpretation of Dreams" provides plenty of Freud's dreams in his own
interpretation, among which the famous dream of Irma's injection, which he
considers a key issue in understanding the mysteries of dream life. It opens
Chapter II ("The Method Of Interpreting Dreams: An Analysis Of A Specimen
Dream") and provides material for an analysis covering several pages ahead.
Just as Freud himself maintained, the analysis of the dream is not complete
but it was here that Freud for the first time asserted that dreams are the
disguised fulfilment of unconscious wishes. The explanation of the dream is
quite simple: it tries to hide Freud's lack of satisfaction with the
treatment given to a patient of his, Irma, and throw the guilt of partial
failure upon others, exonerate Freud of other professional errors it also
hints at. Dream interpretation also provides a dream psychology and many
other issues. The volume is extremely inventive and rich in information, and,
in its author's view, it is his most important work.
Chapter 1. How this book start.
Freud was both a medical doctor and a philosopher. As a doctor, he was
interested in charting how the human mind affected the body, particularly in
forms of mental illness, such as neurosis and hysteria, and in finding ways
to cure those mental illnesses. As a philosopher, Freud was interested in
looking at the relationship between mental functioning and certain basic
structures of civilization, such as religious beliefs. Freud believed, and
many people after him believe, that his theories about how the mind worked
uncovered some basic truths about how an individual self is formed, and how
culture and civilization operate.
In 1897 Sigmund Freud began his famous course of self-analysis. He had
already noticed that dreams played an important role in his analysis of
neurotic and "hysterical" patients. As he encouraged them to free-associate,
that is, talk about whatever came into their minds, they often referred to
their dreams, which would set off other associations and often illuminate
other important connections in their past experience. Freud also had noticed
that hallucinations in psychotic patients were very much like dreams. Based
on these observations, Freud began to believe that sleeping dreams were
nearly always, like day-dreams, wish fulfillment.
Freud had always been an active dreamer, and much of his self-analysis focused
on dreams, convincing him conclusively in the wish-fulfillment theory. Within a
few months of beginning his self-analysis, he decided to write a book about
dreams. He looked into the literature and was pleased to see that no one had
proposed his idea before. In fact, most people believed dreams were just
nonsense. It took Freud about two years to write The Interpretation of
Dreams, finishing it in September 1897. It was published late in the year
and released in 1900. Freud was paid about $209.
The book explained the double level of dreams: the actual dream with its
"manifest content," and the dream's true if hidden meaning, or "latent
content." The idea of dream as wish-fulfillment was explained, and he
introduced the theory that sexuality was an important part of childhood, a
shocking idea at the time. He also outlined a sort of universal language of
dreams, by which they might be interpreted.
Most people now agree that The Interpretation of Dreams was Freud's most
important work, but it took eight years to sell the 600 copies printed in 1900.
In the first year and a half, no scientific journal reviewed it and few other
periodicals mentioned it. It was largely ignored, though in psychological
journals it received crushing reviews. One critic warned that "uncritical minds
would be delighted to join in this play with ideas and would end up in complete
mysticism and chaotic arbitrariness."
In 1910, however, Freud's overall work was becoming better known and a second
edition was printed. There would be six more in Freud's lifetime, the last in
1929. He changed very little in the book, only adding illustrations,
elaborating certain ideas, and adding to the portions on symbolism. The book
was translated into English and Russian in 1913, and into six more languages by
1938. Though he was a prolific writer, The Interpretation of Dreams
remained Freud's most original work. Despite the initial cold reception, Freud
himself knew it was a breakthrough. "Insight such as this falls to one's lot
but once in a lifetime," he wrote.
Chapter 2. The dream theory.
According to Freud (in his book The Interpretation of Dreams), dreams
are symbolic fulfillments of wishes that can't be fulfilled because they've
been repressed. Often these wishes can't even be expressed directly in
consciousness, because they are forbidden, so they come out in dreams--but in
strange ways, in ways that often hide or disguise the true wish behind the
Freud believed that dreams acted as a form of fantasy, a defense mechanism
against the unacceptable urges of the id. Fantasy allows the individual to
act out events in the imagination, which can satiate the urges of the id
which are repressed. Freud theorized that dreams were a subconscious
manifestation of these repressed urges, and that they served mainly to
satisfy sexual and aggressive tendencies. The interpretation of dreams has
come to be one of the aspects of Freud's studies which are most popularized,
as he took the importance of dreams far more seriously than many of those who
came before him or studied after him, even students of his own science:
Freud recognized that the interpretation of dreams was a very difficult task.
Many barriers to clear insights into dreams exist, and many elements of
contamination may render the analysis of the dream as being incorrect, or
make the dream impossible to analyze at all. One of the biggest problems was
remembering the dream in detail. As dreams take place on a totally
subconscious level, there is a good chance that aspects of dreams will be
muddled or forgotten completely, aspects which may have had a significant
impact on the analysis of the dream. He also realized that a the patient
might fabricate the missing pieces of the dream, which would render it
ingenuine and result in an inaccurate interpretation. Freud stated that the
dream must be accepted as total fact if the dream is to be analyzed, which
seems contrary to his typical practice of constantly questioning the validity
of patients' statements.
Another significant barrier to interpretation of dreams is the fact that
there is often no textbook diagnosis available. This is to say that dreams
of comprised of symbolism, and that what an object symbolizes for the
individual varies from person to person. Therefore, the analyst must rely on
the patient to provide significant amounts of background information in order
to determine what objects symbolize. Of course, another obvious problem is
that the meaning of the symbol may be repressed as well, or stem from a
repressed event, and therefore the patient can offer no explanation of the
symbol. Freud himself admitted in his works that he often encountered
problems with patients not divulging enough background information, and that
aspects of dreams were left uninterpreted.
Freud still offered some symbols as constants, however, and felt that all people
incorporated these symbols and their meanings into dreams.However, the
emphasis on sexual imagery is a majority of this text, ranging form symbolism
of the genitals and other erogenous zones, to symbolism of sexual acts such as
intercourse and orgasm. This is perhaps one of his most assaulted theories, as
it not only states that there is a constant (or law) among all individuals that
"object a = meaning a," but also that there is such an absurd amount of these
sexual symbols that almost every dream could be boiled down to nothing more
than an expression of sexuality. Though sexuality was certainly a present
theme in nearly all Freud's works, modern analysts do not seem to find such a
gross amount of sexual content in dreams.
Dreams use two main mechanisms to disguise forbidden wishes: CONDENSATION and
DISPLACEMENT. Condensation is when a whole set of images is packed into a
single image or statement, when a complex meaning is condensed into a simpler
one. Condensation corresponds to METAPHOR in language, where one thing is
condensed into another ("love is a rose, and you'd better not pick it"--this
metaphor condenses all the qualities of a rose, including smell and thorns,
into a single image). Displacement is where the meaning of one image or
symbol gets pushed onto something associated with it, which then displaces
the original image. Displacement corresponds to the mechanism of METONYMY in
language, where one thing is replaced by something corresponding to it. (An
example of metonymy is when you evoke an image of a whole thing by naming a
part of it--when you say "the crown" when you mean the king or royalty, for
example, or you say "twenty sails" when you mean twenty ships. You displace
the idea of the whole thing onto a part associated with that thing). You
might think of condensation and metaphor as being like Saussure's syntagmatic
relations, which happen in a chain (x is y is z), and displacement and
metonymy being like Saussure's associative relations.
This work was, by his own assessment, Sigmund Freud's greatest. In the
process of showing how seemingly meaningless fragments of dreams suggest the
whole range of personal issues in the dreamer's present and past life, Freud
lays out the basis for a new psychology and therapy. And anyone can use this
book to know more about his life.