Frued's Analysis of Dream & Sex-Related Symbols

  • dreams-- the royal road to the unconscious.
  • Other avenues--slips of tongue, dreams, art, and irrational behavior that motives most of our actions.
In the condition of sleep the force of relaxed, because there is no immediate likelihood of unconscious impulse being carried through into dangerous action.
...the energizing force of dreams springs from an unconscious impulse seeking fulfillment, a desire not fulfilled in waking life.  Unable to find expression in action, the impulse gathers to itself material both from recent experience, such as the effects of present bodily need plus the recollections of the previous day, and from distant memories involving infantile sexual wishes.

the 'censorship'--under the influence of this censorship, the material is transformed into a series of images, that is the dream.

"A dream is a (disguised) fulfillment of a (suppressed or repressed) wish'
--a 'compromise' between the demands of impulse and the intensity of the repressing force.  The more intense the force of repression, the more obscure the encodings...

The dream-work transforms the 'latent' content of the dream, the 'forbidden' dream-thoughts, into the 'manifest' dream stories--what the dreamer remembers....

The operation of the dream work, its subversion and distortions, take four forms: condensation, displacement, consideration of representibility, and secondary revision.

  1. condensation:  --'overdetermination': several latent wishes converge on one manifest item, or the reverse, where one wish is represented a number of times in the same dream-sequence.  The result in each case is a superimposition of elements.
e.g. a joke: his uncle gave him a kiss in an automobile.--autoeroticism.
                  old people tend to fall into their 'anectotage'--anecdote, dotage
   onsolidate one's anger at a variety of people and objects into a simple sentence

  2. displacement: transvaluation of psychic values.  e.g. switches a person's hatred of Mr. Appleby to a rotting apple.
This transvaluation is achieved by the elements in the manifest dream replacing elements in the latent dream-thoughts via a chain of associations for the purpose of disguise.
--the associative links that depend on likeness (similarity) and those that depend on proximity (contiguity).
It is only after Freud that similarity and contiguity have been singled out as the two fundamental poles of language...

Sexual symbols:

(Frued's notion of symbolism: the whole world can be absorbed narcissistically, the sexual drives can attach themselves to anything the senses perceive.)

e.g. "To His Coy Mistress"; "To the Lighthouse"; 
 "Sick Rose "
 a, worm--death and phallus; flying--sexual intercourse; darkness, storm--the unconscious
 b. marble vault--fleshless pelvis; worms; fire