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Facing The Shadow: A Freudian And Jungian Dream Interpretation

1366 words - 5 pages

Michael FilipponeMs. Alicia AndrzejewskiEng 110: Dreams10 March 2014Facing the Shadow: Jungian and Freudian Dream InterpretationMy initial reaction upon waking was not one of fear, anxiety, or fright (though they followed shortly after): but surprise, rather. The dream that I had just fallen out of so suddenly had shocked me, not because of what I experienced, but how I reacted to my surroundings. Though it is obvious that dreams are about as far away from reality as possible and virtually anything can happen, I still could hardly believe what I had done, even though it didn't actually take place. The urge to smoke cigarettes had never before come over me, but my dream would suggest that I very well may be a regular smoker. I have never felt the need or desire to disobey the law, especially right in front of a police officer, but if anyone else had seen my dream they might think otherwise.Had Sigmund Freud been my therapist and analyzed my dream, he would hold to his theory that every dream works to fulfill a repressed wish or desire, probably going on to suggest that the disobedience I displayed in my dream simply brought to light my unconscious desire to lash out in the face of my superiors. On the other hand, however, theorist Carl Jung would argue that my actions in the dream were not representative of my own self, but my shadow archetype. Jung once said that, "Everyone carries a shadow, and the less embodied it is in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is" (qtd. in Arden "David Lynch: Shadows and the Destruction of Subconscious Fantasy"). The shadow archetype described in Jung's theories better explains why I acted the way I did than does Freud's explanation of the nature of dreaming. Dreams are not held exclusively to the purpose of fulfilling unconscious desires, because they instead can be visual representations of the dreamer's unconscious, such as the shadow or any other of the Jungian archetypes. Therefore, the true meaning behind dreaming must be much deeper than the general fulfillment of an unspecified unconscious desire.Before applying it to any of my experiences, it is important to understand what Carl Jung defines the shadow, or archetypes in general, as. In his book The Undiscovered Self with Symbols and the Interpretation of Dreams, Jung states that, "The archetype is...an inherited tendency of the human mind to form representations of mythological motifs - representations that vary a great deal without losing their basic pattern" (108). The description of archetypes given by Jung in this book certainly open the door for several other theories about the nature of dreams, since Freud's highly generalized "wish fulfillment" theory had been the prominent and accepted belief for some time. In particular, the shadow archetype could best be understood as summarized by James Arden, who applied the Jungian shadow to several modern films in his article "David Lynch: Shadows and the Destruction of Subconscious...

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