Literature Review On Dreams: Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis

1814 words - 7 pages

Literature Review on Dreams: Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis

Freud initiated a therapy called psychoanalysis towards helping patients overcome mental problems, using an in depth analyze of a patient’s dream. Freudian psychoanalysis assumes that dreams fulfill a certain function. Freud considers dreams as a mental activity also experienced by our ancestors. The mind begins to disconnect from the external world during sleep but remains in an instinctual state. The mind protects the sleeper from disturbances by manufacturing dreams that satisfy unconscious desires (Freud, 1900: §V, C, p.234). Therefore unconscious content becomes conscious even though the content is distorted. Dreams allow for the id’s satisfaction without causing trouble. The id is one of the three parts of the minds Freud categorizes. The unconscious part of the mind is the id and will it continually seek to satisfy instinctual impulses. The ego is responsible for dealing with reality, in which it strives for the realistic and socially appropriate ways to satisfy the id’s desire. The final part of the mind is the super ego, which deals with morality. The super ego holds all standards and ideals that are acquired from parents and society (Storr, 1989: p.61). If the id’s full desires appear then the dreamer would awaken in horror (Flanagan: 2000, p.43). Therefore the resulting dream is always infused with disguise and expressions of the id’s desires. The dream will be experienced that is intertwined in a story like element that absorbs the dreamer further into the dream. Freud also thought dreams aid in an individuals’ survival and so it is passed on to the next generation. Individuals themselves do not listen to the id’s desire when conscious or else the possibilities of being killed arise. According to Freud fulfilling the id’s desires in sleep suppresses the desire during waking life, which is why dreams contain conscious imagery (Springett).

Freud also believed there were two parts that dreams are composed of, the manifest and latent content. The manifest content to the individually can be emotionally painful rather than fulfillment. Freud suggests that the individual would wake if it were too disturbing therefore dreams can operate contrarily from allowing the sleeping individual to divert from the id’s true desires. Therefore the manifest content possesses no meaning due to its disguised representation. This is the content that an individual would remember when awake. On the other hand the latent content is the true meaning of the dream. Repressed thoughts and unconscious desires are contained and released during sleep but will be disguised and unrecognizable. Latent content goes through a process known as the ‘dream work’ where manifest content is transformed into disguised and distorted latent content. The first defense mechanism is condensation, when two or more latent thought are combined into one unambiguous image or situation. The second defense mechanism is...

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