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Sigmund Freud-курсовая на английском

Sigmund Freud-курсовая на английском

The Herzen State Pedagogical University

“The interpretation of dreams”

(The interpretation of dreams by Sigmund Freud)

Course Project

In English

2nd year student

Sinkevitch D.

230 group

Saint-Petersburg 2002


"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 dream.

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: psychoanalysis.

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 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



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.


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