Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Essay on Sigmund Freud: Interpretation of Dreams

Essay on Sigmund Freud: Interpretation of Dreams

The journal article, "The interpretation of dreams [1900]", by Leonardo Rodriguez, summarizes the works of Sigmund Freud in his book The Interpretation of Dreams. The author of the article looks to the book, by Freud, as a literary work of merit, and one of Freud's most appraised studies. In his book, Freud explores the battle between the unconscious and the conscious mind. The entirety of interpreting dreams focuses on the dreamer himself, the unconscious mind, and a framework of rules.

In the book Freud discloses that the secret of dreams are discovered through the dreamer himself. When reading the article, an analogy from highschool came into mind, based on this research done by Sigmund Freud. Each individual is an iceberg in the ocean, floating at great lengths, and in great masses. However, each iceberg needs to be examined separately upon approaching, because not one is similar. The same goes for the individual when analyzing a dream. Without the dreamer, no analysis of the dream is possible, "Thus, the dreamer becomes an analysand, that is to say, the subject, rather then the object, of analytic interpretation; and as a subject, the dreamer is subjected to the unconscious"(Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry p397). This is one of the great points in the article that leads to the study of the unconscious mind.

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The book also clearly examines the research of the unconscious mind. Here again we see the analogy of the icebergs. The top of the iceberg is visible, and although just a small portion of the iceberg it is still apparent, this represents the conscious mind. The bottom of the iceberg is much more massive, and stretches on for miles, unknown to plain sight; this symbolizes the unconscious mind. In other words, it is saying that, "the dream is not the unconscious. It is a privileged path of access to the unconscious"(p397). Dreams are merely a smooth, paved road to the understanding of the movement of the mind.

Finally, in order to fully understand the dream, one must reveal the framework of rules of the "dream-work". "The interpretation of the dream demonstrates that the desire that divides that subject, the unconscious desire, is forever unfulfilled and does not cease operating once the subject has woken up"(p397). Freud is saying that, dreams are the unconscious desire and people awake from their dreams attempting to fulfill these desires. When trying to fulfill the dream while awake, its called reality, when asleep it is fiction. An individual needs a true encounter with the real, before he/she can truly be awake. This is the psychoanalytic encountering that Freud creates in his book.

Through the writings of Freud, the exploration of the conscious and unconscious is challenged in each of us. The interpreting of dreams focuses on the dreamer himself, the unconscious mind, and a framework of rules, through these demonstrations we are able to shed light on the methods of Freud. Freud as the subject-matter of his own book allows us to get an inside look at his own life and the details that made it what it was, a gift to the scientific world. He was the dreamer, the subject of the unconscious, and the analysand; a true testament to is work.

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