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Dreams, as mysterious as they seem, are analyzed and interpreted in this timeless classic The Interpretation Of Dreams. Sigmund Freud, in this book, weaves the two worlds of unconsciousness and dreams and suggests one as a doorway to another. He asserts that dreams are a symbolic image of the unconscious. The unconscious mind contains many conflicts, which may have arisen as a result of events that have occurred in the past. These conflicts, as per Freud, find an outlay in dreams.
When in the book it says dreams are symbolic, Freud hints at hidden meanings or wishes that we may not directly know or say. It’s in this context that Freud equated dreams as a doorway into the unconscious. Freud attaches multiple meanings to every dream. He thinks of images observed in each dream as standing for something real, something that exists in the conscious. This is an element repeatedly seen in his case studies. He would often ask his patients to provide information, even if they seemed trivial.
Freud often attached instincts and the biological drive of humans to the nature of dreams. For this, he attracted much criticism. Visualizing a box or a cave, according to him, stood for a womb, while an elongated object stood for a penis.The Interpretation Of Dreams presents a glimpse into Freud’s psychoanalytic work. His case studies offer insight into the kind of treatment he offered and the kind of responses he received from the patients. Some of the key psychoanalytic concepts he describes in The Interpretation Of Dreams have since become central to psychoanalysis.
About Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud was a psychologist, neurologist, and writer, who came to be known as the founding father of psychoanalysis. Freud’s other books include The Unconscious, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, The Psychology of Love, Civilization and its Discontents, The Future of an Illusion, The Uncanny, and On Murder, Mourning and Melancholia.
Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in the erstwhile Austrian town of Freiberg. In 1881, he received his medical degree, and after graduation worked at a hospital. Later he began a private practice where he treated various psychological disorders. He however considered himself to be scientist first and a doctor second. After having lived a life of investigation and inquiry, which influenced the development of psychoanalysis and psychology, he ended his life by committing suicide.