According to Freud, there is no such thing as an accident, but rather an unconscious desire. Freud developed the theory of Bungled Actions as a method to explain when things happen that seem to be accidental but play right into what that person desires at the time. The desire may not even be a conscious or purposeful event, but can be something that is desired in the subconscious and the accident or bungled action provides a means to get that desire accomplished.
One might consider these bungled actions to be a doorway into our unconsciousness. In his essay “Bungled Actions”, Freud talks of cases where he saw the idea of a mistake or bungled action connecting to a deeper meaning. “Bungled actions can, of course, serve as whole number of other obscure purposes” (237). Freud talks about the idea of breaking things, harming oneself. The action of these things all are supposed to represent something that our unconscious wants to see happen.
Numerous bungled actions were discussed throughout the reading which I would have never thought to be connected to one another. Smashing or breaking things with some value, there were several stories in which people said to have broken something and it was connected to an event in their lives. Freud sees the breaking of something as a sacrifice. For instance, Freud himself once being clumsy sat down at his desk to write a letter and knocked over the ink pot over which sat on his desk. Earlier in the day, his sister had commented on how his ink stand didn’t match his table and how he should get another one. Based on his theory, he believes that the reason he unconsciously broke the ink pot is purely because in his mind his sister said he needed to get another one. “Dropping, knocking over and breaking objects are acts which seem to be used very often to express unconscious trains of thought” (242) as we saw in the Freud’s mishap.
The story in the reading goes to say that a young boy wasn’t happy with his nurses’ directions...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document