Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, Psychological trauma Pages: 4 (1479 words) Published: February 23, 2013
A Stylistic Analysis: Contradiction, Skepticism And Oversight Presented In Freud’s Theories Of Dreams. ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’, by Sigmund Freud is the first account of his theory regarding dreams as “… physical phenomena of complete validity – fulfillments of wishes” (200). This narrative moves forth to elaborate on his theory with numerous examples to illustrate that dreams indeed represent pure wish fulfillments, whether they do so in a manner most clear or obscure. Twenty years hence, in “Beyond the Pleasure Principle’, Freud disregards this theory as it fails to rationalize the traumatic dreams he encounters in the veterans of the First World War. Although his new work seems to have an interpretation of dreams that is not in line with its precursor, this paper argues on the fact that the two theories can in fact be fit into the theory of wish fulfillment itself. This analysis examines the language of skepticism and contradiction inherent in Freud’s writing in order o view how Freud’s theories fold back upon themselves. Through various examples in the “Interpretation of Dreams”, Freud describes dreams as ‘pure wish fulfillments’. He illustrates the myriad of wishes that dreams fulfill, which range from as simple as quenching a thirst to as complex as fulfilling some convoluted desire buried deep in one’s being. The example regarding the woman that has a dream about her nephew’s death and the long-winded process of its interpretation as a “dream of impatience”(237) to see the man she loves, illustrates the complexity with which a dream may fulfill a wish. Therefore according to Freud, even distressing dreams, such as the aforesaid, are wish fulfillments. In “Beyond the Pleasure Principle”, Freud’s analysis of the recurring traumatic dreams experienced by the soldiers, apparently contradicts his earlier theory and he subsequently rejects it. However, the noticeable absence of the word “pure” in his description of dreams as wish fulfillments in ‘Beyond...
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