Why Do We Dream?

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Why do we Dream?

It has been said by researchers that everyone dreams during sleep and it is thought to be a universal psychical feature of our human lives. However, many of us are unable to recall vividly what happens throughout our dreams, if anything at all. Due to this clouded unique nature that is dreaming, most of the knowledge why we dream is largely inconclusive. Nonetheless, after many years of theoretical debate on the subject, three arguments have remained prominent of which I will I will be discussing.

Perhaps the most renowned theory of dreaming comes from the famous psychologist, Dr Sigmund Freud. He proposed that our dreams were likened to a ‘royal road' (Plotnik 2005) to our unconscious thoughts and desires. In this uninhibited environment, Freud claimed that our secret inner thoughts were displayed in the form of symbols that represented our hidden ‘desires, needs, defences, fears, and emotions' (Plotnik 2005). Freud believed we could confront these wants without the anxiety or embarrassment that the conscious world would provoke, due to the protective censors of dreaming, allowing us to be undisturbed when sleeping. Similarly it's been found that this theory of instinctive behaviour is a form of ‘searching self-analysis' (Sharpe 1937) in which people can through unravelling unconscious taboos in the real world, experience them freely in their dreams. Freud associated much of our dreamt desires to be ones of a sexual nature in which we're able to ‘represent the most primitive ideas and interests imaginable' (Freud 1916). Such unacceptable and unpleasant wishes contained in dreams may explain why they are so regularly and so easily forgotten. Freud reasoned they were deliberately repressed and somehow blacklisted from our thoughts lost deep into the unconscious never to be found upon waking. Perhaps most importantly, Freud discovered that dreams could be interpreted and applied to present day life. Psychoanalysts as we now know them conduct



Bibliography: Texts - Freud, S, The Complete Psychological Works Of Sigmund Freud, Hogarth Press, London, 1916-17. - Plotnik, R, Introduction to Psychology, Wadsworth, USA, 2005. - Sharpe, E, Dream Analysis, Hogarth Press, London, 1937. Internet - Paul McCartney, ‘On Writing Yesterday ', at www0.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonsong/songlibrary/indepth/yesterday.shtml, accessed 3 April 2005.

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