A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis

By Sigmund Freud | Go to book overview

FOURTEENTH LECTURE

THE DREAM

Wish Fulfillment

MAY I bring to your attention once more the ground we have already covered? How, when we met with dream distortion in the application of our technique, we decided to leave it alone for the time being, and set out to obtain decisive information about the nature of the dream by way of infantile dreams? How, then, armed with the results of this investigation, we attacked dream distortion directly and, I trust, in some measure overcame it? But we must remind ourselves that the results we found along the one way and along the other do not fit together as well as might be. It is now our task to put these two results together and balance them against one another.

From both sources we have seen that the dream-work consists essentially in the transposition of thoughts into an hallucinatory experience. How that can take place is puzzling enough, but it is a problem of general psychology with which we shall not busy ourselves here. We have learned from the dreams of children that the purpose of the dream work is the satisfaction of one of the sleep-disturbing psychic stimuli by means of a wish fulfillment. We were unable to make a similar statement concerning distorted dreams, until we knew how to interpret them. But from the very beginning we expected to be able to bring the distorted dreams under the same viewpoint as the infantile. The earliest fulfillment of this expectation led us to believe that as a matter of fact all dreams are the dreams of children and that they all work with infantile materials, through childish psychic stimuli and mechanics. Since we consider that we have conquered dream-distortion, we must continue the investigation to see whether our hypothesis of wish-fulfillment holds good for distorted dreams also.

We very recently subjected a number of dreams to interpreta

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