Dream Interpretation What Do Dreams Really Mean Psychologist World psychoanalytic theory essayfreud essay freud essay on narcissism sigmund freud psychoanalytic theory freud repression
Both his published clinical examples and the materials summarized for Fliess during the 1890s provide abundant evidence that Freud assiduously collected examples of psychopathology resulting from sexual frustration, from attempts at birth control or unwanted pregnancies. In fact, his very first psychological writing, a decade before he began to use anything recognizable as psychoanalytic concepts, reveals his concerns with sexuality and child-bearing as causal factors in neurosis. His earliest letters to Fliess, beginning in November, 1887, report on a Mrs. A whose seemingly organic complaints he's been treating with hydrotherapy and muscle exercises in the convention of his time, but by February, 1888,Freud had concluded that hers was a case of cerebral neurasthenia, that is to say an actual neurosis which he was inclined to attribute to unfulfilled sexual desires and which he seems to have linked to the anxiety coming from a concern over a pregnancy, because he writes to Fliess somewhat later that the patient had improved greatly after becoming pregnant and, Freud suggests, "It may be that I am in part responsible for this new citizen. I once spoke very strongly and not unintentionally about the harmfulness of ." Now this is a Freud, I would argue, who is already interested in sex, which becomes his signature concerns, and who is prepared to talk over matters of a risqué sort with his patients – but his concern with neurotic etiology, although it holds out for the possibility of an hereditary disposition, focuses on contemporaneous events and not yet in any consistent way on childhood. In fact, many of the draft manuscripts and notes sent by Freud to Fliess in the early1890s concern the psychopathological effects of sexuality. Freud goes on to argue, in 1893, that neurasthenia "can only be a sexual neurosis." Freud was concerned about the possibility of a spread, a kind of contagion, of the actual neurosis from one marriage partner to another; and he suggests that whereas a male's neurasthenia typically begins after puberty and expresses itself clearly in the patient's twenties, female neurasthenia in married women is often derived from neurasthenia in a man. "In that case," Freud says, "there is almost always an added mixture of hysteria and we have the common mixed neurosis of women." Why? Because Freud assumed that female sexual gratification occurred only in the context of heterosexual coitus and that if the male was in any way prevented from carrying intercourse to its conclusion the female would be unlikely to reach orgasm. The result would be unfulfilled sexual desire which would leave a state of tension, which could then become toxic and give rise to anxiety neurosis.
[T]his was becauseit symbolized the most powerful source of rage and guilt in his own life:the wish to attack his own mother and the children who were rivals for herlove."20 If this is the case, and indeed Freud would agree, otherexamples in the text appear which, though speculative, contribute to furtherpsychological connections between the author and his characters.
Fedya, recipient of his father's criticismand coercive control, no doubt felt like passing his hurt down the lineto the siblings beneath him."18 This image of the beating of the horseunquestionably finds its way into the text of Crime and Punishment asRaskolnikov's dream, foreshadowing the murder of the pawnbroker; again reinstatinga parallel of events in accordance with Freud.
The role of dream in Dostoevsky's novels, for the most part, cannot beconsidered independently of his theological mission, as in "The Dreamof a Ridiculous Man", and others, such as the dreams of Alyosha andDmitri.
Raskolnikov'srage towards Luzhin arises primarily through jealousy, indicating sexualtension between he and Dunya, and perhaps incestuous feelings within theauthor in his adolescence.21 Additionally, Stavrogin is ultimately responsiblefor the death of a young girl who, prior to her hanging, "kept brandishingher little fists at [him] menacingly and shaking her head in reproach."22 "One wonders", Breger states, "if this repeated image (alsoseen in The Eternal Husband) does not come from Dostoevsky's own sexual/angrygames with a young sister?"23
At the core of Freud's essay "Dostoevsky and Parricide" liesThe Brothers Karamazov. If nowhere else in his other works, thisnovel provides the most compelling evidence outside his biography of theauthor's own struggle with his father and with epilepsy.
Norton & Company, 1976.
Rice, James L., Freud's Russia: National Identity in the Evolution of Psychoanalysis, Transaction Publishers, 1993.
Strachey, James, translator, The Complete Psychological Works of SigmundFreud, Vol.
Breger states, "Byshowing how Smerdyakov uses his disease for manipulative and selfish ends,Dostoevsky confronts the same tendency in himself."34
As his last novel, The Brothers Karamazov serves to complete theevolution of Dostoevsky's psychological battles, on a more refined, mature,and wholly paternal level.35 It is impossible to neglect the unarguableFreudian themes within his characters, nor is it possible to consider thesecharacters in isolation from events of the author's life.
All of Freud's convictions that he's about to write his great work on the neuroses have collapsed. He provides convincing evidence for their doing so, he links this evidence to the circumstances of his own life, and then he muses, I should feel terrible, and yet I am elated. And we see very clearly the evidence of that elation, because in the very next letter Freud reports that he's had new dreams and new memories about his own early childhood that point him to the nursemaid who cared for him during the first several years of his life as in some way significant in the awakening of his childhood erotic feelings.
For Marx,social events like revolutions and wars; for Freud, the events of individuallives (like neurotic symptoms and slips of the tongue) as well as texts (like adream or a work of art) - all are treated as occasions for interpretation.
My self-analysis is in fact the most essential thing I have at present and promises to become of the greatest value to me if it reaches its end. In the middle of it, it suddenly ceased for three days, during which I had the feeling of being tied up inside(which patients complain of so much), and I was really disconsolate.... I asked my mother whether she still remembered the nurse. "Of course," she said, "an elderly person, very clever, she was always carrying you off to some church; when you returned home you preached and told us all about God Almighty. During my confinement with Anna (two and a half years younger ),it was discovered that she was a thief, and all the shiny new kreuzers and zehners and all the toys that had been given to you were found in her possession. Your brother Philipp himself fetched the policeman; she then was given ten months in prison." Now look at how this confirms the conclusions of my dream interpretation. It was easy for me to explain the only possible mistake. I wrote to you that she induced me to steal zehners and give them to her. In truth, the dream meant that she stole them herself. For the dream picture was a memory of my taking money from the mother of a doctor – that is, wrongfully. The correct interpretation is: I = she, and the mother of the doctor equals my mother. So far was I from knowing she was a thief that I made a wrong interpretation.
We find a letter in the spring of 1896 in which he says to Fliess that he is increasingly convinced that there is a great deal of perverse activity involving children, much of it concerned with fathers. And then Freud goes on to say, "My own father unfortunately was one of these perverts, and is responsible for the neurosis of my brother and that of several of my sisters." There's nothing else about this during the course of the summer, but all of a sudden in the fall Freud announces the extent to which he is "uprooted" by his father's death. During the course of the next year Freud becomes increasingly preoccupied with what has become conventional to call his self-analysis, and we get tidbits in the letters to Fliess of increasingly vivid and troubled dreams. In fact, many of the dreams which form the basis of The Interpretation of Dreams stem from this period. As spring gives way to summer in 1897 Freud increasingly complains of writer's block, and of an inhibition in his work. He clearly seems during this period to have intended to produce a major work on the psychoneuroses in which, freed from the need to be collaborative with Joseph Breuer (who Freud thought overly timid about his ideas concerning sexuality), he would articulate and support with clinical evidence his seduction theory. It's also clear from the evidence that this intensely ambitious man of 40 believed that this, finally, was the distinctive psychiatric work that would make his reputation. But we get no evidence that such a work in fact is being produced.
Those who read Kafka as apsychoanalytic allegory see desperate revelations of Kafka’s fear of hisfather, his castration anxieties, his sense of his own impotence, his thralldomto his dreams.