In Freud’s ideology, dream is something analyzable and of great importance for individuals: “It is a perfectly valid psychic phenomenon, actually a wish-fulfilment.” (Chapter 3, P25) From his sentences, dream is not the meaningless absurdity, but rather a compensation for the wish people do not achieve in their real life. Through the functioning of our brains during sleep, the complicated yet intelligible image of our wish-fulfilment will be presented just in our mind.
Here is an example of Freud’s own dream which he used in order to corroborate the viewpoint. In this dream, he voraciously drinks a lot of water that tastes cool. However, this cool sensation, according to Freud, is what only thirsty people could feel. Undoubtedly, this feeling, thirst, is the cause of the dream. Coincidentally, preceding the dream, he ate plenty of strongly salty food which is easy to make people feel lack of water. Therefore, the wish-fulfilment is often undisguised and easy to recognize. Even though before the dream, people might be unaware of their wish, the impulse of achieving a certain goal could be intense and even force them to take certain actions afterwards, just like what Freud did when he really felt thirsty and desired to a lot of water after waking up from this dream.
This example, however, could come to a modified form as the situation before the dream is varied: before he went to bed, he had already been thirsty, thus drinking the glass of water nearby him. But the thirst returned during his sleep. In this occasion, the dream, though he still drinks water, is changed to his wife giving water with Etruscan cinerary urn as the container. Moreover, the water is salty, making Freud wake up. Through analysis, Freud found the wishes were far more complicated than the context of the unmodified dream: despite feeling thirsty, he had desired love for comfort and regretted the loss of the cinerary urn. So Freud furthered his idea by claiming that “It may be observed how conveniently the dream is capable of arranging matters. Since the fulfilment of a wish is its only purpose, it may be perfectly egoistic.” (Chapter 3, P26) This example truly is a great demonstration for this phenomenon, because it does not embody altruistic purposes.
Of course, during people’s life span, there always have dreams with different levels of thought in specific ages. “The dreams of little children are often simple fulfilments of wishes… They present no problem to be solved, but they are invaluable as affording proof that the dream, in its inmost essence, is the fulfilment of a wish.” (Chapter 3, P28) In spite of mature adults’ dreams that commute complex means, children and teenagers’ dreams are also analyzable in their simpler but still meaningful purpose – wish-fulfillment.
It is no wonder that high school students’ lives are filled with challenges. When I encounter various courses, I definitely have disadvantages in some of them, such as World Literature. Being unexperienced in analyzing literal materials, it requires me to read them more arduously. And that always makes me feel distressed and hopeless. One night after completing an essay focusing on the discussion of different literature works, I dreamed that I was flying in the sky without restriction, and along my route, I could see the statues of different writers standing beside me. The reason for this dream to happen, in my opinion, is that I wish to read and comprehend the information the authors are trying to convey, and through the understanding, I could accomplish my writing more easily. The fancy of mythical creatures in these books may also play a role in giving me a pair of wings to fly freely. The major elements I perceived in the reason for this dream are generally objective, proving that my dream is straightforward. Moreover, what I did in this dream actually does not appease to others, thus the egoism presented in this dream also illustrates that the wish-fulfillment is focused on the dreamers themselves. Therefore, my dream, not surprisingly, manifests Freud’s idea about the nature of dreams.
According to these examples shown, it is obvious that the wishes are strongly connected to fundamental nature of dreams. It is not hard to perceive this connection, because, in my opinion, wishes that are presented in the dreams are rather suppressed before the sleep, making the dreamers desire for accomplishment. This suppression, as a result, even enhanced the dramatic characters of the dreams that cannot exist in real world. After all, if dreams are all with real-life settings, people will not have the insights to explore the thoughts, more precisely, wishes, that are exhibited inside the details of their dreams.
Freud, S. (1997) The Interpretation of Dreams (Wordsworth Edition.). New York, NY: Wordsworth Classics of World Literature