59 pages 1 hour read

Sigmund Freud

The Interpretation of Dreams

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1899

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Important Quotes

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“In the following pages I shall demonstrate that there is a psychological technique which makes it possible to interpret dreams, and that on the application of this technique every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance, and one which may be assigned to a specific place in the psychic activities of the waking state.”

(Chapter 1, Page 4)

This quote summarizes the main argument of the book. Freud argues that dreams have psychological significance and that they can be interpreted through a specific technique. He claims that every dream is a psychological structure that can reveal important information about the dreamer's unconscious mind and their waking state.

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“One of the sources from which dreams draw material for reproduction—material of which some part is not recalled or utilized in our waking thoughts—is to be found in childhood.”

(Chapter 1, Page 13)

Freud believes that our childhood experiences, including repressed desires, traumas, and conflicts, have a profound influence on our adult personalities and behaviors. He suggests that these experiences often become buried in our unconscious mind but can be expressed through dreams. In fact, Freud thinks that most dreams have some relation to memories of childhood we have since forgotten.

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"We can readily understand how the strange preference shown by the dream-memory for the indifferent and therefore disregarded details of daily experience must commonly lead us altogether to overlook the dependence of dreams on the waking state, or must at least make it difficult for us to prove this dependence in any individual case."

(Chapter 1, Page 15)

Freud notes that the dream-memory often focuses on the "indifferent and therefore disregarded details of daily experience." In other words, our dreams often seem to be made up of random, insignificant details that we do not usually pay much attention to when we are awake. Freud argues that this focus on the insignificant details of waking life can lead us to overlook the fact that dreams are actually dependent on the waking state—our dreams are not created in a vacuum but are instead influenced by our experiences and thoughts in the waking world.