Our Dreams According to Freud


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Why do we dream of being naked, according to Freud? What kind of wish to dreams of being naked fulfill?

According to Freud, we dream of being naked as a sort of wish fulfillment to be like we were when we were a child when we felt no shame over our nakedness through exhibition. This desire to exhibit is born from prehistoric epoch era, where in Paradise where we would, much like our childhood, feel no shame over being without inadequate clothing. However, this phase of exhibition ended when “shame and anxiety awoke” and “sexual life and the tasks of cultural activity began.” Nevertheless, while this phrase of exhibition might have ended we still can regain this “Paradise” as we dream. To elaborate on this, Freud believes that we dream of being naked in order to strive towards reproduction, and to go back to the prehistoric epoch and our infancy.

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Why might a child dream of a brother or sister’s death? What kind of wish do these dreams fulfill?

A child might dream of their brother or sister’s death due to the fact, according to Freud, children are egotistic and hold their needs instantly over others. Furthermore, children strive “ruthlessly” to satisfy these needs especially against their siblings who become a sort of rival to them. This could be due to the siblings attention from their parents as illustrated on page 269 where a child, when first meeting their younger sibling, declares “the stork can take him away again!” The instant hostility seen here highlights the child’s need for attention from their parents that they see their sibling stealing away. Death becomes a method in which their ‘rival’ is taken away. To elaborate on this, it is important to note that young children have not fully grasped the concept of death and believe that when someone dies they go to heaven and become ‘little angels.’ This is important as a young child’s dream of the death of their sibling might not be to actually wish them dead but to wish for their absence.

Freud writers that “Dreams of the death of parents apply with preponderant frequency to the parent who is of the same sex as the dreamer: that men, that is, dream mostly of their father’s death and women of their mother’s.” What is the role of sexuality in these dreams? In dreams where children dream of their parent of the same sex passing away, sexuality plays a strong role. This is due to the fact that the first sexual presence in the dreamer’s lives are their parents. This sexual presence is felt early on in children’s lives and the dreamer start to see their parent of the same sex as rivals in love and their “elimination” is seen an advantage.

What is the connection between fairytales, literature, and dreams?

The connection that Freud explores connecting fairytales, literature and dreams are that they all discuss the theme of repression and the Oedipus complex in various forms. For example, in Oedipus Rex the child’s underlying wishes are brought into the open in a similar manner to how dreams can indicate underlying wishes unknown to our conscious. However, literature and peony on the other hand describes this complex to be repressed and remain repressed where the audience only learns of the existing repression through the outcome of the play and how the character, Hamlet, acts in this task of revenge.


Condensation is one the methods in which repressed feelings or wishes return in hidden ways in dreams.


Displacement the unconscious substituting a new object for goals that in their original form can be said as dangerous or unacceptable.

Does it matter to Freud that we forget so much of our dreams? Why or why not?

Yes because we could forget certain important aspects needed to comprehend the dream as a whole. This is why Freud writes his dreams out when he wakes up to keep the most accurate description and so forth a more accurate interpretation.

What are some things that make dreams difficult to interpret?

Sometimes it is difficult to interpret is the dreamer is forthcoming with aspects in their dreams and so forth the meaning of the dream could be confusing and not clear.

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