Day Residues in Dream Contents

Day Residues in Dream Contents

(dreams)

During dreams, we often reencounter elements of experiences from the preceding day (or from the recent past). For the most part, these residual images appear random and devoid of deeper significance. However, Sigmund Freud viewed these images from recent waking experience as constituting building blocks out of which the unconscious mind constructs dream fantasies for the purpose of acting out repressed desires. According to Freud and the school of thought he initiated, the dreaming mind usually constructs fantasies in which repressed urges (often aggressive or sexual impulses) are symbolically, rather than literally, acted out. Thus, instead of dreaming about having a forbidden sexual encounter, we might dream about an attractive motorcyclist we happened to notice the day before, and in the dream we might ride a vibrating motorcycle with our arms around the cyclist—a situation that suggests intercourse, at least symbolically. In this manner, the seemingly insignificant events of the day become vehicles for the expression of repressed desires.

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