The Interpretation of Dreams

by Sigmund Freud

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What are five key points in Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams?

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1.There is an unconscious, and dreams are created by the unconscious.

2. All dreams are wish fulfillments. This was what Freud considered his greatest contribution to dream interpretation.

3. Dreams are often hard to understand because there is a principle of "censorship" at work which disguises the real wish.

4. Many dreams, and especially nightmares, are disguised fulfillments of repressed sexual desires.

5. The correct method to interpret dreams is to write out everything the dreamer remembers and then free associate with every element and detail of the dream.

6. The initial dream is called the "manifest dream." The interpreted dream is called the "latent dream."

7. Dreams are "the royal road to the unconscious." They are the best way of understanding the unconscious, which, by definition, is inaccessible to the conscious just because it is unconscious.

8. Dreams employ many symbols and metaphors. These are important elements.

9. Freud emphasized that the function of dreams is to preserve sleep. The dreamer imagines that a need or wish is fulfilled, so that he doesn't have to wake up and take care of it in reality. Sometimes the dream or wish or fear is so strong that it breaks through the dream and wakes the dreamer. These episodes are nightmares.

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