Dreams as a Wish Fulfillment

Essay by hughtorpeyCollege, Undergraduate April 2004

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All Dreams Represent Wishes; Their Motive is a Wish and they Represent the Satisfaction of it

To find the evidence for the concept that a dream is a wish fulfillment we must go back to the beginning of psychoanalysis. Freud was of course the founder of Psychoanalysis and the basis of many of his theories can be found in his work 'The Interpretation of Dreams'. So therefore it is important to study his opinions and theories first as a basis for the premise that all dreams represent wishes. Indeed it was Freud who first put forward this theory and is only there for others to agree or disagree. However Freud was not sure when he wrote the Interpretation of Dreams whether a dream was a wish fulfillment and only that. He speculates in the book whether this was just one of the many different types of dreams which represented different facets of each individuals psychological makeup and whether he was basing this judgement solely on the Irma dream and his analysis on that alone.

Freud was well known for changing and revisiting old texts and ideas and constantly updating them and changing them. Within the text he poses many questions, whether material for the dream was gathered during the day or was just psychological stimuli being used by the unconscious mind. Significantly though, his work The Interpretation of Dreams remained largely unchanged in its ideas and principles. Indeed in the second edition (1908) he wrote in the preface:

'I am glad to say I have found little to change in it... In the sphere of dream life I have been able to leave my original assertions unchanged. During the long years in which I have been working at the problem of the neuroses I have often been in...