Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/345

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327
THE DREAM-WORK

stands before the theatre seats? There is only one association for this, namely, that the bride is that many months—three—younger than herself. Information concerning the significance of the feature that one side of the orchestra remains empty leads to the solution of the dream. This feature is an undisguised allusion to a little occurrence which has given her husband good cause for teasing her. She had decided to go to the theatre during the week, and had been careful to get tickets a few days before, for which she had to pay the pre-emption charge. When they got to the theatre they found that one side of the house was almost empty; she certainly did not need to be in such a hurry.

I shall now substitute the dream thoughts for the dream: "It surely was nonsense to marry so early; there was no need for my being in such a hurry. From the case of Elsie L., I see that I should have got a husband just the same—and one who is a hundred times better (husband, sweetheart, treasure)—if I had only waited (antithesis to the haste of her sister-inlaw). I could have bought three such men for the money (the dowry!). Our attention is drawn to the fact that the numerals in this dream have changed their meanings and relations to a much greater extent than in the one previously considered. The transforming and disfiguring activity of the dream has in this case been greater, a fact which we interpret as meaning that these dream thoughts had to overcome a particularly great amount of inner psychic resistance up to the point of their representation. We must also not overlook the circumstance that the dream contains an absurd element, namely, that two persons take three seats. We digress to the interpretation of the absurdity of dreams when we remark that this absurd detail of the dream content is intended to represent the most strongly emphasized detail of the dream thoughts: "It was nonsense to marry so early." The figure 3 belonging to a quite subordinate relation of the two compared persons (three months' difference in age) has thus been skilfully used to produce the nonsense demanded by the dream. The reduction of the actual 150 florins to 1 florin and 50 kreuzer corresponds to her disdain of her husband in the suppressed thoughts of the dreamer.

III. Another example displays the arithmetical powers of