Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/40

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22
THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

(P. 37). "I am taking a walk on a beautiful spring morning. I saunter through the green fields to a neighbouring village, where I see the natives going to church in great numbers, wearing their holiday attire and carrying their hymn-books under their arms. I remember that it is Sunday, and that the morning service will soon begin. I decide to attend it, but as I am somewhat overheated I also decide to cool off in the cemetery surrounding the church. While reading the various epitaphs, I hear the sexton ascend the tower and see the small village bell in the cupola which is about to give signal for the beginning of the devotions. For another short while it hangs motionless, then it begins to swing, and suddenly its notes resound so clearly and penetratingly that my sleep comes to an end. But the sound of bells comes from the alarm clock."

"A second combination. It is a clear day, the streets are covered with deep snow. I have promised to take part in a sleigh-ride, but have had to wait for some time before it was announced that the sleigh is in front of my house. The preparations for getting into the sleigh are now made. I put on my furs and adjust my muff, and at last I am in my place. But the departure is still delayed, until the reins give the impatient horses the perceptible sign. They start, and the sleigh bells, now forcibly shaken, begin their familiar janizary music with a force that instantly tears the gossamer of my dream. Again it is only the shrill sound of my alarm clock."

Still a third example. "I see the kitchen-maid walk along the corridor to the dining-room with several dozen plates piled up. The porcelain column in her arms seems to me to be in danger of losing its equilibrium. 'Take care,' I exclaim, 'you will drop the whole pile.' The usual retort is naturally not wanting—that she is used to such things. Meanwhile I continue to follow her with my worried glance, and behold! at the door-step the fragile dishes fall, tumble, and roll across the floor in hundreds of pieces. But I soon notice that the noise continuing endlessly is not really a rattling but a true ringing, and with this ringing the dreamer now becomes aware that the alarm clock has done its duty."

The question why the dreaming mind misjudges the nature of the objective sensory stimulus has been answered by