Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/317

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
299
THE DREAM-WORK

a second person, who likewise has relation to the objectionable material, but only to a part of it. The contact in that one point which offends the censor now justified me in forming a composite person, which is characterised on either hand by indifferent features. This person resulting from composition or identification, who is unobjectionable to the censor, is now suited for incorporation in the dream content, and by the application of dream condensation I have satisfied the demands of the dream censor.

In dreams where a common feature of two persons is represented, this is usually a hint to look for another concealed common feature, the representation of which is made impossible by the censor. A displacement of the common feature has here taken place partly in order to facilitate representation. From the circumstance that the composite person appears to me with an indifferent common feature, I must infer that another common feature which is by no means indifferent exists in the dream thoughts.

According to what has been said, identification or composition of persons serves various purposes in the dream; in the first place, to represent a feature common to the two persons; secondly, to represent a displaced common feature; and thirdly, even to give expression to a community of features that is merely wished for. As the wish for a community between two persons frequently coincides with the exchanging of these persons, this relation in the dream is also expressed through identification. In the dream of Irma's injection I wish to exchange this patient for another—that is to say, I wish the latter to be my patient as the former has been; the dream takes account of this wish by showing me a person who is called Irma, but who is examined in a position such as I have had the opportunity of seeing only when occupied with the other person in question. In the dream about my uncle this substitution is made the centre of the dream; I identify myself with the minister by judging and treating my colleague as shabbily as he does. It has been my experience—and to this I have found no exception—that every dream treats of one's own person. Dreams are absolutely egotistic. In cases where not my ego, but only a strange person occurs in the dream content, I may