Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/319

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301
THE DREAM-WORK

the same which we employ in conceiving or fashioning a centaur or a dragon in waking life. The only difference is that in the phantastic creations occurring in waking life the intended impression to be made by the new creation is itself the deciding factor, while the composition of the dream is determined by an influence—the common feature in the dream thoughts—which is independent of the form of the image. The composition of the dream may be accomplished in a great many different ways. In the most artless method of execution the properties of the one thing are represented, and this representation is accompanied by the knowledge that they also belong to another object. A more careful technique unites the features of one object with those of the other in a new image, while it makes skilful use of resemblance between the two objects which exist in reality. The new creation may turn out altogether absurd or only phantastically ingenious, according to the subject-matter and the wit operative in the work of composition. If the objects to be condensed into a unity are too incongruous, the dream activity is content with creating a composition with a comparatively distinct nucleus, to which are attached less distinct modifications. The unification into one image has here been unsuccessful, as it were; the two representations overlap and give rise to something like a contest between visual images. If attempt were made to construct an idea out of individual images of perception, similar representations might be obtained in a drawing.

Dreams naturally abound in such compositions; several examples of these I have given in the dreams already analysed; I shall add more. In the dream on p. 296, which describes the career of my patient "in flowery language," the dream ego carries a blossoming twig in her hand, which, as we have seen, signifies at once innocence and sexual transgression. Moreover, the twig recalls cherry-blossoms on account of the manner in which the blossoms are clustered; the blossoms themselves, separately considered, are camelias, and finally the whole thing also gives the impression of an exotic plant. The common feature in the elements of this composition is shown by the dream thoughts. The blossoming twig is made up of allusions to presents by which she was induced or should have