Page:Freud - The interpretation of dreams.djvu/323

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305
THE DREAM-WORK

the following words: His father upbraids him because he arrives so late. But the context in the psychoanalytic treatment and. the thoughts of the dreamer alike go to show that the sentence must read as follows: He is angry at his father, and, further, that his father is always coming home too early (i.e. too soon). He would have preferred that his father should not come home at all, which is identical with the wish (see page 219) that his father should die. As a little boy the dreamer was guilty of sexual aggression against another person while his father was away, and he was threatened with punishment in the words: "Just wait until father comes home."

If we attempt to trace the relations between dream content and dream thoughts further, we shall do this best by making the dream itself our starting-point and by asking ourselves the question: What do certain formal characteristics of dream representation signify with reference to the dream thoughts? The formal characteristics which must attract our attention in the dream primarily include variations in the distinctness of individual parts of the dream or of whole dreams in relation to one another. The variations in the intensity of individual dream images include a whole scale of degrees ranging from a distinctness of depiction which one is inclined to rate as higher—without warrant, to be sure—than that of reality, to a provoking indistinctness which is declared to be characteristic of the dream, because it cannot altogether be compared to any degree of indistinctness which we ever see in real objects. Moreover, we usually designate the impression which we get from an indistinct object in the dream as "fleeting," while we think of the more distinct dream images as remaining intact for a longer period of perception. We must now ask ourselves by what conditions in the dream material these differences in the vividness of the different parts of the dream content are brought about.

There are certain expectations which will inevitably arise at this point and which must be met. Owing to the fact that real sensations during sleep may form part of the material of the dream, it will probably be assumed that these sensations or the dream elements resulting from them are emphasized by peculiar intensity, or conversely, that what turns out to be

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