Page:Totem and Taboo (1919).djvu/8

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chic structures which one constantly encounters in normal persons in the form of mistakes in talking, reading, writing, forgetting,[1] dreams and wit. The dream, always highly valued by the populace, and as much despised by the educated classes, has a definite structure and meaning when subjected to analysis. Professor Freud’s monumental work, The Interpretation of Dreams,[2] marked a new epoch in the history of mental science. One might use the same words in reference to his profound analysis of wit.[3]

Faulty psychic actions, dreams and wit are products of the unconscious mental activity, and like neurotic or psychotic manifestations represent efforts at adjustment to one’s environment. The slip of the tongue shows that on account of unconscious inhibitions the individual concerned is unable to express his true thoughts; the dream is a distorted or plain expression of those wishes which are prohibited in the waking states, and the witticism, owing to its veiled or indirect way of expression, enables the individual to obtain pleasure from forbidden sources. But whereas

  1. “The Psychopathology of Everyday Life,” translated by A. A. Brill. T. Fisher Unwin, London, and the Macmillan Co., N. Y.
  2. Translated by A. A. Brill, George Allen, and Unwin, London, and the Macmillan Co., N. Y.
  3. “Wit and Its Relations to the Unconscious,” translated by A. A. Brill. Moffat, Yard and Co., N. Y.