Sigmund Freud's 'Interpretation Of Dreams'

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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a psychologist and a founder of psychoanalysis. Freud, known for his works and theories on dreams (The Interpretation of Dreams), lived through (the end of) the Enlightenment period and the Modernist period. The Enlightenment is noted to have ended around the 1810s, and while Freud had not been born yet for another forty-or-so years, he still grew up and developed under the ideas of the Enlightenment as he began to form his own. His most famous works were published during the period of Modernism. Modernism is ranged around the late 19th century into the early 20th century. Freud’s On Dreams—an abridged version of The Interpretation of Dreams—showcases the differences between the two periods, and highlights the…show more content…
Mainly, though, it was focused on the individual. Freud’s On Dreams speaks on the topic of the individual and their dream’s meanings. He goes on throughout claiming that one’s dreams are “[disguised] wish fulfillments” and desires (Freud 150). This means that while the conscious of one’s self “represses” the subconscious (as he calls it), dreams allow the subconscious to shine through and express itself. Freud also challenges the Enlightenment ideal that people are good and rational; he claims that people are not good and rational—that they are irrational and impure. He believed that society was fragile as well. The Enlightenment, with some exceptions, held majorly that humans are born rational and pure, and that if the people ruled the government as it was made to do, then society would be a utopia, but Freud believed the opposite—he did not have a view of a utopia. The Enlightenment tried to find the silver lining in everything possible, but Freud was a pessimist in respect to this as he saw the reality of society through the people themselves—their individual…show more content…
Freud also is well-known for his sexual and irrational interpretation of dreams, which demonstrates how prevalent the idea of irrationality was at that time (e.g. Kafka’s The Metamorphosis as well). Although elements of the Enlightenment are still prevalent to this day, the Modernist era was a result of a shift in beliefs, which Freud shows throughout his varying pieces of work, including On
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