Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
The Interpretation of Dreams: The Oedipus Complex
- We detach our sexual impulses from our mothers and forget our jealousy of our fathers
- He compels us to recognize ourselves, our own (albeit suppressed) impulses
- We are like Oedipus in that we live in ignorance of these immoral wishes
- In Hamlet the wishful fantasy remains repressed
The motivation of all dream content is wish-fulfillment, and the instigation of a dream is often to be found in the events of the day preceding the dream, which he called the "day residue." The dreamwork is a person's forbidden and repressed desires are distorted in dreams, so they appear in disguised forms. The distorting processes in operation can take various form but are referred to, generally, as dreamwork.
Latent content: the underlying, unconscious feelings and thoughts from which we can disentangle meanings.
Manifest content: a combination of the latent thoughts and it is what is actually being seen in the dream.
Dream-thought: immediately comprehensible
Dream-content: a pictographic script that must be transposed individually into the language of the dream-thoughts
The Work of Condensation
Condensation: one dream object stands for several associations and ideas; thus "dreams are brief, meagre and laconic in comparison with the range and wealth of the dream-thoughts."
“If a dream is written out it may perhaps fill half a page” (819)
“The analysis setting out the dream-thoughts underlying it may occupy six, eight or a dozen times as much space” (819) – and maybe more!
“It is impossible to determine the amount of condensation” (819)
The Work of Displacement
Displacement: a dream object's emotional significance is separated from its real object or content and attached to an entirely different one that does not raise the censor's suspicions.
• “a transference and displacement of psychical intensities occurs in the process of dream formation” (820)
• Results in the dream-content no longer resembling the core of the dream-thoughts
• This causes the dream to distort the dream-wish which exists in the unconscious
• Linked to censorship in the mind – a means of defense (within the mind)
Jacques Lacan (1901-1981)
The Mirror Stage
The “mirror stage” is, according to Lacan, a stage of psychological development in which a child recognizes himself or herself in the mirror and becomes conscious of selfhood. Lacan maintained that this stage occurs sometime before the child is 18 months old and it is the first time the child recognizes that he or she is separate from others. It begins the process of developing an identity distinct from others and yet, at the same time, dependent on the images of others to determine itself. This stage also marks the end of psychological development; from this point forward, the individual will primarily use language to form identity.
• Historical value: the transformation that takes place in the subject when he assumes an image (Imago/statue)
• Structural value: establishes a libidinal relationship with the body image
• Establishes a relationship between the organism and its reality (Innenwelt/inner world and Umwelt/outer world) that is fragmented
Permanent structure of subjectivity
• Imaginary order: the realm of social interaction in which language is the medium through which identity is further developed (18 months). The formation of the ego (identification, alienation, narcissism); it is the product of self + image, a self-image if you will, that is not unreal but is a fictive assumption of wholeness
• Symbolic order: when the imaginary order is put into speech, a structure of relations/articulations
• The Real: the easiest to understand, but cannot be talked about (if it is, it becomes truth, not the real); it is fragmented
• Fraud, Absence, and Impossibility