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Gabriel Begun WR150 F1 Due Jan 28 Freuds Dora: A Dream analysis using Jungs theory.

Abstract: The following essay, as its name suggests, offers a different interpretation of Doras dream using Jungs theory as its foundation. Freud interprets Doras dreams as a manifestation of her sexual desires. He claims that various elements are related to Mr. K, an older family friend who once attempted to be her sexual partner. Jungs views on dreams are very similar to Freud except that he does not focus on sexual matters as much. Jung also distinguishes between objective and subjective elements of the dream. I claim that Doras dreams are related to her parents relationship and to her desire for independence.


In 1905 the famous psychologist Sigmund Freud published a book entitled Dora. An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria where he talked about a case he had worked with a few years before. The subject of the case was given the name of Dora by Freud in order to keep her anonymity. Dora comes to Freud because she suffered many symptoms that did not appear to have a medical reason. Amongst her symptoms were fainting spells, aphonia, and depression (she had also suffered at a younger age from tusses, shortness of breath, and migraines). Freud diagnoses Dora with hysteria and treats her for some time. In his book, Freud explains who Dora is and he interprets two of her dreams. Freuds entire analysis stems from his idea that all dream content is based on a subconscious wishfulfillment and that their true meaning lies inside their latent content. In contrast to Freuds dream theories, we have Carl Jungs theories that claim that dreams represent unconscious elements of the psyche which the individual has ignored or repressed (Bulkeley 1962). In this essay I will attempt to give a different interpretation of Doras dreams that will be based on Jungs grasp of the dream world. The first dream Freud analyzes was dreamt by Dora while she was with her father and the Ks at a lake house in L_____ . Dora dreamt the dream after Mr. K propositioned her, which she refused. Dora dreamt the same dream 3 nights in a row after the episode and then dreamt it again when she returned to Vienna. Freud retells the dream as Dora narrated it: A house was on fire. My father was standing beside my bed and woke me up. I dressed quickly. Mother wanted to stop and save her jewel-case; but Father said: 'I refuse to let myself and my two children be burnt for the sake of your jewel-case.' We hurried downstairs, and as soon as I was outside I woke up. (Freud 1905) Freud interprets the dream and says that ultimately her father represents Mr. K. Furthermore, Freud claims that the dream is a repressed sexual desire for Mr. K. His assumptions are based on two main facts: Dora had started having the dreams after Mr. K. had made his proposal and, because in the afternoon after the proposal, Dora had woken up to Mr. K. standing over her just as her father in her


dream had. Freud then continues to explain how Dora felt that her father had not done a good job protecting her from Mr. K. In the end, Freud concludes that Dora desires Mr. K. In contrast to Freud, Jungs theories are less focused on the individuals sexual life. It is my opinion that Doras first dream did not talk about her sex life; instead, it represents a fear she has for her parents marriage. If we take a look at Doras father we can see a man who, although he loves his daughter, is having an affair with Ms. K. Dora had been aware of the affair for some time, but it is my claim that it was not until her episode with Mr. K that she fully understood what the affair meant. Jung claims that dreams are a powerful means of promoting overall balance of the psyche because they bring forth unconscious contents that the conscious ego ignored, not valued sufficiently, or actively repressed (Bulkeley 1962). After hearing Mr. Ks proposal, Dora comes to the realization that the Ks marriage was crumbling; for neither of them was faithful to the other. Her subconscious then made a connection that helped her understand that although her father loved her very much, he too was capable of the same things Mr. K was. It was then that she emotionally understood how her parents relationship had been crumbling for some time. Doras dream represents a need for her to emotionally understand her parents relation. Knowing that their marriage is collapsing is not the same as understanding that it is. We must remember that Dora was still a young girl and had not yet developed an identity that was independent of her parents. Dora's dream is an attempt of her subconscious to find a balance with her emotions towards her parents and towards herself. Another indication that the dream relates to her parents relationship is the setting of the dream. For Jung, all elements in the dream represent different symbols. A house can be an image of a home, or a family. A house on fire could represent a family that it is being torn apart, for fire is a symbol of destruction. Doras parents both appear in the dream and in a time crisis they still manage to have an argument. The argument can be interpreted as a subconscious projection of how Dora sees her


parents interact. In Jungs theory the house on fire would represent a subjective meaning that is very similar to the objective meaning her parents argument represents. In Dora's dream, her mother shows concern for her jewel-case. Dora relates how Mother wanted to stop and save her jewel-case; but Father said: 'I refuse to let myself and my two children be burnt for the sake of your jewel-case.' (Freud 1905). In Freud's eyes, the jewel-case is of great importance because it signifies Dora's own virginity. Freud explains how Mr. K. gave Dora jewelry that she stored in a special case. Furthermore, Freud claims that these gifts represent for her all the marks of preference and all the tenderness for which she ought now to have been grateful (Freud 1905). Again, Jung's theory disagrees with Freud's as Jung does not focus on the jewel-case as a representation of Dora's need to protect her virginity. Instead, the jewel-case could be compared to a mythological element: Pandora's Box. Pandora's Box represents a gift given to Pandora by Zeus that had a hidden intention. Zeus meant to punish Prometheus and he knew that Pandora would release the evil contents of the box. In a similar way, Zeus could be represented by Mr. K and his anger at Dora's father (Prometheus) for having an affair with his wife. The jewel-case could be a way for Mr. K to eventually seduce Dora and hence punish Mr. K. After some time in treatment with Freud, Dora tells him that she has had a second dream. At this point Dora has been living in Vienna for a while and her symptoms have improved. Not long after Dora tells Freud of her dream she also announces that she plans to leave therapy. Because she was no longer being treated Freud does not manage to do a full analysis of the dream. The second dream is much longer than the first and is narrated as follows: I was walking about in a town which I did not know. I saw streets and squares which were strange to me. Then I came into a house where I lived, went to my room, and found a letter from Mother lying there. She wrote saying that as I had left home without my parents' knowledge she had not wished to write to me to say Father was ill. "Now he is dead, and if you like you can come." I then went to the station and asked about a hundred times: "Where


is the station?" I always got the answer: "Five minutes." I then saw a thick wood before me which I went into, and there I asked a man whom I met. He said to me: "Two and a half hours more." He offered to accompany me. But I refused and went alone. I saw the station in front of me and could not reach it. At the same time, I had the unusual feeling of anxiety that one has in dreams when one cannot move forward. Then I was at home. I must have been traveling in the meantime, but I knew nothing about that. I walked into the porter's lodge, and inquired for our flat. The maidservant opened the door to me and replied that Mother and the others were already at the cemetery. (Freud 1905) Freud listens to the dream and proposes different interpretations of the dream that relate to various aspects of Doras life. Freuds final conclusion is that the dream conceals a death-wish towards her father, Mr. K, and ultimately Freud himself. For he believes that a consequence of his technique is that the patient associates the physician with a person in her life. This association includes all emotions the patient has had for that person. Freud suggests that Doras ending of the treatment constituted an act of vengeance towards Mr. K. In contrast to Freud's interpretation, Jung would claim that Dora is going through the individualization process during which (according to Jung) the individual distinguishes himself or herself from others by bringing elements of his or her personal and collective unconscious to consciousness. Up to this point of her life, most of the decisions in Dora's life had been made for her. It is natural for an individual to want to have an independent relation from his or her parents, particularly when the parents have caused such discomfort (her father and Ms. K's relation, for example). In her dream, Dora starts out living on her own. She no longer lives with her parents and she is in a town which she does not recognize. When she receives the letter from her mother informing her that her father has died, she makes her way to her parents house. It is interesting to note that although her mother and her father are primordial characters in her dreams, neither of them actually appears.


The death of Dora's father can symbolize a need to liberate herself from his oppression. After all, it was Dora's father who had sent her to Freud so he could persuade her that his relationship with Ms. K was not at all sexual. This interpretation can also explain why Dora left therapy. Since she was looking to become more independent, cutting Freud out of her life would be like severing part of her father's influence in her life. If we take a look at the dream as a whole, we could make the case that this dream can qualify as a big dream (as we did in class based on Bulkeleys article). For Jung, there exist dreams that are of a personal nature and dreams that are of a collective nature. In general, he connects big dreams to collective unconscious. Collective dreams are dreams that are related not only to the individual, but to the society the individual is a part of. The notion of collective dreams came to Jung because he dreamt a dream in which Europe was hit by a gigantic wave that turned into blood. Not long after he dreamt the dream the First World War started. I have tried to look for some historical event of great importance that Dora's dream could be referring to but I have not been able to find anything substantial. Freud and Jung both agree that dreams are to be analyzed element by element in order to uncover the true meaning behind the images that form them. Freud gives a detailed analysis of the images in Dora's dreams and, although he is incapable of finishing his analysis, he explains most elements in a way I believe Jung would agree. However, I believe Jung would disagree on one aspect of Freud's analysis: where he connects some ideas to the female genitals: At this point a certain suspicion of mine became a certainty. The use of 'Bahnhof ['station'; literally, 'railway-court'] and 'Friendhof' ['cemetery'; literally, 'peace-court'] to represent the female genitals was striking enough in itself (Freud 1905). Freud then continues to explain a connection he sees between the wood in the lake L_____ and the wood in a picture at the Secessionist exhibition Dora saw the previous day. Freud claims that having seen the picture reminded Dora of the events at L_____ and connected the words Bahnhof and 'Friendhof' to Vorhof and Nymphae. The two latter words are technical words


for the female genitals. Freud then claims that behind these words there is a phantasy of a man seeking to force an entrance into the female genitals (Freud 1905). Overall, Freud's connections seem to be weak and based on loose ends. Jung would argue that the words Bahnhof and Friendhof were used by Dora because they described the elements Dora had seen in her dream. However, he would not connect them to Vorhof and Nymphae. Jung would claim that the elements are in some way related to Dora's life and that their presence in the dream helps the subjective meaning of the dream develop. Lastly, I believe Freud missed a key element while interpreting Dora's dream: her emotions. The only emotion Dora mentions in her description of the dream is the feeling of anxiety. I had the unusual feeling of anxiety that one has in dreams when one cannot move forward (Freud 1905). Without having the opportunity to talk to Dora about her dream it is very difficult to interpret other emotions she might have had (possibly sadness for her father's death? or maybe even joy?) Nonetheless, it is clear that the idea of not being able to get home was causing her trouble. This anxiety could represent a fear of fulfilling her desire to become independent. As we can see, Freud and Jung's views on dreams can lead to very different interpretations. However, it is important to remember that both Jung and Freud believe that dreams are unconscious messages that express some emotion or thought. In contrast to the general view before them, Freud and Jung separate religion and spirits from dream interpretation, revolutionizing the way we view dreams today.

Reference list. Bulkeley, K. (1962). An Introduction to the Psychology of Dreaming. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. Freud, S. (1905). Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria. New York, NY: Touchstone.


Appendix self reflection.

This essay has been particularly hard for me to write because as I write I realize that most of my claims of how Jungian dream theory would interpret Dora's dreams are based on a loose knowledge of Jung's thoughts and ideas. Although I do believe that I understand the main points of Jung's theories (archetypes, the collective unconscious, individualization, the effects of mythology, etc) I cannot but claim to have a deep understanding of them. I realize that many of my claims are related to the way I would interpret the dreams and not ancestrally to the way Jung would. Furthermore, it is hard to give an accurate interpretation because our relation to the subject (Dora) is limited to Freud's book and hence our capacity to understand her is limited as well. The actual writing of the paper was not so difficult because once I had cleared my ideas of what the dreams truly meant I did not have a hard time outlining my essay. My biggest problem came when I started to revise my essay because it had been weeks since I had read my work and its content where no longer fresh on my mind. Now that the essay is complete I can see that I may have tried to cover to much information. As one of the people that I gave my essay for revisions pointed out, the essay may feel like its contents is somewhat all over the place but that is because it has so much content that it would be nearly impossible to organize it better without loosing valuable ideas.