Commentary on Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams Two main points to keep in mind with Freud’s innovative approach to dreams are: 1. He discards the traditional or classical method of interpreting dreams by finding a fixed key to dream images, which ‘treats dreams as a kind of cryptography in which each sign can be translated into another sign having a known meaning…” (130) 2. What Freud calls the “latent content” of dreams or “dream thoughts” are not reducible to any form of conscious or conceptual thought. (311) What this means is that dream thoughts are never interpretable as conceptual units or in terms of unitary meaning where one word or phrase would refer to refer to or represent one meaning only, but are to be treated like a “poetical phrase” (312), that is, like metaphor, which always alludes to at least two contradictory meanings. Freud expresses this when he writes that dream thoughts “are not infrequently trains of thought starting out from more than one centre” and that each “train of thought is almost invariably
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