Essay Sample: Dreams Possess Symbolic Meaning and Can Be Interpreted Accurately

Published: 2022-05-27
Essay Sample: Dreams Possess Symbolic Meaning and Can Be Interpreted Accurately
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Consciousness
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1078 words
9 min read

Sometimes we have dreams that we dismiss as completely absurd because of the manner in which they are presented to us. However, the symbolism in the dreams that we experience can be interpreted because they reflect certain aspects of our lives that we are not able to decipher with our conscious minds (Stevens, 2017). A person may dream of owning a huge house, a very expensive car, flying in the clouds, drowning, and dying among other odd things. Under normal circumstances, they would ignore the dream and proceed with their normal lives. However, explorers such as Sigmund Freud, Kempf of Washington, D.C, Adler of Vienna, and Jung of Zurich among others found that dreams have a symbolic meaning which can be interpreted to reflect certain aspects that need to be addressed in our lives. Dreams are symbolic of the occurrences in our lives and if interpreted accurately, they can solve a certain mysteries that normally the conscious mind may not be able to identify.

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One of the things that Sigmund Freud was best known for was his knowledge of matters that concern the unconscious mind. This includes the significance of dreams as a gateway to understanding the unconscious mind of a human being. The theories that were advanced by Freud were non-fictional. His fascination with dreams was due to the fact that there always seemed to be a link between the mental abnormalities of his patients and their dreams (Freud, 2017). He collected numerous dreams from his patients and made comparisons to historical cases that he possessed. During his study, he came to a number of conclusions, one of them being that the previous waking condition of the dreamer is closely linked to the dream that he experiences (Schredl, 2015). Secondly, he found that every dream is an attempt at the fulfillment of some wish of the dreamer. Lastly, he concluded that our dreams are normally symbolical, which is the reason why we dismiss them as strange. However, the symbols that appear in the dreams are universal in nature which makes it possible for a trained observer to interpret them.

The most common dream and one that everyone has experienced at some point in their life or still experiences is the dream of being chased. There may be a fearsome animal, hostile people, a huge bird and other unusual circumstances. Despite the fact that most people forget about other dreams that occur to them, the 'chasing dream' is rarely forgotten by the dreamer (Jung, 2014). This is probably because there is too much anxiety while we are dreaming hence the events become very vivid. The fear that is generated from such dreams actually comes from what is chasing us rather than our fear of getting chased. Such dreams can be interpreted to mean that there is something in our lives that need urgent attention but we have failed to address it. Addressing such issues reduces the anxiety in our lives hence such dreams also disappear.

Sometimes a person may have a dream about a house. The house may just be simple or it may also have several rooms or levels. The symbol of the house may refer to different aspects of the life of the dreamer or the level of consciousness of the individual having the dream (Bulkeley, 2016). When the basement of the house becomes part of the dream, it may be interpreted to mean aspects of the individual's life that he or she has neglected. It may also be interpreted as the things that have been kept hidden from the individual by people around him, maybe friends of the family. The symbol of the bedroom is used to portray intimate feelings and thoughts that are closest to the core of the dreamer's life (Drivet, 2017).

It is also a common occurrence for people to find themselves dreaming about being in a classroom or in school. In this situation, the dreamer may be in a difficult situation such as taking a very challenging test in which they were ill-prepared for (Bulkeley, 2016). Such dreams are normally referred to as a "dream pun." This is whereby the mind uses a concept or a word and gives it a completely distinct definition. As for the interpretation of the dream, the test that confronts us in the classroom is usually a lesson from the past that we need to learn to aid us in the situation that we face in our current lives. This is the reason why most of such dreams are experienced by individuals who have finished their studies.

Another common dream that most people are familiar with is the flying dream. Sometimes we can dream that we are flying and the act can either be smooth or we might be struggling to get hold of ourselves while we fly. These situations can allude to the amount of control we think we have in our present lives, and the level of confidence we have in achieving our life goals (Bulkeley, 2016). Flying high in the skies or between tall building is among the most exciting dreams anyone may have. In some instances, the dream may involve flying too close to the ground or getting hit by obstacles such as electricity lines. Such situations can be interpreted to mean the frustrations that we encounter in our lives that we have to overcome (Drivet, 2017).

Dreams are symbolic of the happenings in our lives and their interpretation can unlock various mysteries that the conscious mind may not have understood. Sigmund Freud is one of the great minds in history that were instrumental in advancing theories about the conscious and the unconscious mind. The symbolism and interpretation of dreams were part of his contribution to the study. He gave examples of subjects of interpretation such as a house and claimed that the various rooms of the house represented the level of consciousness of the individual. Other dreams that can be interpreted by a trained observer include flying, water, classroom, and being chased. Overall, I believe that dreams have a meaning in our lives and they should not be ignored.


Bulkeley, K. (Ed.). (2016). Dreams: A reader on religious, cultural and psychological dimensions of dreaming. Springer

Drivet, L. (2017). Genesis and profanation of the other world: The interpretation of dreams. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 98(6), 1669-1697.

Freud, S. (2017). The interpretation of dreams. Aegitas.

Jung, C. G. (2014). Dreams. Routledge.

Stevens, W. O. (2017). The mystery of dreams. Routledge.

Schredl, M. (2015). The continuity between waking and dreaming. Dream Research: Contributions to Clinical Practice, 27.

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