Freud's Views on Forgetting a Proper Name and Dream Analysis Essay

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Freud's Views on Forgetting a Proper Name and Dream Analysis

In several of his books, including Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis and On Dreams, Freud combines the topics of forgetting a proper name and dream analysis, formulating a thesis that helps to clarify his theories on both. He describes in psychoanalytic terms the mechanisms behind forgetting of a proper name and how they relate to the methods used in dream analysis. By looking at the two topics from a joint perspective, we can gain a greater understanding of them and how they relate to other areas of psychoanalysis. The tendency toward forgetting of a proper name is an important theme in Freud's work. He explained the way in which forgetting something like a name …show more content…

Or again: there are cases in which the parapraxes multiply, form chains, and replace one another…" (ILp 35-36) It is in this line that understanding the preconscious becomes important. "Preconscious" describes a division of the mind that falls in between repression (unconscious) and recognition (conscious). Freud described thoughts in the preconscious as having crossed the threshold from the unconscious mind, but not yet having caught the eye of consciousness (IL p366). The preconscious is an important element in the dynamic between an individual's conscious intention and their counter-will, because it falls somewhere in the middle and may be the most manifested part of the phenomenon. For instance, when a proper name is forgotten, this is a function of repression. The individual unconsciously wants to forget one thing, but the counter-will resists by forgetting another. It is when a name is "on the tip of the tongue" but still unclear that countless other irrelevant names will come to mind; these irrelevant names are the inhabitants of the preconscious. The case detailed in The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, in which Freud discusses his own experience with the forgetting of a proper name, is a good example of a clear analysis of the mechanism Freud saw behind this phenomenon. He explains the situation, and will later go on to fully analyze its significance:

" The name that

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