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Word Play and Puns
According to Freud, one of the major processes of the unconscious is condensation. This means that within one element in a dream, such as the strange room we dream we are in, or the unusual name a person has in the dream, are condensed many associated emotions, memories or ideas. Talking about a pea pod which appeared as part of her imagery, Constance Newland shows how it represented her father’s penis. The pea associated with pee or urine, and the pod with a seed carrier, the testicles.
Freud gives the example of a patient who dreamt he was kissed by his uncle in an ‘auto’. The patient immediately gave his own association as auto-eroticism. A psychologist whose patient dreamt she was going on a trip on a boat called ‘Newland’, correctly inferred that the patient was getting better, because the name suggested new territory traversed.
One woman dreamt about a busy intersection, and realised it was referring to inter-sex-on. So we need to consider how we might be unconsciously playing with words, then check if this helps us gain insight. Also, phrases are used in the same way. We might see such words as ‘I felt a prick’, ‘keeping it up was difficult’, ‘dead end’ and so on, in writing down our dream. See: names of people; introduction to colours.