The Hell Butterfly

‘Dream Theory’ and why I think it’s all rubbish

Firstly, I’m really quite ill today so that’s my excuse for if the grammar and/or spelling in this is off. I was going to lay off Jigokucho until I felt better – mostly because my head hurts too much to come up with a good idea – but I did think of something kind of interesting that I wanted to share. Plus, I just woke up from an accidental two hour nap, so this is as clear headed as I’m ever gonna be.

‘Dream Theory’, then. Freud says that a dream is something that we secretly wish to be true. I’ll be talking about my opinion of this idea, and for the most part (with examples) arguing why I think it’s a terrible theory.

Your subconscious is a very complex little entity, constantly taking notes during your waking hours without your knowledge to spew out at you when you least expect it. In this sense, I can understand what Freud was trying to say. Indecision, for example, may be resolved in the ‘fuck-it-all’ manner that your subconscious may deal with matters. You don’t know whether to ask that girl on a date? Your SubCon will show you the best, or worst, possible outcome in dream format. Something troubling you, giving you that feeling something important is gonna go down? Again your SubCon may jump in for you, showing you in your next sleep cycle little instances you may have forgotton about and should probably be worrying about when you wake up.

In terms of the idea that dreams show us what we secretly want, again I can sort of see where he might get that from. I’ve had poems and story ideas written in my sleep before. One I posted about before, one for example was about a rose resembling the perfect beauty of earth and woman in one. In Shakespearean English. I’m sad to say I didn’t make it to the paper in time to get that one down. I have also, as previously posted about, had a dream in Russian – I want to learn to speak Russian. In this sense I can tell what he meant. But, maybe Freud dreamt a lot of things that he in fact did want, but I’m afraid that’s where the similarities stop.

My dreams range from the ridiculously absurd, to the downright horrifying.

I’m pretty sure I don’t secretly want those things.

Below are some examples of dreams I’ve had that completely disproves Freud’s theory. Unless I’m ‘secretly’ a very messed up individual, I’m pretty sure he got it wrong this time.

1) Zombie apocalypse at Hogwarts

Yes, I did in fact have a dream about a zombie apocalypse at Hogwarts. Interestingly, this dream occured the night before our ‘dream theory’ seminar. I brought this up in said seminar as a way to prove how wrong the theory can be. I don’t think my tutor liked me much after that. If anyone has played Left 4 Dead, you will know what I mean by the Tanks. For those who don’t, have a photo and a video:


I’m probably going to have nightmares about this tonight, but all in the name of blogging. I’ll take one for the team this time. These Tanks are essentially what happens to a bodybuilder when they turn into a zombie. They are terrifying in the masses, and in this dream we were in the Great Hall with three of these things throwing rocks at us. It was scary, and hilarious. I’m sorry Freud, but I don’t think I’d actually want this to happen.

2) Nostalgia, Zoo Tycoon, and the Language of Mice

Now this was last night’s dream. It’s a little odd, a little complex and a lot of ‘what the hell’. To start with the easy one, I’ve been playing a lot of Zoo Tycoon recently, and in this part of the dream there were Rainforest Bushes everywhere. Now imagine that the setting for this half of the dream was a lecture theatre.There were loads of little trees all over this lecture hall. Maybe this is something I ‘want’ because I like Zoo Tycoon and I would want to play it again. I don’t know.

The first half of my dream involved a lot of events revolving around my old schoolmates from secondary school. Most of which I haven’t seen in five years. We were all in our uniforms (naturally) and at first we were ice skating. I don’t know, maybe I secretly want to ice skate with my old classmates. Have you ever had a song play in your dream? I have. Last night it was a song which I actually cannot remember the name of, but which had this lyric (maybe you recognise it?): “You’re so beautiful girl, that’s why this will never work. You got me suicidal, suicidal.” Now, I already hate this song. First, it’s a terrible song, and second because of this very line. I hate when the word ‘suicide’ is thrown around so lightly. But regardless, it has special significance in this dream because when it was played, I saw the best friends of a classmate of mine who unfortunately took his life a couple of months ago (rest in peace, my friend). I wouldn’t have wanted this song to be played with this group of people, but I can understand (if I think really, really hard) how ‘dream theory’ can be applied. It insinuates a gathering in memory of the lad in question. This I would want. So maybe Freud isn’t always wrong.

Lastly, there was a mouse. A mouse that was a cat trying to claw my face off, until I squeaked at it and it realised I could speak Mouse. This, I did not know I could do. It then transformed from a face-ripping cat, into my best friend, the mouse it should be. We then had a lecture in which, for some reason, the lecturer was reading out the nursery rhyme ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’. I then translated it into Mouse for my little friend Theo. Or Ted. Or Tim. His name changed, but always began with a T. Naturally, Theo was captivated as I translated, “Hickory dickory dock. The mouse ran up the clock.” According to Freud, this means I harbour some secret desire to speak Mouse. There was also a queue for a hot chocolate tasting that you could only get in to if you were dressed in green. And I mean fully green. Hair, body paint, the works. It didn’t even look like good hot chocolate. I don’t even know how to defend the absurdity of this.

3) Death of the Family

Freud, I don’t know what made you ever think I would want this to happen, but if you really are right, it means I want my family, and myself, to die. And not in just one way. In several, heartbreaking, graphic ways that leave me waking up in floods of tears. In this particular dream that I’m about to describe, it took me days to be able to talk about it. This is the one thing that absolutely disproves Freud’s theory. Why would I ever want for this to happen?

My Mum and I are standing at the docks, next to a boat. At first it’s size is kept from us, but we later discover this boat is in fact three times bigger than the Titanic:

ImageWe all know how that ended. My Mum and I are with a man who owns this boat and we are whale-watching. An odd concept for being on the docks and not out at sea, but nevertheless, we are whale-watching. He jokes, “I can see Wales!”, pointing into the distance. We laugh, but are anticipating the actual whales arrival and don’t encourage him. Then, a blue whale shows up and we are both awed and terrified of it’s sheer size:

ImageFor a few seconds we watch it, excited at the sight, and then the unthinkable happens. It swims under the boat. We watch it disappear under it. And then the boat begins to topple. We hear the suction of the water at the boat is lifted from it, and tipped ever-closer to the seafront city. We can do nothing but watch as this behemoth creaks eerily, and falls onto the town. The sound from this point on is deafening. It is this that remained in my memory long after the image had (tried to) fade away. It falls onto the city, crushing everything, and everyone in it’s path. Silence for one, two. Then the screaming began. First only a few, then the whole city. It was chaos. We watched helpless as skyscraper after skyscraper collapsed into each other, tearing the city into ruin, killing instantly everyone unlucky enough to be in the way.

And then we saw it.

The cafe on the corner of the street that my two sisters were in, waiting for my Mum and I to join them. And a building, slowly, slowly falling towards it. I’ll never forget the sound of my Mum’s voice. The scream of pure, undiluted fear hasn’t left me since. She collapses, still screaming. I have to save them. I have to warn them. That is all I think. They haven’t seen the destruction yet. They haven’t seen the wall of death coming closer, closer toward them. I have. So I run. I leave my Mum in a heap at the dock and I run for the cafe. I can see the building getting closer to them. They see me coming. I try to shout to get them to leave the building. They don’t hear me. I try again and point at the building coming down on them. They are too focussed on me to look. I reach them but we’re out of time. The cafe is crushed. My vision instantly goes black and I know, if I’m not dead already, I will be soon. Then I hear it. My sisters are both still alive, just. They are screaming too. Screaming in pain. In terror. Screaming for me. For each other. Their voices will never leave my head. For days after waking I would close my eyes and hear it.

So tell me, Freud. Why on God’s green earth would I ever want this to happen? Secretly or otherwise, why would I ever wish for my family to die screaming in terror.

And this is not the only instance this has occured. Watching my family cower in fear as a tidal wave that will drown us all rushes at us, as I debate whether I have time to reach them from my safe spot. Watching my Dad incinerate before my eyes as the explosions we think are fireworks turn out to be bombs, and he dives at me to save my life, witnessing as his clothes, flesh, bones are set on fire and burned.

This is why I say ‘dream theory’ is nothing but codswallop. Freud, believe what you want about dreams being secret wishes, but I bet you never watched your family die in any of them.

I’m glad to say my family are alive and well. But the theory is a dead one. At least, that’s my opinion.


One response

  1. Pingback: “I need to climb the cherry tree to get to the marshmallows” | jigokucho

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