Dreams and Déjà Vu as Symbolism

A Deep Insight into Constance's Subconcious

What Are Dreams?

  • Dreams are a direct expression of a dreamer's mental world
  • Dreams portray the dreamer's relation with the external world
  • They personify their thoughts and feelings in their own psyche (Perron)

Analyzing Dreams According to Freud

1. Based on culture
  • Constance finds herself in the world of Desdemona and Juliet; polar opposites with valuable lessons to teach
  • Desdemona and Juliet represent the two archetypes in our society, Desdemona being the the independent, empowered feminist and Juliet being the love sick damsel.
  • In North American culture women are divided into groups based on what they value. It is easy to see how such prevalent groups in society could subconsciously influence a woman's way of thinking, especially one who is vulnerable and lost

2. Based on the self

  • Constance is a very timid and self deprecating individual prior to her dream-like trans. She doesn't know how to stand up for herself, be confident or profess and indulge in love.
  • Based on Freud's claims she is compensating for her lack of these attributes by seeing who she could be in the realm created by her subconscious
  • She created a mental boot camp specifically tailored for her needs and personal deficits. Desdemona and Juliet are a subconscious response to the traits she hopes to acquire

3. Based on aforementioned occurrences or objects

  • In her experience in the Shakespearean realm, Constance recalls a few items from her conscious state
  • She recalls her Coors Light, foolscap, her Queen's hat and her pen.
  • All theses things hold significance to her and as a result they were transmitted from her conscious to subconscious mind. The meaning of each object is specific to her therefore enabling a deep insight in to the mind of Constance
  • "Constance takes a previously opened can of Coors Light beer from her desk drawer and sips on it" (MacDonald, 10)- Later in the play another individual is seen holding a Coors Light beer.

Unconscious Dream Thought

  • The dream experience for Constance was all about coming-of-age and finding balance between extremes
  • Constance is at an age where she has to do a lot of self discovery and decide what kind of woman she wants to be
  • She discovers who that is by helping Desdemona and Juliet see the error of their ways
  • In their development she find herself through the lessons she teaches them
  • "Life is a harmony of polar opposites, with gorgeous mixed up places in between" (MacDonald, 86)- With reference to the dream Desdemona and Juliet are the polar opposites and the Shakespearean realm is the mixed up places in between.

Dreams have Secret Meanings, The Desire to Fulfill a Wish

  • Constance is sucked in this alternate reality when she is lost and has no more hope
  • In trying to find herself she dreams of Desdemona because she wants to be strong and confident
  • In contrast she also dreams of Juliet as she wants love and passion
  • She dreams of the people she aspires to be because she hopes to have what they have, to be what they are.
  • "Where two plus one adds up to one not three" (MacDonald, 88)- Constance is whole when she learns the valuable lessons both Desdemona and Juliet have to teach; the three types of qualities they have when put together make "super" Constance.

Functions of Dreams According to Carl Jung

1. Compensating for imbalance in the dreamer's psyche
  • Constance compensates for the traits she lacks by producing an environment with extremes of those traits to balance out those said traits

2. To provide prospective images of the future

  • According to Jung many dreams provide epiphanies which result in a change of course for dreamers
  • The dream Constance has describes excellent character evolution which the reader only hopes Constance will undergo
  • It is foreseeing her future by seeing what it could be

Déjà Vu

  • Déjà vu is the feeling that you have previously experienced or seen some thing
  • it is a psychological phenomenon
  • In her dreams Constance experiences déjà vu when she sees the recurring images of the Coors Lite, fools cap, Queen's cap and her pen
  • According to modern psychological theory her déjà vu experience indicates her familiarity with such objects
  • It shows her comfort and attachment to said items and is an indicator of their significance in her life
  • Each item has a different meaning to Constance and will have a different meaning to every other dreamer
  • To identify their significance and meaning it is necessary to observe when they were mentioned during her consciousness
  • "A golden hand rises up through the surface of the slab upon which Constance lay. The hand holds a scrolled Manuscript [foolscap] page" (MacDonald, 87)- The manuscript was mentioned many times throughout the play both in her conscious and subconscious state indicating its importance and relevance to her.

Text to Movie Connection

The idea of self discovery and the dream like experience of being transported to another world is also prevalent in the movie Tommorowland. Tommorwland tells the story of a girl, Casey who finds a pin with the letter T on it and is transported to Tommorowland every time she touches it. In her time there she learns a lot about herself through the trails she undergoes. She sees things that remind her of home and is constantly evolving and becoming a better woman. In the same way Constance is faced with the challenge of helping Juliet and Desdemona and finding her way home. In this journey she, like Casey undergoes a journey of self discovery and personal development.
Why do we dream? - Amy Adkins
Strange Facts About Dreams

Works Cited

Freud, Sigmund. Dream Psychology; Psychoanalysis for Beginners. New York: James A. McCann, 1920. Print.

Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999. Print.

Jung, C. G. Dreams. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1974. Print.

Jung, C. G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. New York: Pantheon, 1963. Print.

MacDonald, Ann-Marie. Goodnight Desdemona (good Morning Juliet). N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Perron, Roger. "Dream Symbolism. "International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. Ed. Alain de Mijolla. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 441-442. Web. 31 May 2016.

Perron, Roger. "Interpretation of Dreams, The." International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. Ed. Alain de Mijolla. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 866-867. Web. 31 May 2016.