Freud’s theories not only applied to his neurotic patients, but every human being. A way of trying to explain this, as well as a way of reinforcing his idea of repression, came in the way of his theories on disparate behavior such as dreaming, joking, parapraxes and symptoms. Though his observations are novel, we have to seriously question these theories on a structural level. The circularity, omnipotence and subjectivity of Freud’s work renders his theories as lacking in a solid argumentative stance.
There is often questions concerning the validity of Freudian theories. Freud constructs elaborate theories that seem to explain everything, yet are constantly wanting in rigorous foundations. Instead of focusing on whether Freud’s theories are right or wrong, we will be concerned with the solidity of his theoretical construct.
Explaining disparate events such as dreams, symptoms, jokes and parapraxes becomes a central in Freudian theory. It establishes a link between psychopathology and general psychology, which supports Freud’s belief in universality of libidinal drives and the repression by the ego and super ego (Wollheim, 1991). The analysis of these instances of repression also served Freud as a tool into the unconscious mind. By applying psycho analytic principles, dreams, jokes, symptoms and parapraxes can be deciphered by the therapist to try and discover the underlying repression working to manifest the phenomena.
Freud looks at these disparate occurrences as having distinctly different purposes and manifestations. Dreams, for example, are censor repressed thoughts from the conscious to avoid anxiety that would lead to waking up. This is different from the symptom, which serves to satisfy the repressed drive in a way more acceptable to the conscious. However, what they all share in common is that they are all manifestations that have a sense (Freud, 1916), and they are all wish-fulfillment. Freud states that the mechanism of...