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Walter E. Fernald 
State School 

Waverley, Massachusetts 






{ The Old Comer Book 

Store, Inc. 
M Boston, - Mass. 


Its Theories and Practical Application 

Massachusetts School 
for R 


A. A. BRILL, Ph.B., M.D. 

Chief of the Neurological Department of the Bronx Hospital and 
Dispensary ; Clinical Assistant in Psychiatry and Neurology at Co- 
lumbia University Medical School ; formerly Assistant Physician to 
Central Islip State Hospital, and_io_the Clinic_pf Psychiatry, Zurich 




Copyright, 1912, by W. B. Saunders Company 







Like many others in the field of nervous and mental 
work, I received my training in the State Hospital for the 
insane. It was my fortune to enter the hospital service 
at a very important period of its development. Dr. 
Frederick Peterson was then president of the Commission 
in Lunacy, and it was mainly through his untiring energy 
that the New York State hospitals were thoroughly modern- 
ized and put on a firm scientific basis. It was also mostly 
through his efforts that Dr. Adolf Meyer became director 
of the Pathological Institute at Ward's Island, N. Y. 

The advent of Dr. Meyer marks a new epoch in the 
N. Y. State hospital service. An accomplished neuro- 
pathologist and psychiatrist of long experience he soon 
instilled new life and interest into the work by giving 
regular courses of lectures and demonstrations to the 
internes on the theories and methods then in vogue. The 
old way of writing a one line note about the patient's 
mental and physical condition every three or six months 
had to stop despite the grumbing of the "old timers/' and 
we were required to make frequent and comprehensive 
examinations of our patients and note carefully what we 
found. These examinations were made in accordance 
with a scheme thoroughly worked out by Dr. Adolf Meyer, 
the underlying principles of which were the teachings of 
Kraepelin, Wernicke and Ziehen. This good work has 
continued up to the present with excellent results. Since 



I left the state service I have visited and worked in some 
of the best psychiatric clinics in Europe, and I am glad 
to say that all things considered the work of the New 
York State Hospital compares very favorably with the 
work done in most of the hospitals of its kind. 

What I say in reference to the N. Y. State hospitals 
can be readily applied with some modifications to most of 
the hospitals for the insane in this country. It is well 
known that within the last ten to twelve years the manage- 
ment and treatment of the insane in this country have 
undergone a marked transformation, which is of great 
benefit to the patient, the doctor and the public. The 
State hospitals are now treating the patients as patients 
in the true sense of the word; they are rapidly filling up an 
enormous gap in the medical profession by training doctors 
how to treat the insane, and they are gradually abolishing 
the popular prejudices against hospitals for the insane. 
The medical schools, too, are now paying more though not 
enough attention to mental diseases; and last, but not 
least, excellent and commendable work is being done by 
the Social Service Departments, and the National Society 
for Mental Hygiene. 

The progressive evolution in the study of mental dis- 
eases has called attention to another neglected field in 
which the most important work is still to be done. I 
refer to the so-called "borderline" cases, the neuroses, 
and mild psychoses who never reach the State hospitals, 
but form the greatest proportion of clinic and dispensary 
practice. In the ten years from 1900-1909, 21,290 patients 
were examined by the assistants in the neurological depart- 
ment of the Vanderbilt Clinic, N. Y., and about 25 % of this, 


number were diagnosed as neurasthenia, psychasthenia, 
hysteria, and as mild forms of the functional psychoses. 1 
Although I am not ready to give statistics, I do not hesitate 
to assert that the same conditions prevail in almost every 
clinic and dispensary. A striking feature in these border- 
line cases is the fact that the great majority run a chronic 
course. Up to within recent years no real effort has been 
made to understand these unfortunates. It is gratifying 
to note, however, that a complete change has taken place 
in this direction. Physicians now realize that the old 
adage mens sana in corpore sano is not to be taken in the 
strict sense, and hence do not rely on physical treatment 
alone. All enlightened and progressive physicians recog- 
nize psychotherapy as an important therapeutic agent in 
the treatment of these borderline cases of mental diseases. 
Now as there is a demand for psychotherapy the ques- 
tion naturally arises as to which is the method of prefer- 
ence. Without entering into the merits and demerits of 
the different systems of psychotherapy, admitting that in 
competent hands they are all good and useful, and that I 
myself employ them in certain cases, I do not hesitate to 
assert that psychanalysis is the most rational and effective 
method of psychic therapy. I say this after I have prac- 
tised for years the existing psychotherapeutic methods. 
Psychanalysis is the only system of psychotherapy 
that deals with the neuroses as entities instead of treating 
symptoms as do hypnotism, suggestion and persuasion. 
To hypnotise a patient because he suffers from obsessions 
or phobias is equivalent to treating the cough or fever 

1 Jelliffe and Brill: Statistical Summary of Cases in Department of 
Neurology, Vanderbilt Clinic, for Ten Years, 1900 to 1909, Journal 
Nervous and Mental Diseases, July, 1911. 


regardless of the disease of which it is but one of the mani- 
festations. Hypnotism takes no cognizance of personality, 
it simply imposes blind obedience which at best lasts 
until worn off. Psychanalysis always concerns itself with 
the individual as a personality and enters into the deepest 
recesses of the mind. It is for that reason that the results 
of psychanalysis are most effective; and it is only through 
psychanalysis that we can hope to gain a real insight into 
the neuroses and psychoses, a thing of prime importance 
in the study of mental prophylaxis. 

These assertions are not based merely on the reading of 
a few scattered papers, but on about six years of hard 
work and almost constant occupation with the subject. 
For it is only through hard work and long experience that 
one can acquire a thorough knowledge of Freud's psychol- 
ogy. Recently I had the pleasure of talking to some 
who claimed to have used psychanalysis in the treatment 
of patients, and who spoke rather discouragingly, saying 
that it produced no result. Thus one endeavored to cure 
a case of so-called congenital homosexuality in about a 
dozen sessions. Another stated that although he ques- 
tioned a young woman for hours about sex she showed 
no improvement in her hysteria. 

Such statements readily show the gross misunderstand- 
ing of the work. For it is not the treatment of a few 

hours, weeks or even months that cures; it is the psychic 

elaboration accomplished during a long period by one 

thoroughly conversant with the work. I do not think 

that it is too much to ask of one who wishes to make use 

of a certain technical method that he should first learn 

its basic principles. One cannot expect to become 

proficient in psychanalysis unless he has mastered at least 


Freud's theories of the neuroses, the interpretation of 
dreams, the sexual theories, the psychopathology of every- 
day life, and his book on wit, and last but not least who has 
not had a training in nervous and mental work. Besides 
these qualifications one must know how to select his cases. 
It has been wrongly supposed that we claim to be able 
to cure everything. Neither Freud nor any of his pupils 
has ever advanced such claims. On the contrary, Freud 
has repeatedly emphasized that psychanalysis has a limited 
field, and that it should be used only in limited cases. Let 
us hear what he says: 

"The former value of the person should not be over- 
looked in the disease, and you should refuse a patient 
who does not possess a certain degree of education, and 
whose character is not in a measure reliable. We must 
not forget that there are also healthy persons who are good 
for nothing, and that if they only show a mere touch of the 
neurosis, one is only too much inclined to blame the dis- 
ease for incapacitating such inferior persons. I maintain 
that the neurosis does not in any way stamp its bearer as 
a de*gene*re, but that, frequently enough, it is found in the 
same individual associated with the manifestations of 
degeneration. The analytic psychotherapy is, therefore, 
no procedure for the treatment of neuropathic degenera- 
tion, on the contrary it is limited by it. It is also not to 
be applied in persons who are not prompted by their own 
suffering to seek treatment, but subject themselves to it 
by order of their relatives. 

" If one wishes to take a safe course he should limit his 
selection to persons of a normal state. Psychoses, con- 
fusional states, and marked (I might say toxic) depres- 
sions, are unsuitable for analysis, at least as it is practised 


to-day. I do not think it at all impossible that with the 
proper changes in the procedure it will be possible to disre- 
gard this contraindication, and thus claim a psycho- 
therapy for the psychoses. 

"The age of the patient also plays a part in the selec- 
tion for the psychoanalytic treatment. Persons near or 
over the age of fifty lack, on the one hand, the plasticity 
of the psychic processes upon which the therapy depends — 
old people are no longer educable — and on the other hand, 
the material which has to be elaborated, and the duration 
of the treatment is immensely increased. The earliest 
age limit is to be individually determined; youthful 
persons, even before puberty, are excellent subjects for 

"One should not attempt psychoanalysis when it is a 
question of rapidly removing a threatening manifestation, 
as, for example, in the case of an hysterical anorexia." 1 

From my own experience I fully agree with Freud, and 
I would add: do not analyze your relatives, and when in 
private practice do not analyze any patient without 
receiving some compensation for it. 

As the actual working method will be described later, 
I shall confine myself here to a few facts, which, although 
strictly speaking belong to the epilogue, may nevertheless 
be worth mentioning in this connection. With the begin- 
ning of the analysis I investigate the patient's dream life. 
I instruct him to write down his dreams on awakening. 
This is very important because dreams give us the most 
reliable information concerning the individual, and they 

1 Freud: Selected Papers on Hysteria and other Psychoneuroses, 
2d Ed., p. 181. Trans, by A. A. Brill, Jour. Ner. and Men. Dis. 
Pub. Co. 


invariably show some relation to the symptoms. I never 
attempt, however, to analyse a dream before knowing 
the patient for at least two weeks. Dreams cannot be 
analysed unless one has the full cooperation of the 
dreamer, and this is only possible after a certain rapport 
has been established between the doctor and the patient. 
It is this rapport, or the transference 1 as we will call it, 
with which one must start. Nothing can be done without 
it, and unless this is properly managed little can be done 
for the patient. One may get excellent results in surgery 
or in any other specialty without seeing the patient's face, 
but psychanalysis presupposes an intimate acquaintance- 
ship. There must be a mutual understanding and liking 
between doctor and patient. One must, however, be on 
his guard lest the transference be carried too far. One 
must remember that one is dealing with people whose 
libido strives for fixation, and care and tact must there- 
fore be exercised to remain good friends only. One must 
remember the intimate relationship existing between love 
and hatred, and that one can be readily changed into the 
other. There are few neurotics, or for that matter normal 
beings, who remain absolutely indifferent. They either 
like or dislike. In one of his essays, Charles Lamb tells 
of two men who never met before who began to fight as 
soon as they saw each other. This sounds very strange 
to us, though it is comprehensible in savages, children 
and animals. As is known, neurotics are dominated by 

1 Freud: Zur Dynamik der Ubertragung, Zentralb. f. Psycho- 
analyse, 2 Jahrgang, Heft 1 und 4. Stekel: Die verschiedenen, 
Formen der Ubertragung, Zentralb. f. Psychoanalyse, 2 Jahrgang. 
Ferenczi: Introjection und Ubertragung, Jahrbuch f. Psychoanalyt. 
u. Psychopath., 1910, Bd. i, p. 451. Jones: The Action of Suggestion 
in Psychotherapy, Jour, of Abnormal Psychol., January, 1910. 


their infantile or repressed material, they suffer from a 
failure in repression; hence behave in a way like children. 

It is hardly necessary to mention that we are criticised 
for delving into sexuality. This is quite true, but it is a 
question whether it merits criticism. Our critics seem 
to have no conception of Freud's idea of sexuality. To 
us the term is very broad, it really comprises the whole 
love-life of the individual. As soon as we enter into the 
intimate life of the patient we are sure to find sex in some 
form, and the best indication of an abnormal sexual life 
is an apparent absence of the sexual factors. It is natur- 
ally advisable to be very careful in approaching the subject 
so as not to shock the patient. Moreover, psychanalysis 
presupposes a knowledge of not only Freud's theories of 
sex, but also a broad knowledge of psychosexuality in 
general. Only those who are themselves free from all 
sexual resistances and who can discuss sex in a pure- 
minded manner should do psychanalytic work. 

In conclusion I wish to say that the main object of this 
book is to present the practical application of Freud's 
theories in one volume, hoping thereby not only to remove 
many false conceptions entertained concerning psych- 
analysis, but to stimulate further interest in Freud's 
original works. 

As some of the material given here has been published 
before in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, the 
American Journal of Insanity, the N. Y. Medical Journal, 
the Medical Record, and the N. Y. State Journal of Medi- 
cine, I take this opportunity to express my thanks to the 
editors of these journals for allowing me to utilize the 
same. A. A. BRILL. 

New York City, December, 1912. 



The Psychoneuroses 11 

Dreams 33 

The Actual Neuroses 75 


The Compulsion Neuroses (Obsessions, Doubts, Phobias) . 96 




Psychological Mechanisms op Paranoia 167 



Hysterical Fancies and Dreamy States 218 

The Oedipus Complex 236 

The Only or Favorite Child in Adult Life 254 

Anal Eroticism and Character 267 


Freud's Theory of Wit 276 

Index 327 





The Development of Freud's Conception of the Psycho- 
neuroses and Psychoses, Their Relation to the 
Psychology of Dreams, Sex and the Psy- 
chopathology of Every-day Life 

The psychoneuroses, the step-children of medicine, 
have of late received more attention in the literature than 
before. Both here and abroad it has been realized that 
there is a large group of diseases, the so-called border-line 
cases in mental diseases, the understanding and treatment 
of which has been sadly neglected, and it is gratifying to 
know that at least some steps have been taken to meet 
these deficiencies. The wave of psychotherapy which has 
swept the continent has also made its presence felt in this 
country through its numerous discussions in both lay and 
professional j ournals. Abroad its adherents claim brilliant 
results; one need only review the numerous works of the 
Nancy and other schools to be convinced that psycho- 
therapy is no empty term, but an actual branch of 



medicine, and that in the psychoneuroses it is the only 
effective remedial agent. 

Yet, whereas all schools agree that the psychoneuroses 
should be treated by psychotherapy, they all disagree as 
to the nature of the psychoneuroses. One need only scan 
the recent works to see that diverse views are expressed 
by the different investigators on the subject. These 
diversities, in my opinion, are due to the fact that most of 
the investigators in question have ignored one important 
factor, namely, individual psychology. Without individ- 
ual psychology the riddle of the neuroses, like the riddle 
of the psychoses, must remain unsolved. 

Among the different views expressed on the neuroses 
those of Freud stand out most conspicuously. No recent 
theories in medicine or psychology have evoked so many 
controversies and discussions. After years of careful and 
painstaking labor Freud evolved not only a system of 
psychotherapy, but a new psychology. Unlike all other 
investigators he discarded all generalities and confined 
himself to the individual. The individual factors which 
had escaped the notice of other investigators he found to 
be of the utmost importance in the psychogenetic devel- 
opment of personality. 

As early as 1895 Breuer and Freud published the 
"Studien uber Hysterie." They found that hysterical 
symptoms like neuralgias, paralyses, epileptiform attacks, 
etc., could be traced to actual psychic traumata which the 
patient could not consciously recall, but which could be 
readily demonstrated when the patient was put in the 
hypnotic state. In other words, they found that the 
hysterical manifestations were not accidental, but had an 


actual cause. The connection between cause and effect 
was often quite obvious; thus, "A very sick child falls 
asleep and the mother exerts all her will power to make no 
noise to awaken it, but just because she resolved to do so 
she emits a clicking sound with her tongue (hysterical 
counter-will) which was repeated on another occasion 
when she wished to be absolutely quiet. This developed 
into a regular tic which lasted for years." 1 In some cases 
the connection is not so simple, there being only a symbolic 
relation between the cause and the hysterical phenomena; 
thus, psychic pain may cause a neuralgia and moral dis- 
gust may cause vomiting. Breuer and Freud then con- 
cluded that these psychic traumata, or the memory of the 
same, act like foreign bodies in consciousness, and even 
long after their occurrence continue to influence like causa- 
tive factors; to quote Freud," The hysteric suffers mostly 
from reminiscences/' 2 Their symptoms are remnants and 
memory symbols for certain (traumatic) events. A deeper 
understanding of these symbolisms will perhaps be gained 
by comparing them with memory symbols of other 
spheres. Thus the statues and monuments with which 
we embellish our big cities are such memory symbols. " If 
you should take a walk through London you would find 
a richly decorated Gothic column in front of Charing 
Cross, one of the largest railroad stations of the city. On 
the occasion of removing to Westminster the remains of 
his beloved queen, Eleanor, one of the old Plantagenet 
kings in the XIII century ordered that Gothic crosses 
be erected at every station where the funeral procession 
halted, and Charing Cross is the last of the monuments 
commemorating this funeral procession. In another place 


in the city not far from London Bridge you will notice 
a modern lofty column which is briefly referred to as 'The 
Monument/ It is supposed to commemorate the big fire 
which started near there in 1666 and destroyed a large 
part of the city. These monuments, therefore, like the 
hysterical symptoms, are memory symbols. So far the 
comparison is justified. But what would you think of a 
Londoner who would even to-day halt in grief before the 
monument of the funeral procession of Queen Eleanor in- 
stead of continuing on his way with the required haste of 
modern business conditions? Or what would you think 
of another who would stop before 'The Monument ' and 
bewail the conflagration of his beloved native city? Yet 
hysteric and neurotic individuals behave exactly like these 
two impractical Londoners. Not only do they recall the 
long forgotten painful events, but they stick to them 
with all their emotions. They cannot get away from the 

past and neglect for it reality and the present. This fixa- 
tion of the psychic life on the pathogenic traumas is 
one of the most important, and, from a practical view- 
point, one of the most significant characters of the 
neurosis." 3 

That the hysterical symptoms are only reminiscences 
was proven by the fact that the individual hysterical 
symptoms disappeared without returning if one succeeded 
in thoroughly awakening the memories of the causal 
process with its accompanying affects and if the patient 
circumstantially discussed the process, giving free play to 
the affect. The reason for the strangulation of the emo- 
tion was because at the time of its occurrence it could 
not be adequately worked off. We all know that it is 


not always possible to give vent to our feelings, and that 
an insult retaliated leaves quite a different impression 
than one that has to be swallowed. 

The treatment called "catharsis" consisted in recon- 
ducting the sum of excitement from its false paths to the 
original conscious idea and then working it off by means of 
intellectual labor and speech. The patient was hypnotized 
and questioned about the origin of the symptoms and 
while recalling the original injuries, either in hypnosis or 
the normal state, the hemmed-in emotions were dis- 
charged and the symptoms disappeared. This is the so- 
called "abreagirung" — abreaction — which means to 
work off something by living through it again. It was 
noticed that the affect appeared with special intensity 
during the reproduction of the scenes which gave origin 
to the symptom and completely disappeared with their 
termination. On the other hand, no result was noticed 
when the scenes evoked were not accompanied by any 
emotional feeling. 

This is rather a brief review of the conceptions originally 
expressed by Breuer and Freud. It is from these prin- 
ciples that Freud developed his present conceptions of the 
psychoneuroses and his revolutionary psychology. 

When Freud continued to practice his cathartic treat- 
ment he was confronted with one special difficulty. He 
found that not all persons were hypnotizable and as 
hypnosis was absolutely essential for the broadening of 
the patient's consciousness, many patients had to be given 
up as they could not be hypnotized. He even went so 
far as to take one of these patients to Nancy to Bernheim, 
but after applying all his skill Bernheim had to admit that 


he, too, could not hypnotize the patient.* This and a num- 
ber of other reasons caused Freud to avoid hypnotism and 
to adopt a new procedure which he calls the psycho- 
analytic method. On asking the patients in the waking 
state whether they remembered the first motive of the 
symptom in question, some knew nothing while others 
recalled something rather vaguely. Freud then applied 
the same method which Bernheim used in awakening the 
manifestly forgotten impressions produced during som- 
nambulism. He found that by urging and assuring the 
patients that they did remember and telling them that all 
they had to do was to concentrate their attention, and 
repeat the thoughts which would occur to them they 
finally recalled the pathogenic ideas without hypnotism. 
But as this urging necessitated much exertion on his part, 
and showed him that he had to overcome great resistance 
in the patient, he formulated the following theory: 
"Through my psychic work I had to overcome a psychic 
force in the patient which opposed the pathogenic idea 
from becoming conscious." 4 The resistance was due to the 
fact that the ideas which had to be disinterred were all of a 
nature adapted to provoke the affects of shame, reproach, 
mental pain and a feeling of injury — they were altogether 
of that kind which one would not like to experience, and 
prefers to forget. 

This gave rise to Freud's idea of repression; the patho- 
genic idea being of a painful nature is incompatible with 
the ego, and is therefore treated by it as non-arrive. The 
patient wishes to know nothing about it, he wishes 

* That not every person can be hypnotized has been long acknowl- 
edged by all experienced observers of the subject. 


to forget it. But as this repression, or forgetting, never 
succeeds completely, the pathogenic idea continues to 
strive to come to the surface, and is constantly inhibited 
by the psychic censor. This struggle of the two opposing 
forces results in a compromise. Each foregoes a part of 
the original demand, thus meeting the other half way, 
and the result of this mutual accommodation is then trans- 
formed into a hysterical symptom by the process of con- 
version. In this manner the ego frees itself from opposi- 
tion, the original painful idea or unattainable wish is for- 
gotten, and instead it becomes burdened with a memory 
symbol which remains in consciousness as an unadjusted 
motor or sensory innervation. We thus see that the main 
character of hysteria is not the splitting of consciousness 
as asserted by Janet and his school, but the ability of con- 
verting the sum of strangulated emotion either totally or 
partially, into that motor or sensory innervation which 
is more or less connected with the traumatic event. In 
brief the study of the psychoneuroses shows conclusively 
that there was a failure in the repression of the idea con- 
cerning the unattainable wish. To be sure the painful idea 
is crowded out of consciousness and memory and the indi- 
vidual thus spares himself a great deal of pain, but the 
repressed wish remains in the unconscious and lurks for an 
opportunity to become active. When it succeeds it brings 
to the surface a distorted and strange substitutive forma- 
tion which soon becomes connected with the same pain the 
individual got rid of through the repression. This sub- 
stitutive formation is the symptom and in hysteria it is 
produced by the process of conversion. 
There are, however, predisposed persons in whom there 


is no adaptation for conversion. Here, if an unbearable 
idea enters consciousness it meets with the same contrary 
forces as those mentioned above, the affect becomes de- 
tached from the idea, but instead of being converted into 
the physical, it remains in the psychic sphere. The weak- 
ened unbearable idea remains apart from all association in 
consciousness, but its detached affect or the sum of excite- 
ment allies itself to another indifferent idea, 5 which on 
account of this "false" connection becomes an obsession; 
or the unbearable idea is so changed that the patient does 
not recognize it. He no longer thinks of the painful or 
disagreeable, but instead he is burdened with an obsession, 
the absurdity of which he realizes, but from which he can- 
not rid himself. The advantage thus gained by the ego 
in the transposition or dislocation of the affect is not as 
great as in the hysterical conversion of psychic excite- 
ment into somatic innervation. The affect remains un- 
changed and undiminished, but the unbearable idea is 
suppressed from memory. 

The same mechanism holds true for the origin of phobias, 
and both come under the heading of compulsion neurosis. 
It was also found that the unbearable ideas underlying the 
compulsion neurosis (obsessions, doubts and phobias) 
have their origin in the sexual life. In the words of Freud, 
"the obsession represents a compensation or substitute 
for the unbearable sexual idea and takes its place in 
consciousness." 6 

Both hysteria and compulsion neurosis belong to the de- 
fense neuropsychoses; their symptoms originate through the 
psychic mechanism of defense, that is through the attempt 
to repress a painful idea which was incompatible with the 


ego of the patient. In both neuroses the idea is robbed of 
its affect, and excluded from associative elaboration, re- 
maining, however, in consciousness. 

There is still another far more forceful and more suc- 
cessful form of defense, wherein the ego misplaces the 
incompatible idea with its emotion and acts as though 
the painful idea had never come to pass. When this 
occurs the person merges into a psychosis which may be 
called "hallucinatory confusion." To illustrate this 
form of defense I will cite a case which, through the 
kindness of Dr. M. S. Gregory, I saw in the psychopathic 
pavilion of Bellevue Hospital. It concerned a young 
married man of about thirty years, a New Yorker, who, 
being out of work, tried his fortune as a farm-hand up the 
state. Things did not go as smoothly as he expected, 
and one day the farmer gave him a rather severe thrash- 
ing, and dismissed him without paying him his salary. 
He sought redress, but could get none so that he had to 
walk to New York City penniless. When he returned 
home he made a number of attempts to obtain justice 
for himself, but was told that he could do nothing. He 
kept on brooding over it for some time, when one day he 
suddenly became excited and confused. He became 
boisterous, cursing the farmer, and accompanied his 
utterances by violently kicking the bedstead and the 
pillows. He imagined that he was punching the farmer. 
He was so excited and confused that his wife sent for the 
police who took him to the psychopathic pavilion of 
Bellevue Hospital. 

Here the idea was so painful that the ego tore itself 
away from it, but as the painful idea was inseparably 


connected with reality the ego had to exclude itself 
wholly from reality. Such cases give us an insight into 
the psychoses. Thanks to the genius of Freud and the 
Zurich school 7 we no longer fear to face the hitherto 
considered perplexities of the insane mind. As will be 
shown later every insane utterance, every morbid per- 
ception, has a definite meaning and a definite raison 
d'etre when analyzed. Truly there is method in madness. 
In tracing the psychic traumas which are supposed to 
be at the basis of hysterical symptoms or compulsion 
neuroses, one invariably comes to sexual experiences of 
childhood. This is so conspicuous that it led Freud to lay 
great stress on the sexual and to formulate the following 
sentence: "In a normal vita sexualis no neurosis is pos- 
sible." 8 This, I know, sounds rather strange, but I 
would like to call attention to the fact that the sexual 
impulse is one of our strongest impulses. It is the one 
impulse that is subjected to the greatest amount of 
repression and for that reason it has always been the 
weakest point in our cultural development. It must 
also be borne in mind that Freud's conception of the sexual 
is very broad. It is just as broad as our English word 
"love" or the Greek word "eros," and does not at all 
limit itself to the gross sexual. Moreover, it must be 
remembered that sexuality is more complicated than one 
thinks. Hypocrisy and prudishness have from time 
immemorial tabooed all things sexual; the word itself 
carries with it the ideas of lewdness and loathing. As a 
result of this the ignorance displayed in matters sexual 
is appalling. Thus we are led to believe that there is no 
sexuality before a certain age, the age of puberty, yet 


when we look back to our own youth we find that long 
before that age we were subjected to certain feelings 
which were unmistakably of a sexual nature. Freud 
maintains that the sexual is born with us and begins to 
manifest itself in infancy. "It seems certain," he says, 
"that the newborn child brings with it the germs of 
sexual feelings which continue to develop for some time 
and then succumb to a progressive suppression, which 
is, in turn, broken through by the proper advance of 
sexual development and which can be checked by indi- 
vidual idiosyncrasies." 9 He also tells us that the sexual 
impulse in man consists of many components and partial 
impulses. Many essential contributions to the sexual 
excitement are furnished by the peripheral excitement 
of certain parts of the body, such as the genitals, mouth, 
anus and bladder outlets. All these zones are active in 
infancy and only some of them go to make up the sexual 
life. The first libidinous manifestations are of an auto- 
erotic character and the sexual manifestations displayed 
by the child are the almost universal infantile mastur- 
bation which serves to prepare the genitals for their 
future functions; thumbsucking, according to many 
observers, connects directly or indirectly with autoerotic 
sexual activities. 10 I have studied a number of patients 
who retained this autoerotic sexual manifestation until 
late in life and I could definitely ascertain that it was a 
sexual activity pure and simple. In a number of cases 
thumbsucking continued until masturbation started and 
in a few cases both were practised synchronously. I 
know a young widow of thirty-five years who, in spite 
of all efforts to break herself of the habit, sucked her 


thumb until she married at twenty-five years and resumed 
it with the beginning of her widowhood. She told me 
she had no difficulty in stopping it soon after marriage, 
but that it returned a few weeks after her husband's 
death. The anus and the bladder outlets are also ero- 
genous zones of infantile life, and neurotics often retain 
them in later life.* Thus Z., twenty years old, had an 
uncontrolable desire to withhold his urine. He stated 
that there was much pleasure in the discomfort and that 
that was the reason for repeating it. His mother told 
me that he wet the bed to the age of fifteen and that as a 
child he would remain on the chamber for hours before 
be could be made to move his bowels. The child at first 
knows no other sexual object except itself. It is only 
in the later stages of development that it goes over to the 
love object. 

Besides the erogenous zones the child shows those 
components which are designated as partial impulses. 
Among these we have the impulse for looking and show- 
ing and for cruelty which manifest themselves somewhat 
independently of the erogenous zones and later enter 
into intimate relationship with the sexual life; but 
along with the erogenous sexual activity they are notice- 
able even in the infantile years as separate and independ- 
ent strivings. In later life they are repressed and sub- 
jected to the primacy of the genitals which serve the 
functions of procreation. The energies emanating from 
them are then deflected from the sexual and directed to 
important social aims. This is the so-called process of 
sublimation. Thus, sublimation of the homosexual com- 

* Cf. Chapter XI, on Anal Eroticism. 


ponent gives origin to the psychic process of loathing and 
morality; the sublimation of the infantile looking and 
exhibitionism gives rise to shame, and the sublimation of 
the sadistic and masochistic components to disgust, pity 
and similar feelings. These reactions formed during 
the sexual latency period — from the fourth year to the 
beginning of puberty, eleven — make up the character of 
the person and later give us a good indication of his early 
sexual life. I regret that I am unable to discuss here 
more fully the sexual theories expounded by Freud; 
those who are interested in the subject should study his 
interesting and profound book, "The Three Contributions 
to the Sexual Theory." I will merely add that after 
carefully studying the sexual development in its relation 
to the normal neurotic individuals, Freud concluded that 
the constitutional sexual predisposition of the child is 
" polymorphous-per verse" and that from this constitu- 
tion the so-called normal behavior of the sexual function 
results through a repression of certain components. The 
child has no conception of moral or esthetic feelings and 
it is only after the primitive impulses are repressed that 
the normal being evolves. By referring to the infantile 
character of sexuality the connection can be formed among 
the normal, perversions, and neuroses. The normal 
results through the repression of certain partial impulses 
and components of the infantile predisposition and 
through a subordination of the rest under the primacy of 
the genital zones. The perversions correspond to dis- 
turbances of this relationship due to a superior compulsive- 
like development of some of the partial impulses, while 
the neuroses can be traced to a marked repression of the 


libidinous strivings. However, it must be remembered 
that the symptoms do not by any means result at the 
expense only of the so-called normal sexual impulse (at 
least not exclusively or preponderately), but they repre- 
sent the converted expression of impulses which might 
be designated as perverse if they could manifest them- 
selves directly in phantasies and act without deviating 
from consciousness. The symptoms are therefore par- 
tially formed at the cost of abnormal sexuality. "The 
neurosis is, so to say, the negative of the perversion." 11 

Moreover, there is a congenital variation in the sexual 
constitution, the existence of which can naturally only 
be established through its later manifestations. It mani- 
fests itself in a preponderance of one or another of the 
manifold sources of the sexual feeling and it must always 
come to expression in the final result even if it should 
remain within normal limits. To be sure, certain varia- 
tions of the original disposition even without further aid 
must necessarily lead to the formation of an abnormal 
sexual life. This may be called "degenerative" and 
considered as an expression of hereditary deterioration. 
In this connection Freud states that in more than half 
of the severe cases of hysteria, compulsion neuroses, etc., 
treated by him by psychotherapy he positively succeeded 
in demonstrating syphilis in their fathers before marriage. 
The patients showed absolutely no sign of hereditary 
lues, so that the abnormal sexual constitution was to be 
considered as the last off-shoot of the luetic heredity. 
In my own cases I found even less than a third in which 
syphilis could be demonstrated in parents. 

If in the course of development certain strong com- 


ponents experience a repression the following result 
takes place: the sexual excitations are produced as usual, 
but are prevented from attaining their aim by psychic 
hindrances and are driven off into many other paths until 
they express themselves in symptoms. The sexual life 
of such persons begins like that of perverts. A consider- 
able part of their childhood is filled up with perverse 
sexual activity which occasionally extends far beyond the 
period of maturity, but owing to inner reasons a repressive 
change results before or after puberty and henceforth there 
appears a neurosis instead of a perversion 12 ; and confining 
ourselves for the present to hysteria it may be said that 
hysteria is the result of a conflict between the libido and 
the sexual repression and that the hysterical symptoms 
have the value of a compromise between both psychic 
streams. We must bear in mind that it is the mental 
conflict which is the essential causative factor and not 
the sexual moment as such. The resultant compromise 
of such conflict generally causes the sexual wishes to be 
consciously rejected and unconsciously accepted. The 
wish is then repressed, but the sum of excitement finds 
its way into bodily innervation and forms the hysterical 
Let me cite an example. 

A married woman of forty-nine years who suffered from hysteria 
for more than twenty-two years showed as one of her symptoms a 
very painful contracted and paralyzed right arm which had been so 
for more than three years. The muscles of the arm and shoulder 
region were completely anesthetic and deep needle pricks were not 
perceived, but the slightest attempt to straighten out the member 
was most painful. Indeed the pain was the chief symptom. It 
would be impossible for me to give here the full analysis of the 


symptom. I will merely mention some of the psychic constellations. 
Due to a number of sexual traumas sustained in childhood all sexual 
feelings were repressed and, as a result, she was totally frigid when she 
was married. Indeed coitus was both painful and disgusting to her. 
This produced marked marital unhappiness, her husband failed to 
understand her condition, and what made matters worse was the 
fact that he found her masturbating in her sleep. When he first 
noticed it he was very indignant and tried to call her to account for it, 
but she continued to sleep; he tried to arouse her, but she did not 
respond. He thought at first that she was shamming, but finally 
concluded that "she had a fit" and reported the matter to the family 
physician. This somnambulistic state during which she masturbated 
was repeated on an average of five to six times a week. There was 
complete amnesia for this action. She at first refused to believe it, 
but she was finally convinced of it by her own sister, who saw her do 
it on the occasion of sleeping with her. She then sought the aid of a 
physician who gave her large doses of bromide and advised her to 
wear a sock over her hand and firmly tie her arm in complete flexion 
While she was being treated for her masturbation it was reported to 
her that her husband carried on some illicit relations with one of the 
girls she employed. She absolutely refused to believe this, and no 
amount of urging on the part of her husband's own relatives could 
induce her to dismiss this girl. This girl was the daughter of a very 
poor woman and it was out of compassion that she took her into her 
millinery establishment and taught her the profession. This state of 
affairs continued for months. She was extremely jealous, yet her 
pride would not allow her to take any action in the matter. It was 
after a quarrel about some other matters, during which her husband 
grasped her by the right arm that it became painful and developed 
into the condition noted above. As she was the moving spirit in the 
millinery establishment the business had to be given up, as she was 
totally incapacitated by her malady. 

Here we see the conflict was between the libido and the 
repression. The repressed sexual feelings made her con- 
sciously frigid, but unconsciously passionate. When 
her masturbation was brought to her consciousness she 
took all the precautions to prevent it, but as usual she 


was unsuccessful. Her husband's faithlessness gave rise 
to another conflict. Her pride gained the upper hand 
and she absolutely refused to believe what everyone else 
saw and what she herself could not fail to see. When 
her husband grasped her by this arm, which was the 
«ause of so much mental pain — it was the one with which 
she masturbated — the conversion took place. The symp- 
tom, as Freud puts it, was the result of a compromise 
between two opposing affects, one of which strove to 
bring to a realization a partial impulse or a component 
of the sexual constitution, while the other strove to sup- 
press the same. 13 This symptom, as we see, served a 
double purpose. It stopped the masturbation and inca- 
pacitated her to such an extent that the business had to be 
given up and the girl who caused her so many pangs had 
to go. The pain was also the punishment for the under- 
lying sexual desire. She never masturbated with her 
left hand, nor has she ever been seen masturbating since 
she was cured by psychanalysis. 

In analyzing neurotic symptoms Freud found that the 
dream played a great part in the individual's life. This 
gave origin to the epoch-making book, "The Interpretation 
of Dreams."* The dream is not at all absurd and sense- 
less, but has a definite meaning when analyzed, and in 
the experienced hand it is the most valuable instrument 
for penetrating the mind. In the neurotic patient the 
subject of the dream generally refers to the origin of the 
neurosis, i.e., to the repressed material, but due to the 
many distortions and transformations only few and 

* Translated by A. A. Brill. George Allen, London, and the 
Macmillan Co., New York. 


hidden associations show allusions to the repressed experi- 
ence. Psychanalysis explains the different components 
of the dream and thus reveals the repressed ideas which 
are at the basis of the neurosis. The dream is divided 
into the manifest and latent thoughts. The former are 
remembered by the dreamer on awakening, while the 
latter represent the thoughts of the dream before they 
were subjected to the distortion. When the translation 
is complete we find that the latent thoughts of the dream 
contain the fulfilment of a repressed wish. 14 The same 
holds true in the psychoneurotic symptoms. In the 
words of Freud, "The hysterical symptom, like all other 
psychic formations, is the expression of a wish fulfilment." 15 
In the same way the repression continues to evince 
itself in normal conscious life; in other words, the wish 
fulfilment normally manifests itself during the waking 
state just as it does in the dream and in the neurotic 
symptoms. This can be readily seen if we analyze the 
abnormal or the so-called accidental actions of every-day 
life. In his very interesting and instructive book, "The 
Psychopathology of Every Day Life," 16 Freud shows 
that' mere lapses of memory, speech and writing, as well 
as the common mistakes are not at all accidental, but 
when analyzed have a reason. Thus the forgetting of a 
name which we have once known implies that either 
directly or indirectly there is something painful or dis- 
agreeable connected with it. A mistake in talking is 
usually what the speaker really means. In other words, 
the repression influences our waking state just as it does 
the dream and the psychoneurotic symptoms. Just as 
the latent thought of the dream, the psychoneurotic 


symptom represents a fulfilled wish and both the dream 
and the neurosis seem incomprehensible until explained 
by psychanalysis. 

I will now cite a brief analysis of an obsession. One of my patients 
a young man twenty-six years old, suffered from a typical compulsion 
neurosis, the main symptom being an obsessive action which consisted 
in a rapid upward movement of his arms, as though holding back or 
pushing up something. This action became very annoying to him and 
his family. He was often compelled to do it in public and it inter- 
fered with his work as a diamond cutter. Before proceeding with 
the analysis I will mention something concerning the technique. 

On analyzing psychoneurotic symptoms the patient is 
required to lie on his back on a lounge and the physician 
sits behind the patient's head at the head of the lounge. 
The object of this position is to avoid all muscular exertion 
and distraction, thus allowing a thorough concentration 
of attention on the patient's own psychic activities. In 
my experience the same purpose can be accomplished with 
the patient sitting in front of you in a comfortable chair. 
We then ask the patient to tell all he knows of the symptom 
and we usually find a number of memory gaps. These 
he is urged to fill in by concentration of attention on the 
subject and by repeating all thoughts originating in this 
connection. Before proceeding we must have the pa- 
tient's promise that he will frankly repeat to us all the 
thoughts occurring to him in the order of their sequence, 
even thoughts that are painful or embarrassing. This is 
Freud's method of free association. We are also alive to 
the fact that the psychoneurotic symptom is often a 
symbolic expression of the original repressed thoughts and 
we therefore resort to Freud's method of interpretation, 


that is we look for symbolic expressions, psychopatholog- 
ical actions and make use of the analysis of dreams. For 
unless one has mastered the triad of Freud's psychology, 
"The Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory," "The 
Psychopathology of Every Day Life" and "The Inter- 
pretation of Dreams, " he is unable to use or judge Freud's 
psychanalytic method. With this digression we will now 
return to our patient. 

On being questioned concerning his obsessive action it was found 
that it concealed the obsessive thought " God may get into me." This 
thought obsessed him for months, and realizing the absurdity of it, 
he was ashamed to tell it to anybody. This was then followed by the 
obsessive action described above which was a protective mechanism 
against the thought and signified "I will pull Him out again." As 
the word " God" seemed to be the most important word in the obses- 
sion I asked him to concentrate his mind on this word and tell me all 
the associations it recalled to him. He gave the following: " God — 
father — I am always bothered by the foolish thought that God will 
get into me." He suddenly stopped and on being urged to continue he 
said that something just occurred to him which had nothing to do with 
the thought of God and which he would not like to tell unles? it was 
absolutely necessary. On being told to continue he stated that it 
recalled to him that about six months ago while being at work a 
fellow workingman once asked him to look out of the window and 
when he did so he saw two dogs in the act of copulation. This was 
very embarrassing to him. He turned his eyes away from the scene, 
but he could not banish a number of fancies which then came to his 
mind. One thought was "How would it be to get into the dog?" 
He soon repressed these thoughts and kept on repeating to himself 
"I will not get into the dog, the dog may get into me." Now if the 
word dog is read backward you will find that it spells God and gives the 
key to the whole obsession. For years this patient was in the habit 
of turning words about. He showed me a diary which was filled 
with mirror writing which he used because he did not want anyone in 
the house to know his affairs. We note that he at first consciously 
changed the idea "to get into the dog" into "the dog may get into 


me " and as the idea was disagreeable it was repressed and the word 
"dog" was then unconsciously changed into God. This completed 
the obsession.* 

As will be shown later the same mechanisms are found 
in the dream, in the neologisms of the insane and in the 
normal. I am sure that the majority of my readers are 
aware of the fact that the Sesrun Club is the nurses' club 
and perhaps few know that the Yvel Jewelry company 
is the Levy Jewelry company. The basis of each crypto- 
gram is a painful idea. Nurses' Club neither looks nor 
sounds as dignified as Sesrun Club, which may pass as a 
millionaires' organization, and the Yvel Jewelry company 
looks better and is perhaps more profitable than would 
be the Levy Jewelry company. 

This is a very simple example of the psychanalysis of 
an obsession, perhaps too simple to impress some of you 
with the gravity of the work, but we cannot change the 
workings of the mind. Those who analyze psychoneurotic 
symptoms and the utterances of the insane can always 
find such mechanisms. Do not, however, think that the 
analyses of this obsession and the afore-described hyster- 
ical paralysis were as simple as I presented them. I 
merely [ give you the result obtained after weeks and 
months of painstaking work. It would have been impos- 
sible to give here the full analysis of any of the cases, as 
an entire volume would be required for a detailed account 
of any one. Indeed, psychanalysis takes time; the 
treatment of a chronic case usually takes from six months 
to a few years, but the most refractory chronic cases have 
been cured by this treatment. Both cases mentioned 

* For detailed description of compulsion neurosis see Chapter IV, 


were cured by psychanalysis after everything else was 
tried in vain. 

Lest there should be some misunderstanding about 
the facility of the psychanalytic treatment and in order 
to demonstrate how we actually work I shall next confine 
myself to the discussion of the theory of dreams. 


1. Freud: Selected Papers on Hysteria and Other Psychoneuroses, 

p. 2, Trans, by A. A. Brill, Monograph Series Mental and Nervous 
Dis. Pub. Co. 2d Ed. 

2. L. c, p. 5. 

3. Freud : Ueber Psychoanalyse, Deuticke Wien, 1910. 

4. Freud: Selected Papers, p. 87. 

5. Freud: L. c, p. 125. 

6. L. c, p. 126. 

7. Cf. Chap. V. 

8. Selected Papers, p. 188. 

9. Freud: Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory, p. 38. Trans, 
by A. A. Brill, Monograph Series. 

10. Cf. Holt, Diseases of Infancy and Childhood, p. 739, Second 

11. Freud: L. c, p. 27. See also Chapter IV. 

12. Freud: L. c. 

13. Selected Papers, p. 198. 

14. Cf. Chap. II. 

15. Freud: L. c, 197. 

16. English translation in preparation, Cf. also Chap. VII. 


Their Structure and Mechanism, Technique of Interpreta- 
tion, Symbolism and their Relation to the 
Neuroses and Psychoses 

"Der milde Gebundene der in Fesseln liegt kann nicht 
erwachen, der milde Gebundene traumt von Freiheit." — 

From time immemorial the dream has been the subject 
of much interest and speculation. Since the early Greek 
period numerous theories have been propounded and 
entertained in the realms of religion and of science, but 
not until within recent years has investigation of the 
dream proceeded on a true psychological basis. It 
would be superfluous and quite impossible to review 
here the many curious theories held at different 
epochs in the world's history concerning the dream; 
suffice it to say that ancients and moderns differ very 
little in their views. The ancient Greeks believed that 
the dream was an inspiration of the gods, that it was 
simply a warning or prophecy of things to come and they 
always gave credence to it. Kindred thoughts are 
expressed in the Bible. Joseph interpreted all dreams 
as a foreboding of the future, "what God is about to do 
he showeth unto Pharoah;" and as the Scriptures inform 

3 33 


us steps were immediately taken to prepare for the ap- 
proaching famine. These views have come down to us 
traditionally and disregarding here the numerous scien- 
tific and pseudoscientific theories, we may say that the 
present popular belief in dreams differs in no wise from 
that of the classical Greeks and the ancient Egyptians. 
Every race and religion still looks upon the dream as 
something supernatural and objective, as an inspiration 
coming from above; and the laity still continues to believe 
in its reality. The gambler dreams his horses or lottery 
numbers, the Indian medicine man dreams his remedies, 
and not seldom we hear even of "dreams coming true." 

Modern psychology has continued the work of ancient 
writers and as a result we have numerous valuable con- 
tributions to the problem of the dream; numerous at- 
tempts have been made to show the relation of the dream 
to normal and abnormal life, 1 but so far as I know no 
author has solved the problem of the dream so ingeniously 
and successfully as Professor Freud. 2 As mentioned 
previously in developing his psychology of the psycho- 
neuroses Freud found that the dream plays a very impor- 
tant part in the psyche of the individual. The dream 
is not a senseless jumble, but a perfect mechanism and 
when analyzed it is found to contain the fulfilment of a- 
wish; it always treats of the inmost thoughts of person- 
ality and for that reason gives us the best access to the 
unconscious. No psychanalysis is complete, nay pos- 
sible, without the analysis of dreams. The dream not 
only helps us to interpret symptoms, but is often an 
invaluable instrument in diagnosis and treatment. The 
causative factors of many neuroses are extremely vague 


and usually unconscious to the patient, and it is by means 
of the dream that the underlying etiological factors are 

In order to understand the mechanism of dreams it 
will be necessary to bear in mind Freud's conception of 
repression. 3 To forget is a part of human nature; this 
is so obvious that we never even stop to think about it. 
Yet when we examine the things forgotten we soon find 
that there is a method in forgetting; our forgetting seems 
to follow a kind of selection. It was Freud who first 
called attention to the motives of forgetting. If we ex- 
clude organic brain disturbances, we find that we are 
most apt to forget painful or disagreeable impressions. 
This forgetting, as everyone knows, is purposeful and 
desired. The individual strives at all times to rid him- 
self of the unbearable either by settling the situation in 
question when possible or by directly crowding it out of 
his mind. When we meet with mishaps or failures to 
which we cannot adequately react, we grieve over them 
for a time and then make desperate efforts to forget them 
— that is, we repress them. Moreover, the phantasies 
which are common to both normal and abnormal persons 
may be of a disagreeable nature or present an unattain- 
able object and may therefore be repressed. It often 
happens that such phantasies are repressed before they 
are really grasped by full consciousness. The repressed 
material, or, in the language of Jung, the complexes are 
pushed into the unconscious and there they remain in a 
dormant state. 4 Now and then they are recalled by some 
association, but like disturbed ghosts they soon return 
to their resting place. Jung has shown likewise that 


they can be artificially evoked and in this country this 
has been corroborated by many observers. The repres- 
sion is not, however, always successful and as I shall 
show later a splitting of consciousness may result. The 
repressed complexes then strive for manifestation and 
the resultant psychic conflict may produce a psychosis or 
neurosis. In brief, both normal and neurotic individuals 
possess a certain amount of repression. In the former 
this usually remains inert, manifesting itself only now and 
then in psychopathological actions 5 or dreams, while in 
the latter it forms in addition the symptoms of the neu- 
rosis or psychosis. 6 But no matter in what form the 
repression comes to the surface — whether in the form of 
dreams, in psychoneurotic symptoms, or in the utter- 
ances or manifestations of the insane — it is always so 
distorted as to be unrecognizable to the individual. 

What causes this distortion? When we examine the 
literature of the past and present we observe that writers 
frequently resort to all sorts of detours, euphemisms and 
symbolisms when they wish to express something which 
would sound either harsh or objectionable to polite society. 
Thus we find that the words "thigh" and "staff" are 
often used in the Bible to express that part which repre- 
sents the male* and nowadays journalism makes use of 
exactly the same devices. Witness the cartoons and 
jokes in the daily papers. 7 We all know that many of the 
jokes of our best comedians would be considered extremely 
offensive if direct expression were given to the underlying 
thoughts. The reason why such mechanisms are neces- 
sary is quite obvious. It is the fear of the censor. We 

*See Genesis xxiv, 2, and xlvii, 29; Hebrews xi, 21, 


all know what would happen to the comedian who, 
instead of uttering some innocent quibble as " Willie Rose 
rose because he sat on a pin" would venture to give the 
bare underlying thought. This censor has been estab- 
lished by society for its own protection and the stricter 
the censor the more concealed and funnier are the means 
of representation. In the same way the distortions in 
the dream and in psychotic symptoms are the work of 
the psychic censor. This, too, is a protective mechanism 
for the good of the organism. 

The formation of dreams is brought about by the 
working of the two psychic forces (streams or systems), 
one of which forms the wish of the dream, while the other 
exerts its censorship on this wish and thus produces the 
distortion. The reason for our belief in this second 
psychic force possessing the power of censoring is as 
follows: The latent thoughts of the dream are not known 
until the dream has been subjected to analysis. What 
we remember on awakening are the manifest contents 
of the dream emanating from the former. We can there- 
fore assume that the admission to consciousness is the 
prerogative of the second psychic system. Nothing from 
the first system can reach consciousness without having 
passed through the second system, and the latter allows 
nothing to pass without exercising its prerogative of 
censoring. At the point of transition between the two 
systems we have the psychic censor, which after exercising 
its function allows to pass only that which is agreeable to 
it and restrains everything else. Whatever is rejected 
by the censor is in a state of repression. As will be shown 
this psychic censor is nothing but the inhibitions formed 


throughout our whole life by our religious and ethical 

As mentioned before the dream is divided into the 
manifest and the latent dream contents. The former 
comprise all the delusive sensory impressions which are 
recalled by the dreamer on awakening; while the latter 
comprise the fundamental thoughts of the dream as they 
existed before being subjected to the distortion of the 
psychic censor. The manifest content of the dream 
seems absurd and incoherent, but by psychanalysis it 
can readily be translated into the latent thoughts, which 
always show the fulfilment of a wish. 

When we watch the development of a human being 
especially during the first few years of its existence, we 
are particularly impressed with one fact, to wit: that the 
child is insatiable in its desires. As soon as the child 
sees the light of this world it makes known its wants and 
as soon as it grows older they become proportionately 
greater. At first these desires are purely primitive, but 
with advancing age they become more complicated. 
Thus a child of a few days old cries when hungry or un- 
comfortable, while at a later age it may cry because it is 
not rocked to sleep or because it is not allowed to suck 
its thumb. Here we no longer deal with necessary wants, 
but with pleasurable desires; for the child could fall 
asleep without being rocked and should get along without 
thumbsucking. When we observe a child at about the 
age of two, or at an older age, we can clearly see that it is 
a constant pleasure seeker. All its activities are directed 
toward the realization of both necessary and pleasurable 
desires, especially the latter, and the older the child 


becomes the more it wants. It would be no exaggeration 
to assume that if this condition were allowed to continue, 
the whole world would be too small to supply the wants 
of a single individual. This idea is very well expressed 
in a pretty fable which I had read years ago, I believe in 
Sochi's Arabic Grammar. The story tells that Alexander 
of Macedon, while traveling after his numerous victories, 
one day came unexpectedly to a strange place. He 
wanted to enter, but the door was locked. He knocked 
on the door and asked to be admitted. After being ignored 
for some time he was finally told that he was at the 
door of Paradise and that no mortal could enter there. 
"But I am Alexander the Great/' he remonstrated. 
"At least give me some memento that I may be able to 
say I was here." A hand was extended through the 
door and gave him a human eye. Alexander was cha- 
grined and baffled. He could not understand the signifi- 
cance of the souvenir. In his distress he appealed to 
the wise men of his entourage and after considerable 
study and rumination one of these — the wisest of them 
all — undertook to solve the riddle. He ordered that a 
scale be brought and he placed the eye upon one side of 
it. He placed Alexander's jewels upon the other. The 
eye was heavier. More gold and jewels were placed on 
the other side, but the eye still outweighed the valuables. 
To the surprise and consternation of Alexander the Great 
no amount of precious stones or gold was heavy enough 
to counterbalance the eye. The scale containing it bore 
down steadily. The wise man thereupon covered the 
eye with some earth and, behold ! the scales turned. The 
eye balanced no more than its actual weight. The explana- 


tion by the wise man was as follows: the eye uncovered 
signifies the living eye, the covered eye signifies one dead. 
While man lives he is insatiable; the more the eye sees 
the more it desires. Once it is covered with earth it has 
no need of anything. This souvenir was therefore in- 
tended as a rebuke to Alexander's unbridled ambition. 
That this moral lesson left little impression on the insa- 
tiable conqueror is shown by the fact that he died of his 
insane excesses at the early age of thirty-two years. 

To-day there are no more worlds to conquer, but we 
are all Alexanders, none the less. Each of us who is not 
afflicted with the emotional deterioration of the Schizo- 
phrenic is dominated by ambitions and is never perfectly 
contented. And were it not for the severe checking the 
individual constantly experiences from the very begin- 
ning of his childhood, which causes him to give up most of 
his desires, it would be impossible to live in any society, 
savage or enlightened. 

This inhibiting process begins in childhood and is con- 
tinued throughout life. Thus a child of fifteen months 
cries for a bird kept by her parents as a pet. She is not 
satisfied with merely looking at it and hearing it sing, 
but she wants to touch and handle it. As this would be 
detrimental to the well being of the bird she is made to 
forego this pleasure in spite of her bitter crying. A little 
girl of four years wants toys belonging to other children. 
She is very unhappy and irritable because she cannot 
get them, but with her mother's help, she finally abandons 
this desire. At an earlier age this same child uncere- 
moniously appropriated other children's toys and it was 
only after being punished that she desisted from this 


highway robbery and developed the sense of property. 
So, throughout the whole course of our existence, society 
(religion and ethics) teaches us to curb our desires and 
to give up what we want. We want much and we get 
comparatively little, but we never stop wanting. 

When we try to examine how children learn to give up 
their desires we are soon struck by the fact that they 
never really give up anything entirely. A girl of four 
years after being told by her mother that she cannot get 
a certain toy which she saw in the hand of another 
child, brooded over it for awhile and then drew on the 
sidewalk with chalk what she thought was a picture of 
this toy and played with it as though it were the real toy. 
The little girl of fifteen months forgets the bird and is 
always appeased when she gets a wooden bird or a picture 
book of birds. You all know how boys ride on sticks for 
want of horses and that nearly all the games played by 
children represent unattainable desires. Nor do we 
see those actions only in early life when the child cannot 
differentiate between fiction and reality. If we continue 
to observe we find that these same children as they grow 
older and know that a stick is not a horse and that a 
drawing of a toy is not a real toy, nevertheless still attain 
what they want. Thus a little boy goes to the Zoological 
garden where he sees tigers. He remarks that he would 
like to have a few tigers. His father laughs at him and 
points out that he would have no room for them if he had 
them. The boy then dreams that he had five little tigers 
in a bird cage hanging in his room. All this goes to show 
that the human mind possesses the faculty of overcoming 
difficulties and attains its desires in spite of the obstacles 


raised by nature and society. This is Prof. Freud's 
theory of wish fulfilment. In brief this theory states that 
whatever is denied us in reality we can nevertheless 
realize in some other way. In his sleep the poor man 
has much money, the prisoner his freedom; the lame man 
runs races, and the ambitious man sees himself at the goal 
of his ambition. In other words, the dream represents 
the realization of a wish; its motive is a wish. 

In this respect dreams are divided into three classes: 
1. Those which represent an unrepressed wish as fulfilled, 
as seen in the so-called convenience dream and in chil- 
dren's dreams. For example, we often dream of enjoying 
cold fresh water after a supper of sardines, olives or other 
salty food. The thirst incites the dream which tries to 
appease the sleeper so as to avoid disturbance of sleep. 
A boy of five dreams of finding pennies and nickels and 
on awakening expresses his disappointment by crying for 
his money. A little girl of four dreams of chocolate 
almonds and on awakening insists that someone has 
taken her "big box of chocolate almonds." 2. Those 
which represent the realization of a repressed wish in an 
entirely concealed form, examples of which I shall give 
later. 3. Those which represent the realization of a 
repressed wish in a form insufficiently or only partially 
concealed. The last group of dreams is generally accom- 
panied by fear, which interrupts the dream and which 
takes the place of the distortion found in the second 
group. Dreams accompanied by fear are of a sexual na- 
ture; the ideation causing the fear in the dream was once 
a wish which was later subjected to repression. 8 There 
are some dreams of a painful nature which are not, how- 


ever, perceived as such by the dreamer. These merely 
show the insignificance and lack of psychic validity 
of the dream. In these cases analysis always shows that 
we deal with the hidden fulfilment of a repressed wish. 
Thus, one of my patients dreamed that she saw her oldest 
boy laid out in a casket, and yet she was totally uncon- 
cerned about it. Having been told previously that a 
dream represents the fulfilment of a wish she now insisted 
that this theory must be wrong, as she would never enter- 
tain any such wish regarding her boy. Psychanalysis, 
however, revealed the following facts: her husband had 
died and left her with two children; she had then married 
a widower with two children. They are very happy, 
but as they already have four children they cannot afford 
to rear any more. She has frequently expressed the wish 
"to have an offspring as the result of her second mar- 
riage, as it would strengthen the union, but having four 
children in the family, this is out of the question." The 
dream fulfils her wish by showing her that there are only 
three children in the family. A man of thirty dreamed 
that he saw his brother's head split open and bleeding 
and was not at all worried about it. He, too, objected 
to the theory of wish fulfilment. Analysis showed that 
he referred to his brother M.,aboy of sixteen years, whom 
he had thought incorrigible. He had read recently an 
article in a Sunday newspaper saying that bad boys could 
be cured by trephining the skull and exposing the brain — 
which at once caused him to think of his brother. The 
dream realized his wish by showing him his brother with 
his brain exposed. 

Recently a patient came to me and disputed the theory 


of wish fulfilment. To prove his assertion he stated that 
the night before he had dreamed that he had syphilis. 
I could readily prove that the dream showed the realiza- 
tion of a wish. This patient was being treated by me for 
psychosexual impotence and the day before his dream we 
discussed promiscuous sexuality. I called his attention 
to the dangers of infection and spoke about proper pre- 
cautions, etc. He grimly remarked "There is no danger 
of my becoming infected. I couldn't if I tried." The 
dream realizes his wish that he can become infected; 
meaning that he is no longer sexually impotent. 

Still another patient suffering from the same disease 
dreamed that he was bald. He too objected to the 
theory of wish realization inasmuch as he is only thirty- 
five years old and he surely would not like to be bald. I 
told him that except with children a dream should never 
be j udged by the manifest content. When he began to give 
"free associations" to the dream he suddenly thought of a 
smutty joke which he was unwilling to reproduce. I in- 
sisted that he should tell me everything, otherwise the anal- 
ysis would have to be dropped. The j oke is credited to one 
of our witty statesmen and tells how at a social gathering 
a young lady heard this statesman use the word "eunuch." 
Not knowing the meaning of the word she turned to the 
statesman and said "Mr. X — , I heard you use the word 
'eunuch/ What is a eunuch?" The statesman was 
embarrassed and hesitatingly answered "A eunuch is a 
balled (bald) man." The young lady looked at his head 
and said "Then you are a eunuch." "Oh, no," he replied, 
"I am too bald (two balled)." My patient heard this 
joke the day before the dream and he laughed very 


heartily over it, but his loud and prolonged laughter was 
only hiding his inner pain, for this smutty joke brought 
to mind his own complex; he was a eunuch himself. 
The dream was, therefore, a reaction to his mental pain 
and showed him that he was not a eunuch. He is too 
bald (two balled) like the statesman in the story. The 
other determinants are the identification of the bald 
head with the head of the penis, an identification which I 
have repeatedly observed in dreams and psychoses. One 
of my patients, a young prsecox, had one mannerism 
which was shown by a constant rubbing of the top of the 
head. After doing this for a few months he had a good- 
sized tonsure which was rapidly increasing. I could 
definitely ascertain that the patient went through a form 
of masturbation. He was not allowed to masturbate his 
penis so he used his head. Another determinant for the 
baldness in the dream is the fact that, like sexual impo- 
tence, baldness, too, is considered as a sign of physical 
weakness and senile decay. These examples show that 
even dreams which are, in the manifest content, the oppo- 
site of wishes, nevertheless contain a wish when we find 
the latent content. 

The transformation of the latent into the manifest 
content of the dream is effected as follows by the so-called 
" dream work" (Traumarbeit). During our waking state 
a number of thought structures are constantly being 
formed. This activity is never finished during the day, 
and the sum of energy required for the production of 
these thoughts would be sufficient to hold the interest of 
the individual to such an extent as to interfere with sleep. 
These day remnants are, therefore, changed into dreams 


by the dream work and the elements threatening disturb- 
ance of sleep are thus removed. The dream is therefore 
the guardian of sleep. But in order that the work of the 
dream may act the day remnants must be capable of 
wish formation, for it is the wish that forms the nucleus 
of the dream. 

When we compare the latent thoughts of the dream 
with its manifest content we find that the former is per- 
fectly comprehensible as soon as we discover it, while 
the latter is usually incomprehensible and absurd and 
comparable to hieroglyphics or a rebus. We are also 
struck by the marked condensation, which takes place in 
the transformation of the thought into the content of 
the dream.* The manifest dream when written may 
fill a few lines, while the analysis containing the thoughts 
underlying the dream usually fills many pages. This 
condensation is effected by the omission and the subse- 
quent compression of syllables, words, pictures or situa- 
tions which have been present in the thoughts underlying 
the dream. This accounts for the many gaps, absurdities 
and neologisms in the manifest content of the dream. 
Thus, one of my German patients saw a monkey in his 
dream, and by freely associating to the word "monkey" 
we got monkey — chimpanzee — Schimpfen Sie McKenzie 
(which may be translated here by "Give it to him, Mc- 
Kenzie")* This recalled a quarrel between two laborers, 
McKenzie and X. the day before the dream. The patient 
actually heard this very exclamation, "Give it to him, 
McKenzie," and as a diligent student of English he imme- 
diately translated it into the above German sentence. 

* Condensation is a fusion of events, pictures and elements of speech* 


This is further determined by the fact that the features 
of the pugnacious McKenzie made him think of a monkey 
and that the quarrel took place near a zoological garden. 
It is through this process of condensation that the mani- 
fest thoughts of the dream are " overdetermined." The 
individual thoughts of the dream are not only repre- 
sented in the dream by many elements, but the elements 
of the dream are manifoldly determined by the thoughts 
of the dream. In the analysis of dreams one often finds 
all kinds of composites such as composite pictures and 
collective personalities, all of which are produced by this 
process of condensation. 

Another effect of the dream work is brought about by 
the process of displacement. Thus the elements which 
seem most conspicuous in the content of the dream do 
not necessarily have corresponding importance in the 
thoughts of the dream. An insignificant element may 
represent the main thought and vice versa, events, 
thoughts, sentences, words and pictures may be turned 
around. By the process of overdetermination the psy- 
chic validity of the main element may be displaced or 
transferred to some triviality. The same process is met 
in the obsessions of neurotics. 9 The formation of the 
dream is chiefly due to these two processes of displace- 
ment and condensation. 

Besides the processes of condensation and displace- 
ment which we have found so effective in the transfor- 
mation of the latent into the manifest thoughts we must 
take into account two other factors, viz., the manner of 
representation and the secondary elaboration, to which 
I shall only allude. There is no intellectual activity in 


the dream. What in the manifest content impresses us 
as a process of reasoning or judgment is not due to the 
work of the dream, but has reached the manifest content 
from the thoughts of the dream to which it properly 
belonged. Logical relationships are not represented 
in the dream. The dream makes use of visual pictures 
which are reproduced by similarity, identification and 
symbolization. The affects are not influenced by the 
dream work though they are very often displaced. The 
dream also omits all the "ifs" and "buts" and whatever 
may be in the subjunctive mood in our waking state is 
transferred into the indicative present in the dream. 
This accounts for the fact that in the dream the blind 
see, the lame run and the poor are wealthy. The "If I 
were" is changed in the dream into "I am." 

To illustrate the relation of the dream to the neurosis 
I shall cite the following case: 

Case: Miss G., twenty-eight years old, American, came to me in 
January, 1908, because she had been "very nervous" for about three 
months. Her family history showed that her father died of nephritis 
and had a "stroke" (left hemiplegia) a few months before he died. 
She had been well until three months before. Since then she had 
suffered from insomnia, irritability, loss of appetite, constipation, 
headache, uncalled for worry, crying spells and anxious expectation. 
Her mother stated that she had entirely changed, that she expressed 
pessimistic ideas, often repeating that she would like to die. Exami- 
nation showed all the symptoms enumerated. The patient was 
pretty, she showed no stigmata and was above the average in intelli- 
gence. While reciting her story she showed the typical belle indiffer- 
ence often found in hysteria. She smiled when I asked her why she 
felt so depressed and could give no reason for it. She knew that she 
really had nothing to worry about and that she had everything to live 
for, yet she could not "shake off the blue feeling." One of the most 
■distressing thoughts was that something might happen to her mother. 


To those acquainted with the language of hysteria this means just 
the opposite. It was merely a reaction of the wish that she 
might lose her mother, and, as we shall see later, there was a reason 
for that wish. Physically there was nothing worth mentioning. I 
diagnosticated the case as a mild anxiety hysteria 10 with imperfect 

I saw her a number of times, but made no progress in the treatment. 
To my question she always answered " I feel about the same." I then 
thought of psychanalysis and with that in view I asked her to write 
out her dreams and bring them to me. She was sure that she never 
dreamed except when her stomach was out of order, but promised to 
comply with my request if ever she should and one day brought me 
the following dream: 

" / dreamed that I was in a lonely country place and was anxious to 
reach my home in Liconow or Liconor Bay, but could not get there. Every 
time I made a move there was a wall in the way. It looked like a street 
full of walls. My legs were as heavy as lead. I could only walk very 
slowly as if I were very weak or very old. Then there was a flock of 
chickens, but that seemed to be in a crowded city street, and they — the 
chickens — ran after me and the biggest of all said something like " Come 
with me into the dark.'* 

This dream seems absurd enough and as the dreamer 
remarked, "It is so ridiculous that I am ashamed to tell 
it. Whoever heard of such a thing as chickens talking?" 
She was assured that it must mean something and the 
analysis proceeded. 

It would be too long and immaterial for the purposes 
of this work to give here the whole analysis which, when 
recorded, covered over eight pages of foolscap. Only 
the principal associations and symbolic expressions neces- 
sary to explain the dream will be enumerated. 

On asking the dreamer what the most vivid part of the 
dream was she answered that it was the second part 
relating to the chickens. When asked to repeat the 
thoughts evoked by concentrating her mind on the word 


"chickens" she gave the following: "I could only see 
the biggest chicken, all the others seemed blurred; it was 
unusually big and had a very long neck and it spoke to 
me — the street recalls where I used to go to school — I 
graduated from public school when I was thirteen — the 
block was always crowded with children from school" — 
she then began to blush and laugh and when asked to 
explain her actions said: "It recalls the happy school 
days when I was young and had no worries — I even had 
a beau, a pupil from the male department. There was 
a male and a female department in the same school and 
most of my girl friends had beaux — we used to meet after 
school hours and walk home together. My beau's name 
was F. He was lanky and thin and the girls used to 
tease me about him. Whenever they saw him coming 
they said, ' Belle, here comes your chicken 7 — that was 
his nickname among the boys." On being asked if she 
now understood who the chicken in the dream was she 
laughingly said: "You don't mean to say that the chicken 
with the long neck was Mr. F.?" When asked if she still 
kept up her acquaintance with Mr. F. she stated that she 
had not seen him for the last few months, but prior to 
that she saw him quite often. On further analysis it was 
found that this early schoolday love was still kept up. 
He had proposed to her no less than three times, but she 
had never given him any definite answer. She only 
"liked" him and her family opposed him on account of 
his financial position. The last time she met him was at 
a military ball. He was an officer of a military organiz- 
ation and "he looked quite handsome in his smart uni- 
form." He danced with her and "was very kind," but 


he did not propose. She frankly admitted that she looked 
for a fourth proposal at this ball and that she was quite 
ready to accept him. She had heard only recently that 
he was paying attention to another young lady, a thing 
which caused her considerable annoyance — to put it in her 
own words, "I can only blame myself and I will have to 
forget it." 

We see that the most impossible and ludicrous part of 
the dream, that is, "the talking of the chicken," is now 
quite plain. The "chicken" is simply the nickname of 
Mr. F., who is the hero of the dream. There were other 
chickens, but they were blurred, that is, there were other 
young suitors, but they were relegated to the background. 

The chicken said "Come with me into the dark." The 
word "dark" evoked the following associations: indis- 
tinct — obscure — mystery — marriage. She recalled that 
after her father's death her mother once spoke sympathet- 
ically of Mr. F. saying "Money is not all," and philoso- 
phized on marriage in the following remarks: "You will 
never know a man until you have eaten a peck of salt 
with him" and "Marriage is a mystery." These words 
made a deep impression on her and the last Biblical 
quotation frequently recurred to her. We then see that 
in her mind the word "dark" was used synonomously 
with mystery and marriage, and hence we can under- 
stand its meaning in the chicken's speech. Briefly stated 
it was the fourth proposal of Mr. F. 

The first part of the dream reads, "/ was in a lonely 
country place, etc. "She stated that she recalled the 
beautiful country around H. Bay where she had been 
the preceding summer. She could not quite understand 


what Liconow or Liconor Bay meant and gave the follow- 
ing associations: Liconow — Lucknow — meaning a paint- 
ing representing the famous battle of Lucknow which she 
had recently seen. The soldiers recalled the military 
organization at whose ball she had met Mr. F. The 
word "Liconor" suggested by sound association Lucarno 
and Lugano, two places which she had visited while 
abroad two years before. H. Bay often recalled the 
beautiful Italian lakes, Lucarno and Lugano, whither she 
hoped to go on her honeymoon. Finally, Liconor Bay 
resolved itself into LIK-ONOR BAY which, by sound 
association, can be readily recognized as "like, honor 
and obey." If "like" is substituted by "love" it gives 
the familiar formula well known to all maidens seriously 
contemplating matrimony. The dreamer used "like," 
because, as aforesaid, she thought she only "liked." 
Such condensations of words and ideas are not at all rare 
in dreams. 

If we now rewrite the first sentence it will read as fol- 
lows: "I was in a lonely country place and was anxious to 
reach my home in <LIKe (love), hONOR, and oBEY,' " 
that is, "I was lonely and anxious to get married." 

The next sentence reads "But could not, etc. 7 ' She 
stated that her legs "were as heavy as lead," she was 
alone and was afraid that something might happen, but 
she was unable to make any headway. The sensation 
of inhibition experienced in dreams, like the inability to 
make any headway when one most desires to do so, sig- 
nifies a marked mental conflict. Here, too, it merely 
shows the great mental conflict in our dreamer's mind. 
She is anxious to marry. She "likes" Mr. F. Moreover, 


she is of an advanced age and, as the dream shows, she 
could walk only very slowly as if "she were weak or very 
old," that is, the difficulties on the road to matrimony 
increase with advancing age; she is weak and old, that is, 
she is an "old maid," an expression by which she often 
jocosely referred to herself in her waking state; all of 
these arguments are in favor of accepting Mr. F., but 
then her family is opposed to him. He is a nice enough 
young man, but he is unable to care for her in a manner 
befitting her station in life. 

The dream continues: "Every time I made a move 
there was a wall in the way, it looked like a street full of walls, 
etc." A street full of walls .signifies Wall street, hence 
money — that was the real obstacle. When told of the 
interpretation she laughingly remarked "That's it exactly. 
I even thought very seriously of helping him along, as 
Pa left me some money, but then everything is invested 
in Wall street and there is a tacit understanding among 
ourselves that the whole estate shall be left intact until 
mother's death." 

We now understand the latent thoughts of the dream. 
The first part can be translated as follows: I am twenty- 
eight years old, an old maid, and I am anxious to marry 
Mr. F., but then he is not rich enough to take care of me. 
I perhaps can help him financially. In the second part 
we find the wish realization, as here Mr. F. actually pro- 
poses to her for the fourth time. 

These were the actual thoughts which had occupied 
our dreamer's mind for the past months and which, as she 
quite frankly admitted, she tried hard to forget. It is 
quite obvious that the dream deals here with the thoughts 


which a young lady would not consciously disclose even 
to her physician, and we can also understand why she was 
" ashamed to tell it" because she understood it uncon- 
sciously, though not consciously. The dream never 
deals with trivialities, and, no matter how simple and 
innocent it may seem, the analysis invariably shows that 
the thoughts behind it belong to the inmost recesses of 
personality. This accounts for the many resistances 
encountered during the analysis. The psychic censor 
constantly inhibits the painful or disagreeable complexes 
from becoming conscious and is also responsible for the 
rapid forgetting of dreams on awakening. 

Dreams often help us to make a correct diagnosis. 
This is especially true in the anxiety states and homo- 
sexuality. People who are subject to nightmares or 
who have anxiety dreams usually suffer from lack of 
sexual gratification. I do not mean merely the gross 
sexual, but I use the word in the Freudian sense. We 
must be very careful in our examination, otherwise we 
may make mistakes. Thus a married woman suffered 
from a pronounced anxiety hysteria and was subject to 
frequent nightmares, but on being questioned she stated 
that her sexual life was normal. A few weeks later I 
discovered that she was suffering from frigidity and 
although she was married six years she never experienced 
an orgasm or any pleasure in coitus. 

I have made many diagnoses of homosexuality from 
the patient's dreams. Many homosexuals go to doctors, 
but do not tell them the true state of affairs. They are 
usually sensitive and not knowing how the physician will 
look upon them they complain of something else. Thus, 


a homosexual whom I saw in the Vanderbilt clinic com- 
plained of pain in the thigh. His dream told me the true 
story. It also happens that the patients do not know 
that they are homosexual. This is usually the case 
with women, but I have seen at least two men who were 
ignorant of their being homosexual. Their dreams first 
called my attention to the fact. But it should be remem- 
bered that one is not to judge by the manifest content of 
the dream as does Nacke, 11 for a dream may not show any- 
thing of the gross homosexual in its manifest content and 
still be a homosexual dream. This is shown by the follow- 
ing dream brought to me by a man of thirty-five years : 
"I saw two men. One looked at an open newspaper and the 
other watched him sidewise, reading his thoughts like a 
detective. Suddenly the latter stabbed the man with the news- 
paper by plunging a dagger into his heart. Great commo- 
tion — crowd." 

After reading the dream as it was written by the patient 
immediately on awakening three hours before, I asked 
him to tell me the dream from memory. He reproduced 
the dream correctly, but made one mistake; instead of 
saying that the dagger was plunged into the heart he 
said that it was plunged into the back. My object in 
asking him to reproduce the dream was this: From the 
association experiments of the Zurich school 12 we know 
that a failure of reproduction is a complex indicator; that 
is, whenever the answer is forgotten it shows that the 
word or passage in question is of marked emotional accen- 
tuation and contains something cryptic. It has the same 
mechanism as the lapsus linguae or any other mistake. 
Now let us take up the analysis: A crowd in the dream 


signifies a secret. The two men were readily identified as 
the dreamer himself and a young man with whom he spent 
the evening of the night of the dream. The dreamer was 
treated for homosexuality — passive pederasty — and the 
murderer of the dream is a young man with whom he is 
secretly in love. Those of my readers who may be ac- 
quainted with dream analysis know that the dagger is a 
symbol for the penis. Women suffering from lack of 
sexual gratification often dream of being attacked with 
knives, daggers, etc. Here the dream shows the realiza- 
tion of a wish to act as a passive pederast for the young 
man he loves. The stabbing taking place in the heart 
shows the familiar mechanism of displacement from below 
to above. The lower part of the body being tabooed, 
the action is transferred to the upper part; but the mis- 
take very nicely pointed to the patient's true wish; the 
dagger was plunged into the back. 

Other examples showing how dreams solve the problems 
of the neuroses are the following: 

An unmarried woman, Z., of thirty years, was treated by me for 
hysteria. One of the distressing symptoms was morning nausea 
with occasional vomiting from which she was suffering from periods 
of two and three months for the last five years. She stated that she 
was treated for it during all these years, but without success. I soon 
concluded that the symptom was hysterical and paid no particular 
attention to it as it was only one out of many others. One day she 
told me the following dream: 

1. "/ dreamed that Mgt. and I were pregnant and in some way or 
other I thought that birds were connected with this pregnancy. 

2. " Then I dreamed of looking down on my own or some one's else 
bare toes. Each toe became the head of a man as I looked and they all 
seemed to be smilinor laughing. One of the heads looked like S. V., ag 
male acquaintance." 


A few facts before proceeding with the analysis. Z. was bi-sexual 
and since the age of sixteen years had many homosexual amours. 
Mgt. was her friend with whom she had been in love for years. Mgt. 
was aware of it and as she is not homosexual they were forced to 
remain apart. They saw each other now and then and were very 
friendly. Z. came to me in 1910 and at that time she suffered from 
fits of depression following periodic debauches of masturbation. 
Mgt. was the object of her masturbatic fancies. 

When I asked her to focus her attention on the idea of 
pregnancy and repeat her associations she stated that 
there was a time when she was in mortal dread of being 
pregnant. At the age of nine years she was seduced by a 
farm hand and had sexual relations with him. When 
she was ten years old she heard that girls became pregnant 
as a result of such relations and she was terrified at the 
thought of it because she imagined that she was pregnant 
and that her parents would discover her relations with this 
man. Her first sexual instructions were received at a very 
early age. An older child called her attention to the 
sexual acts of the poultry which she watched with great 
interest . She imagined that women laid eggs like chickens . 
The day of the dream she yearned for a child. She spoke 
with Mgt. about the voidness in their lives and both agreed 
that they would be contented if they each had a child. 
She herself had had this wish for years as she is very fond 
of children. Birds to her mean chickens. She was 
brought up on a farm and the poultry was always referred 
to as birds. The first part of the dream, therefore, realized 
the wish that she and Mgt. were pregnant and the second 
part of the dream, as will be seen, shows who was respon- 
sible for it. When asked to associate to the word "toes" 
she thought of a foot as this brought to her mind that when 


she carried on her affair with the farm hand he was in the 
habit of touching her with his bare feet in forbidden places 
while the family was sitting around the table. The toe is 
also a symbol for the penis. The toes resolved themselves 
into the heads of laughing men and one looked like S. V. 
because he has a "dirty mind." He has the reputation 
of being a libertine. He is therefore the right man in the 
right place and though she consciously rejects him he is 
accepted by her unconsciously. There are many more 
subtler determinants for this dream which I am forced to 
omit here. 

At the age of twenty-four she discovered for the first 
time that pregnancy was accompanied by morning nausea 
and vomiting. Some time after she began to suffer from 
the nausea and vomiting. The symptom was therefore 
the expression of a wish realization and I could definitely 
show that it came on when the wish was especially strong. 
With the analysis the symptoms disappeared. 

A young married Englishman suffering from a compulsion neurosis 
was obsessed by the thought of socialism. The obsession came on 
during the notorious McNamara trial and persisted with increasing 
vigor until he came to see me a few months ago. No matter in what 
surrounding he was, whether at his desk or in the theater, he would have 
to discuss with himself socialism. He would wake up mornings with 
the question " Is socialism a correct theory, is socialism a true theory 
of economics?" and he would then argue for and against it. He would 
read books and pamphlets on the subject, but could never come to 
any decision. While talking with friends the idea would obtrude 
itself: "It will be terrible when the government will control every- 
thing and some new conditions will come into being which will 
influence me materially. I wonder whether the president is convinced 
of the truth of the socialistic doctrines, etc." While attending a play 
lie would be bothered by the idea that it was wrong for him to spend 


money on luxuries when there were other persons starving. Indeed 
the patient stated that there was not half an hour when he was free 
from thoughts on socialism. With the characteristic arguments of 
folie raisonant he went through the most absurd and abstruse argu- 
mentations. Lest there should be some misunderstanding I will 
state that ordinarily the patient had no interest at all in socialism; 
he professed Catholicism and was quite conservative in his ideas. 
He realized the absurdity of his compulsive thinking, but was power- 
less to control it. 

After coming to me for a few weeks he brought the following dream : 
" Bernard Shaw, the writer, was the guest at some affair and I was there, 
too. There was another man there who, when he removed his peculiar 
wig, I noticed was the humorous writer O." 

The determinants of the dream were as follows: A few 
days before he had read that the Governor General of 
Jamaica is a socialist and that he once shocked the English 
aristocracy by inviting Bernard Shaw to one of his social 
gatherings. The day before the dream he had read a refer- 
ence to Brieux's play " Damaged Goods, " a play dealing 
with sex to which Bernard Shaw wrote a preface. On con- 
tinuing the association he recalled the story of "Man and 
Superman/' Shaw's play; how everyone was shocked be- 
cause a girl was supposed to have been pregnant and how 
the hero, Tanner, defended her saying that she was going 
to perform the noblest function of womanhood. He, too, 
is liberal on the question of sex. The lady's name was 
Violet. His wife's name is Viola. 

According to the rules of association there must have 
been a close relationship between the sexual lives of Shaw's 
heroine and his wife and further investigation actually 
showed that this was so. In brief he admitted that for 
some time before marriage they led a sexual life and that 
on a few occasions she had reason to fear pregnancy. 


The subject of pregnancy came up again the night before 
the dream because he imagined that his wife was getting 
stout. He stated that he did not have the slightest 
apprehension about it as the proper precautions were 
taken; that everything was well when he left home a 
few weeks ago (he returned the day before the dream). 
He refused to proceed with the associations, but upon be- 
ing urged he reproduced a rather intimate scene between 
himself and his wife. For some reason he was depressed 
and kept on asking his wife "Aren't you all mine, aren't 
you all mine?" and despite all her assurance he asked the 
question over and over again. I told him that judging 
from this scene one would think that he was not sure of 
his wife's fidelity. He readily admitted that while it 
did not enter his mind during this scene he has entertained 
ideas of jealousy since he first became acquainted with 
his wife. To my question he answered that he is not 
jealous of any particular man, that the idea is vague and 
that he suppresses it as soon as it crosses his mind. He 
then recalled that before he met his wife he was inter- 
ested in another girl to whom his parents objected. His 
mother said that "she was a rag on every bush," meaning 
that she was owned by a great many men. This recalled 
to him that while he was separated from his wife he met a 
great many women who were "a rag on every bush." He 
did not yield to temptation, but entertained a great many 
forbidden fancies. 

The associations making up the elements of the dream 
thus far reproduced brought to light a complex of marked 
feeling tone, the content of which is jealousy. He 


suspected his wife of infidelity, but he has no particular 
person in mind. It is simply a general jealousy. 

When asked about Mr. 0. in the dream he stated that 
he did not know it was Mr. 0. until he removed his wig. 
He is not acquainted personally with 0., but knows him 
by sight. He heard that although 0. is married he does 
not disdain light flirtations when he is away from his 
wife. He excuses O.'s actions by saying that he belongs 
to a rather passionate type of man. His description of 
O. corresponds to himself and when I called his attention 
to it he at once corroborated it by saying that he was 
aware of the remarkable resemblance between them and 
that strangers have noticed it. When I asked him about 
the wig he stated that 0. recently wrote a pseudoscientific 
paper on hair culture. For many delicate reasons which 
cannot be explained he himself had of late something to 
do with hair. 

These associations, as well as others that need not be 
mentioned, not only explain the dream fragment but also 
the obsession. The dream deals with the most intimate 
factors of the dreamer's life. In brief he is not sure of 
his wife, and although he is an admirer of Shaw he is not 
quite willing to accept his views on sex. He does not 
believe in freedom of sex, he wants his wife to have no 
other man beside himself. While he was separated from 
her he was restrained in his temptation by the thought 
that he had no right to practise what he would abhor in 
his wife. He does not believe in collective ownership 
when it concerns his own wife. In the dream, however, 
he identifies himself with 0., who, according to his belief, 
is quite free in his marital vows. In other words, what's 


right for the goose is not necessarily so for the gander. 
This conflict which existed since his betrothal and which 
is very painful to him therefore appears under the obses- 
sion of socialism which, to our patient, is " collective 
ownership, common possession.' ' The truth of this 
assumption was confirmed by the fact that the obsession 
disappeared as soon as its true meaning became known 
to the patient. 

It is not only in diagnosing gross neurotic symptoms 
that the dream is of service, but it also helps us to diagnose 
and cure so-called peculiar traits of character. To 
illustrate this I will cite the following case: 

A young married woman of twenty-six years consulted me and 
decided to come to me for regular psychanalytic treatment. When 
she was about to leave she wished to pay me for the consultation. I 
told her that it was my custom to send monthly statements to my 
patients and that she might wait until the end of the month before 
paying me. She thanked me for my offer, but emphatically declared 
that she would pay at the end of each consultation, adding that she 
always pays cash, be it to the doctor, druggist, grocer, milliner or 
dressmaker. Knowing that she was a woman of means I naturally 
thought it strange and I remarked something to that effect. She 
then told me that all her friends and acquaintances, including her 
husband, think that she is peculiar in this respect, but that does not 
alter her desire not to "run up any bills" and to pay cash for every- 
thing. She came to me daily except Sunday and always paid before 
leaving. After coming to me for a week or two she once forgot to pay, 
but within a few minutes she returned excitedly and although I was 
busy with the next patient she insisted upon seeing me. She was very 
profuse in her apologies despite my assuring her that there was no 
need for her returning, let alone for apologizing. The following week 
the same thing happened again with the same results. A week later 
she actually forgot to pay and did not recall it until she returned 
home. She telephoned, however, and insisted upon sending my fee 
to me by special delivery. 


Considering the financial experiences we physicians sometimes have 
with patients I should have had no cause for complaint and that was 
exactly what one of my colleagues who is interested in psychanalysis 
thought. But when I asked him the meaning of the patient's 
extreme scrupulosity he stated that judging by the fact that she had 
forgotten to pay on a number of occasions it would seem that she was 
not quite pleased with the treatment and hence did not like to pay for 
it. His reasoning was in accordance with psychanalytic experience 
as we are taught that there is no accidental forgetting and that there 
is always a purpose in forgetting. We usually forget what we do not 
wish to remember. But I pointed out to him that both she herself 
and her friends assert that this feeling — "the terrible honesty," as 
one friend called it — has existed since girlhood so that it could not 
have any special bearing on her feeling toward the treatment. More- 
over, I was very sure that she was satisfied with the progress she was 
making in the treatment. A few weeks later she brought the following 
dream: " / was invited to tea at the house of J., but I did not go. Instead 
2 went with a large party of school girls on some sort of picnic. When it 
came to be 7 o'clock I was sorry that J. had been waiting for me all 
the afternoon and knew that I ought to telephone her. I went out to 
telephone and found that I had no money. I saw a gold piece lying 
before me. I knew to whom it belonged, in fact people were looking for 
it, but as I needed money to telephone I did not give it up. I knew I 
was a thief and I was sorry, but I kept the money just the same. Then 
I began to borrow everything — money, gloves, etc. — and people all seemed 
to be afraid I would not return the things I borrowed." 

For many reasons I am only giving a fragment of a long 
dream, but it will suffice to demonstrate what I wish to 
point out. The dream was determined by the following 
experiences of the day before: She was invited to a tea 
and did not like to go. She received a letter from a 
schoolmate inviting her to visit her. She had some con- 
versation about money matters with her husband. There 
were many associations which I shall omit as not abso- 
lutely necessary and will confine myself to those directly 
bearing on the complex. When I asked her to focus her 


attention on the gold piece she suddenly became very 
emotional. She begged me not to press her to tell me 
this particular thought as it was very painful, etc., etc. 
After much argument and protest she gave the following 
associations: Her mother was not faithful to her father, 
and as he was frequently away on business she entertained 
many intrigues. It was when my patient was a little 
girl of about seven or eight years that she came into the 
room unobserved by her mother and saw the latter going 
through the pockets of one of her paramours who was 
too intoxicated to protest. She left as she entered, but 
she never forgave her mother for it. She said nothing, 
but for a long time she felt a strong resentment and 
aversion toward her mother. Nevertheless, shortly 
after while at school she imitated her mother by stealing 
a few pennies from a classmate's pocket. She was never 
discovered and she never stole anything else and soon 
thereafter, at the age of ten or eleven years, became a 
model of honesty. 

This dream may be called a reaction dream as it shows 
the reverse side of the person and explains that our 
dreamer's "terrible honesty" is simply a reaction to her 
unconscious dishonesty. This patient identified herself 
with her mother in almost every respect. She led the 
same life as her mother and treated her husband just as 
her mother treated her father. The picture would have 
been the same had she continued to show a tendency to 
dishonesty, but as this was repressed, the reaction had to 
be a scrupulous honesty. Like the character in Ibsen's 
"Pillars of Society" she had "to hold up the banner of the 
ideal." That accounts for the fact that she often forgot 


to pay, as she actually desired. For some time before the 
analysis of this dream she would pay in advance to make 
sure that she would not forget. The conversation with 
her husband was about her allowance. She asked for 
more and he granted her request. Owing to the fact 
that she was at the time in love with another man her 
conscience pricked her and she said to herself: "I am 
nothing but a thief and I have no right to his money." 
This was the main determinant of the dream. After 
everything was analyzed and her unconscious complex 
was laid bare to her she was quite willing to "run up" a 
bill with me. 

Having referred so often to symbols in dreams it will not 
be amiss to say a few words about symbolism in general. 
Madeline Pelletier defines a symbol as "a false perception 
of a marked relation of identity or analogy between two 
objects which, in reality, present only a vague analogy." 
This definition is confirmed by the study of philology. 
Primitive writing consisted of a collection of symbols; the 
Egyptians, for example, used figures to represent ideas 
and the original alphabet consisted of a collection of sym- 
bols. Thus the original letter B did not stand for the 
consonant, but it was a picture of a crude outline of a 
house and meant to represent the idea " house." With the 
advance of civilization the alphabetic symbols lost their 
original meaning and became consonants and vowels. 
Symbols, therefore, represent a lower form of thinking for 
they identify objects which have only a very remote, 
analogy. Children and primitive races still make use of 
this form of expression. Thus a child calls a stick a horse 
simply because it can ride on it. The analogy between 


the stick and the horse is very remote indeed. As the 
child grows older and becomes able to discriminate and 
compare it no longer forms such vague analogies. The 
symbols that we use in our daily life though more complex 
and specialized are symbols none the less. The Statue 
of Liberty, the cross, the masonic emblems, the barber's 
pole, are examples of this nature. Language is full of 
symbols. A symbol is a form of short-hand writing. One 
word may express an idea or have many meanings, e.g., 
the word "green" may represent a color or stand for the 
idea hope. Religion swarms with symbolisms and the 
more primitive the form the more prolific the symbolism. 
It has also been found that diminished attention favors a 
lower form of thinking and that a disturbance of attention 
causes shallow reaction types. This accounts for sym- 
bolization in hallucinations, delusions, dreams, wit and 
poetry;* that is, one is apt to find symbols in all those pro- 
ductions that come from unconscious activities. When we 
have our full attention and can compare and discriminate 
we are not likely to form any remote analogies. On the 
other hand, whenever these factors are disturbed or absent, 
as in dreams and psychoses, and under certain conditions 
even in the waking state, we make use of symbols. In 
this connection the following experience related by an 
acquaintance will be of interest: While walking with two 
friends their attention was attracted by a big bird in the 
distant height. One of them suggested that it was a crow 
and remarked that it was rather unusual to see this bird 
in the city. As it came nearer they were sure that it was 

* An excellent paper on Poetry and Dreams was published by Pro- 
fessor F. C. Prescott in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol- 
VII, 1 and 2. 


a stray or escaped eagle, and finally it turned out to be a 
flying machine. The reason for these mistakes at first was 
the inability to judge and discriminate, and had they left 
before the machine came near enough to afford the oppor- 
tunity for proper comparison and judgment they would 
have been convinced that they saw a crow or an eagle. 

During my service in the Clinic of Psychiatry at Zurich 
I was often present while my former chief Prof. Bleuler 
examined the patients. One of the tests, principally for 
attention, was to expose very rapidly pictures and ask the 
patient to tell what he saw. The pictures used were from 
a booklet containing over two hundred pictures, both 
simple and complex, of everything imaginable. Among 
the pictures of the vegetables was the asparagus and when- 
ever the latter was rapidly exposed the patients almost 
always believed that it was the penis. I have repeated 
this same test hundreds of times with the same result. 
The patients are shown more than ninety pictures before 
they get to the picture of the asparagus and whether the 
answers are correct or not they are usually given promptly. 
When the asparagus is shown they invariably hesitate; 
some give no answer at all; their expression, however, 
plainly betrays their thoughts. Others claim that they 
have not seen distinctly enough, and some of the bolder 
ones simply laugh. It is also interesting to watch their 
features when they discover the real picture. Some are 
plainly disappointed, others are very relieved, and, lately, 
one patient exclaimed, "I didn't know I was so evil- 
minded." They all admitted that they first thought of 
the penis. Here the mistake is plainly due to an inability 
to discriminate between two objects having a vague re- 
semblance, and is caused by insufficient attention owing 


to the rapid exposure. It is such vague analogies which, 
when found in dreams we call symbols, which have given 
cause to so much controversy. Those who find it so strange 
should remember that we are not even pioneers in the use 
of symbolism, but like in a great many other things we pay 
attention to something which our opponents never think 
worth examining. That so many symbolic expressions 
in dreams are sexual is not at all surprising when we con- 
sider the enormous symbolization of sex in the waking 
state. Let those who object to sexual symbols in dreams 
reflect for a moment and they will soon find any number 
of sex symbols in their own conscious minds. Because 
sex is the strongest impulse we possess it has been sub- 
jected to constant suppression and for that reason one 
finds it symbolized and otherwise in the unconscious and 
in literature. When the poet says "And Maidens, becom- 
ing bottles, cry aloud for corks" (Pope — The Rape of the 
Lock), he uses gross sexual symbols concerning which there 
can be no mistake. I have found the very same and simi- 
lar symbols in many dreams. In the unconscious produc- 
tions there is no limit to sexual symbolization. Kleinpaul 
justly remarked "Man sexualizes the universe." An 
examination of our colloquialisms, stage wit, popular 
songs, etc., will convince one of the truth of this statement. 

To illustrate how the dream makes use of symbolisms I 
will cite the following dream. A woman of forty years 
related this dream: "I saw my son L. jammed in the fire- 
place and tried to get him out, but I couldn't. I was awfully 
frightened and called out l Papa, papa.' " She laughingly 
added, "You will probably find something sexual in it." 

When the dreamer finds it necessary to add such a 


remark it is always well to think of the saying "Many a 
truth is said in jest.' ' When I questioned her about the 
dream she stated that "papa" in the dream did not mean 
her father but her lodger, who is so nicknamed. As she 
could give no associations to " fireplace " I took it to be 
a symbol for the vagina. The other facts are as follows: 
This woman has been a grass widow for years and suffered 
much from lack of sexual gratification. She was anxious 
to enter into an amour with "Papa," but was deterred 
by the fear of pregnancy. She had an affair before and 
had to go through a rather bad abortion. Her son who 
was in the fireplace in the dream is nineteen years old. 

She recalled that when she became pregnant with him she 
went through a severe hysterical attack. She was afraid 
of pregnancy and childbirth and implored her family 
physician to produce an abortion. He refused to help 
her so she herself tried everything she knew of, but to no 
avail. The dream, therefore, repeats an incident of 
nineteen years ago. At that time her son was jammed 
in the "fireplace" and she couldn't get him out. For the 
previous few weeks she was occupied with a similar 
situation. She often said to herself "if he (Papa) would 
take care, I would have nothing to fear." In the dream 
she actually calls upon him to do this, but the erstwhile 
embryo is replaced by her son as he is now. 

The symbolism in the dream is the same to-day as it 
was in the Biblical times when Joseph acted the part of 
the oneiroscopist, and as we still see it in the dream 
books. But whereas the ancients and the laity of to-day 
ignore their own subjective mind and seek interpretation 
from magicians and dream books we allow the dreamer 


to interpret his own dreams and to find the symbolisms 
in his own mind. What we do is simply to call his atten- 
tion to the different connections which he himself generally 
cannot see because of his own critique, prejudices and 

We also differ from the ancients and laity by not seeing 
in the dream the future, but rather the past. Yet, in a 
way, the dream is also related to the future inasmuch as 
its fulfilled wish represents what we are striving for. This, 
in my opinion, explains the ancient and modern super- 
stition regarding the future realization of dreams. It 
has its origin in incidents resembling the dream of Miss G. 
and those of the children mentioned before. Thus both 
children forced their parents to fulfil their wishes. In 
order to appease her little girl the mother had to procure 
for her some chocolate almonds and the boy did not stop 
crying until his mother gave him the money of his dream. 

There are dreams which continue to manifest themselves 
for weeks and months until the wish they contain is 
actually realized. A chronic alcoholic showing delusions 
of jealousy disliked a dog because his wife "was more 
attached to the dog than to him." He continued to 
dream at different times that the dog was run over, taken 
away by the dogcatcher, etc., until one day during his 
wife's absence he really disposed of it. Here the dream 
ostensibly treated of the future, at least so the wife 
thought on her return home. "Poor Fido," she exclaimed, 
"John (husband) dreamed only last week that he was 
caught by the dogcatchers and now the dream has come 
true." This is the so-called resolution dream. 13 The 
person resolves, perhaps unconsciously, to do a certain 


thing and the dream continues to represent it as realized 
until it is actually accomplished. This explains the 
mechanism of the "dreams that come true." I have 
analyzed a number of such dreams and all showed that the 
wish always preceded the event in question. Thus one 
of my patients dreamed that her brother who lived in 
another city was dead, and after relating her dream to 
her husband received word that her brother had really 
died. The analysis showed that her brother suffered from 
chronic tuberculosis which the doctors declared fatal 
months before. She was fully aware of the gravity of his 
malady and often thought that he would be better off 
dead than alive. Her mother lived with her, but, owing 
to her brother's illness she stayed with him. She was 
nearing the end of a pregnancy and daily hoped that her 
mother would return before her confinement. This 
recalled similar experiences of childhood when her 
mother often neglected her for the same brother because 
he was very delicate and sickly. As a child she often 
wished him dead, a thing quite common among children 
to whom the idea of death means simply to be away. 
The conscious wish "he would be better off dead than 
alive" became the dream incitor because it succeeded in 
arousing a similar infantile wish. For, as Freud says, 
"The conscious wish becomes a dream incitor only when 
it succeeds in arousing a similar unconscious one," 
and "The wish as represented in the dream must be an 
infantile one." 14 

The realization of our waking dreams shows precisely 
the same mechanisms. This can be observed not only in 
the individual, but in whole races. We all know that the 


Leitmotif of orthodox Judaism is and always has been the 
reestablishment of a Jewish nationality, the "return to 
Jerusalem"; and should Zionism ever succeed in obtaining 
Palestine, the Biblical dreams, the prophecies would be 
considered as having "come true." Popular language 
expresses the idea in the saying "Where there is a will 
there is a way." 

These brief analyses distinctly show the connection 
between the dream and the neuroses. I am quite con- 
vinced that had we not analyzed the dream, the psychic 
conflicts underlying the neurosis of Miss G. could not have 
been discovered, as they were unconscious to the patient, 
and that she would have merged into a chronic neurosis. 
Very soon after the complexes were discovered and brought 
to her consciousness her symptoms began to disappear 
and within two months she was perfectly cured. It must 
be added that besides analyzing the dream her other symp- 
toms had to be explained to her. Thus her abnormal 
attachment to her mother disappeared as soon as she be- 
came conscious of the fact that it was hiding a repressed 
wish that her mother might die so that she could use the 
estate to assist Mr. F. The insight and psychological 
education which she gained during the analysis also helped 
her to overcome some of her false pride and prudishness, 
and as a result she is now happily married to Mr. F. Thus 
her wish was realized. 


1. As Freud has shown, dreams are perfect psychological 
mechanisms. They have a definite meaning and contain 
a wish fulfilment. 


2. Every psychotic symptom is the expression of a 
former mental occurrence and symbolically represents a 
wish fulfilment. 

3. The repression of the unconscious is at the basis of 
both the dream and the psychotic symptom. 

4. Dreams are the product of the unconscious and hence 
afford the easiest access to the exploration of the neurosis. 


1. Sante de Sanctis. Les Maladies mental et les r6ves, 1897. 
Extrait des Annales de la Society de medecine de Gand. 

Ideler: Ueber die Entstehung des Wahnsinns aus Traumen. 
Charite Annalen, III, p. 284, 1862. 

Fer6: A Contribution to the Pathology of Dreams. Brain, IX> 

Lasegue: Le Delire aleoolique n'est pas un delire mais un r£ve. 
Archives general de meclecine, 1881. 

Sully, J.: The Dream as a Revelation. Fortnightly Review, 
March, 1893. 

2. Freud : The Interpretation of Dreams. George Allan Co., London, 
and The Macmillian Co., New York. Translated by A. A. Brill. 

3. Freud : Selected Papers on Hysteria and Psychneurosis. Trans- 
lated by A. A. Brill, Monograph Series of Journal of Nervous and 
Mental Dis. Co. 

4. Jung: The Psychology of Dementia Prsecox. Translated by 
Peterson and Brill, Monograph Series Journal of Nervous and Mental 
Dis. Co. 

5. Freud: Die Psychopathologie des Alltagsleben. Karger, 
Berlin. Cf. also Chap. VII. 

6. Cf. Chap. V. 

7. For the mechanism of jokes cf. Chap. XII. 

8. Cf. Chap. III. 

9. For an excellent example of this mechanism see Chap. I, 
p. 29. 

10. Stekel, W.: Nervose Angstzustande und ihre Behandlung, 
p. 117. 


11. Die Diagnose der Homosexualitat Neurolog. Zentralbl, 1908, 
p. 338. 

12. Cf. Chap. V. 

13. Freud: Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, Zweite 
Folge, p. 59, Deuticke, Wien, 1909. 

14. Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams. Chap. VII. 



Neurasthenia and Anxiety Neurosis; their Symptoms, 

Mechanism, Etiology and Relation to the 


Freud divides the neuroses into psycho and actual 
neuroses. The psychoneuroses comprise hysteria and 
compulsion neurosis (doubts, obsessions and phobias) 
while the actual neuroses include neurasthenia and anxiety 
neurosis. The sexual life plays an important part in the 
determination of both classes. But whereas hysteria and 
compulsion neurosis are altogether of a psychogenetic 
origin, neurasthenia and anxiety neurosis are due to so- 
matic sexual injuries. 

As the typical symptoms of neurasthenia Freud men- 
tions headache, or pressure in the head, spinal irritation, 
and dyspepsia with flatulence, and constipation. By 
adhering closely to these symptoms one can easily differen- 
tiate the real neurasthenia from the pseudo-neurasthenias 
such as the organically determined nasal reflex neurosis, 
the neurotic disturbances of cachexias and arterio- 
sclerosis, the early stages of progressive paralysis, and 
some of the psychoses. Concerning the etiology Freud 
says "Neurasthenia always originates whenever the ade- 
quate (action) unburdening is replaced by a less adequate 



one, like the normal coitus under the most favorable con- 
ditions by a masturbation or spontaneous pollution." 1 

Bearing in mind this symptom-complex, neurasthenia 
ceases to be the "big garbage can," as Forel fitly calls it, 
and becomes a rather limited entity. For it is known to 
every observer in this field that neurasthenia in the gener- 
ally accepted sense may comprise almost anything from 
anxiety neurosis to psychoses proper. Well developed 
cases of dementia praecox, paresis and other psychoses are 
often diagnosed and treated for months, even years, as 

That anxiety plays a part in the neuroses was fully 
recognized by almost all writers on this subject; but its 
isolation into a separate entity and its reference to a 
special sexual etiology was first established by Freud in 
his dissertation, " On the Right to Separate from Neuras- 
thenia a Definite Symptom Complex as Anxiety Neurosis." 2 

Before going into the etiology of anxiety neurosis I will 
first enumerate the clinical symptoms which are as follows: 

1. General irritability. This frequent symptom espe- 
cially expresses itself in auditory hyperesthesia and is a 
frequent cause of insomnia of which more than one form 
belongs to anxiety neurosis. 

2. Anxious expectation which manifests itself in an 
uneasiness and a tendency to pessimistic conception of 
things, or in a tendency to "make mountains out of mole 
hills." Persons showing this symptom evince a frequent 
tendency to pangs of conscience, scrupulosity and ped- 
antry. Thus a man who suffered from anxious expec- 
tation thought that something might have happened to 
his mother because there was a thunder-storm while she 


was riding in a train. He was anxiously waiting for 
news of some disaster and was not relieved until he heard 
that she had reached her destination. Anxious expecta- 
tion is the most essential symptom of the neurosis. There 
seems to be a quantum of freely floating anxiety which is 
forever ready to unite itself with suitable ideations. 

3. Anxiousness can also suddenly break into conscious- 
ness without being aroused by the issue of an idea. Such 
attacks consist either of the anxious feeling alone without 
any associated idea or of the nearest interpretation of the 
termination of life, such as ideas of sudden death or 
threatening insanity, or the anxious feeling may be com- 
bined with a disturbance of one or many somatic func- 
tions, such as respiration, cardiac activity, the vasomotor 
innervation and the glandular activity. The patient 
may complain of "heart spasm," "heavy breathing," 
"inordinate appetite," "profuse perspiration," "feeling 
badly," etc. 

4. The amount of admixture of these elements varies 
extraordinarily and any accompanying symptom may 
alone constitute the attack. Accordingly there are rudi- 
mentary attacks of anxiety and equivalents for the attack 
of anxiety. The following equivalents may be mentioned : 

(a) Attacks of disturbance of heart action, ranging 
from palpitation, transitory arhythmia, with longer con- 
tinued tachycardia to grave states of heart weakness. 
These are not always easy to differentiate from organic 
heart affections. It may manifest itself in pseudo- 
angina pectoris, a delicate diagnostic sphere. 

(6) Attacks of respiratory disturbances, many forms of 
nervous dyspnoea and asthma-like attacks. 


(c) Attacks of profuse perspiration, often nocturnal. 

(d) Attacks of trembling and shaking which may be 
readily mistaken for hysterical attacks. 

(e) Attacks of inordinate appetite, often combined 
with dizziness. 

(f) Attacks of diarrhoea. 

(g) Attacks of locomotor dizziness. 

(h) Attacks of congestion embracing also the so-called 
vasomotor neurasthenia. 

(i) Attacks of paresthesias (these are seldom without 
anxiety or a similar discomfort). 

(j) Sudden terrified awakening. 

(k) Frequency of micturition. 

(I) Cramplike muscular attacks. 

5. Nocturnal frights (pavor nocturnus of adults) 
usually accompanied by anxiety, dyspnoea, perspiration, 
etc., are only a variety of the anxiety attack and determine 
a second form of insomnia in the sphere of anxiety neurosis. 
The pavor nocturnus of children belongs to the same 

6. A prominent symptom of anxiety neurosis is vertigo 
which in its lightest form may be designated as " dizziness." 
Attacks of vertigo with or without fear belong to the 
gravest symptoms of the neurosis. This form of vertigo is 
neither a rotatory dizziness nor is it confined to certain 
planes or lines like Menier's vertigo. It consists in a 
specific feeling of discomfort accompanied by sensations 
of a heaving ground, sinking legs, of the impossibility of 
remaining in an upright position, and at the same time 
there is a feeling that the legs are as heavy as lead, that they 
shake and give way. This vertigo never leads to falling. 


7. Two groups of typical phobias develop on the basis 
of the chronic anxiousness (anxious expectation) on the 
one hand, and the tendency to vertiginous anxiety 
attacks on the other. In the first group we have the 
fear for snakes, thunderstorms, darkness, vermin, etc., 
as well as the typical moral overscrupulousness and the 
forms oifolie du doute. The available fear is here used to 
strengthen the instinctive aversions implanted in every 
man. The second group comprises agoraphobia with 
all its accessory forms, all of which are characterized by 
their relation to locomotion. The phobia is usually, 
determined by a precedent attack of vertigo. 

8. The disturbances of the digestive functions are few, 
but are characteristic. One often finds the sensations of 
nausea and sickly feeling. The symptom of inordinate 
appetite with or without congestion may serve as a rudi- 
mentary attack of anxiety. The tendency to diarrhoea 
which is a chronic alteration analogous to the anxious 
expectation has occasioned the queerest diagnostic 

9. The paresthesias which accompany the attacks of 
vertigo or anxiety associate themselves into a firm sequence 
resembling the sensation of the hysterical aura. These 
associated sensations are changeable and atypical, but 
they sometimes become converted into physical sensations 
like rheumatic pains. 


In some cases of anxiety neurosis no etiology can be 
readily found, but in such cases one can usually find a 
marked hereditary taint. Whenever the neurosis i& 


acquired one can always find "that the etiologically 
effective factors are based on a series of injuries and in- 
fluences from the sexual life." 3 These injuries and influ- 
ences may be either found alone or are reinforced by other 
banal injuries. 

To give a more precise description of the etiological 
determinants of anxiety neurosis Freud separates those 
occurring in men from those occurring in women. Re- 
gardless of disposition anxiety neurosis appears in women 
under the following forms: 

(a) As virginal fear or anxiety in adults. Many definite 
observations show that an anxiety neurosis almost typic- 
ally combined with hysteria can be evoked in maturing 
girls at their first encounter with the sexual problem, 
either through seeing or through hearing or reading of sex. 

(b) As fear in the newly married. Young women who 
remain anesthetic during the first coitus often merge into 
an anxiety neurosis which disappears after the anesthesia 
is replaced by normal feeling. 

(c) As fear in women whose husbands suffer from ejacu- 
latio precox or from diminished potency; and 

(d) In those whose husbands practice coitus interruptus 
or reservatus. These cases go together for they only de- 
pend on whether the woman attains gratification during 
coitus or not. The determinant for the origin of the 
anxiety neurosis is found in the latter case. But if the 
husband suffering from ejaculatio precox can repeat coitus 
with better results immediately thereafter the wife will 
not merge into the neurosis. Coitus interruptus is only 
injurious for the wife if the husband interrupts coitus as 
soon as he is about to ejaculate without concerning him- 


self about bringing to an end the excitement of his wife. 
If he waits until his wife is gratified the process has the 
same effect on her as normal coitus, but then he becomes 
afflicted with anxiety neurosis. I have on record more 
than eighty cases which fully confirm the above statements. 

(e) As anxiety in widows and intentional abstainers, 
often in typical combination with obsessions, and 

(f) As anxiety in the climacterium during the last 
marked enhancement of the sexual impulse. 

The forms (c), (d) and (e) contain the determinants 
under which the anxiety neurosis originates in the female 
most frequently and most independently of hereditary 
predisposition. The determinants of anxiety neurosis in 
the male find their analogy in the female and are formu- 
lated into the following groups: 

(a) Anxiety of the intentional abstainer; this is fre- 
quently combined with symptoms of defense (obsessions, 

(6) Anxiety in men with frustrated excitement (during 
the engagement period) ; persons who fearing the conse- 
quences of sexual relations gratify themselves by handling 
and looking at the woman. These determinants hold true 
also for the woman (prolonged engagements with frus- 
trated excitement) and furnish the purest cases of anxiety 

(c) Anxiety in men who practise coitus interruptus. 
This form of coitus injures the woman if practised regard- 
less of her gratification, but it may also injure the man if 
in order to gratify his wife he voluntarily controls coitus 
by delaying the ejaculation. 

(d) Anxiety in men during the period of senility. Some 


men go through a climacterium like women and may 
merge into an anxiety neurosis when their potency dimin- 
ishes and their libido increases. This case and (c) hold 
true for both sexes. 

(e) Masturbating neurasthenics merge into anxiety 


neurosis as soon as they stop masturbating as their former 
life has made them especially unfit to lead a life of 

(f) This last determinant is really not of a sexual nature. 
Both sexes may merge into anxiety neurosis through con- 
siderable overwork, exhaustive exertion such as sleepless 
nights, nursing the sick or even serious illnesses. 

The facts thus far enumerated go to show that in an- 
xiety neurosis we deal with an accumulation of sexual 
excitement and that the anxiety underlying the mani- 
festations of the neurosis is not of psychic, but of somatic 
origin. Moreover, since it has been found that a whole 
series of cases of this neurosis shows marked diminution 
of the sexual desire, to an extent, that on revealing to the 
patients that their affliction depends on "insufficient 
gratification" they regularly reply that this is impossible 
as just now their whole desire is extinguished — all these 
indications favor the assumption "that the mechanism 
of the anxiety neurosis is to be found in the deviation of 
the somatic sexual excitement from the psychic and in the 
abnormal utilization of this excitement caused thereby." * 

Hence we see that the actual neuroses, neurasthenia 
and anxiety neurosis, differ materially from the psycho- 
neuroses, compulsion neurosis and hysteria. The latter 
group are due to purely psychogenetic factors, while the 
first are due to somatic sexual injuries. 


I have pointed out above that the characteristic factor of 
hysteria, according to Freud, is the ability to convert the 
psychic into the physical. That is, whenever we find the 
classical symptoms of hysteria, such as paralyses, con- 
tractures, aphonias, convulsions, astasia abasia, etc., we 
deal with a conversion hysteria. In contradistinction to 
this, the symptoms due to somatic sexual injuries belong 
to anxiety neurosis. 

It was found, however, that no definite lines could be 
drawn; that besides the somatic sexual injuries the anxiety 
neuroses also showed a psychic mechanism. This psychic 
mechanism is the same as in hysteria, but instead of 
conversion into physical symptoms there is anxiety. 
"The anxiety is, as it were, the only symptom into which 
the psychic excitement is converted." The etiology, the 
role of repression and the psychic processes are the same 
as in hysteria. For this new class of cases Freud sug- 
gested the term "anxiety hysteria' ' and the whole group 
was first described by Stekel in his interesting and 
instructive book. 5 

My own experience, based on the observation of a great 

many cases of anxiety neurosis taught me that there is a 
psychic element in almost all cases. I could demon- 
strate it in nearly all my cases and I must confess that, 
owing to lack of opportunity and personal resistances (it 
concerned elderly illiterate patients from clinical dispen- 
sary practice) I did not try hard enough to ascertain the 
true circumstances in the others. I can say, however, 
that even those patients were cured and some greatly 
benefited by advising them properly concerning their 
sexual lives. 


I do not hesitate to advise the use of the condom when 
it is a question of coitus interruptus. The condom 
properly used — lubrication of penis and moistening or 
lubrication of condom after it is in place — is the nearest 
substitute for normal coitus. 

It would lead me too far afield to enter here into a deep 
discussion on the subject of masturbation. I will simply- 
state that years of study and personal investigation have 
taught me that as masturbation is practically universal it 
cannot be considered the terrible demon it is painted to 
be by some. I fully agree with those who claim that 
masturbation does not in any way injure the brain or cord. 
I have seen many cases who were supposed to have been 
harmed by masturbation, but careful investigation showed 
beyond any doubt that masturbation had no direct bearing 
on the condition in question. Whatever harm masturba- 
tion may do is mostly produced indirectly by the constant 
struggle which accompanies it. The patients are terrified 
by reading quack literature and, I regret to say, by some 
uninformed doctors. They are threatened with " paral- 
ysis," "paresis," "consumption of the spine," etc., and as 
a result they become depressed, hypochondriacal and 
self-conscious. But as soon as they are convinced that 
they are not doomed and that masturbation cannot cause 
any insanity or the other dreadful maladies they soon 
lose most of their symptoms. Nor must it be imagined 
that robbing masturbation of its horrors encourages its 
practice. On the contrary, I found that as long as the 
patients dread it and struggle against it they masturbate 
twice as often as when they become convinced that it has 
none of its former supposed horrors. For it makes no 


difference whether we occupy ourselves with sex in a 
positive or negative way the result is the same. It is 
stimulated to greater activity. Moreover, many patients 
masturbate very often because they are sure that mas- 
turbation caused an enfeeblement of their will power and 
hence there is no use resisting. As they become enlight- 
ened the practice gradually decreases, and as the patient 
has no need for constantly occupying himself with sexual 
ideas there is less tension to be removed. 

There is a class of masturbators, however, who may be 
designated as chronic because they continue the practice 
throughout their whole life. They usually belong to the 
psychopathic type and the masturbation must be con- 
sidered a result rather than a cause of the condition. 

As I said before in almost all these cases there is a 
psychic element and when this is found we must not only 
correct the abnormal sexual life, but to cure the patient 
we must resort, in addition, to psychanalysis. As an ex- 
ample of an anxiety hysteria of this type I will give the 
following case: 

Mrs. L., thirty-eight years old, Austrian, married, having four 
healthy children, was seen by me in the department of psychiatry 
in the Vanderbilt Clinic in October, 1908. She complained of ner- 
vousness, depression, anxiety and insomnia from which she suffered 
for about two weeks. On questioning her I found that this was her 
sixth attack, that the first attack came on six years ago and repeated 
itself annually, usually lasting about two months. Like the doctor 
who saw her before me I thought of manic depressive insanity, but 
on closer examination I changed my diagnosis to anxiety hysteria. 
Her family history was negative. She herself claimed that she was 
never sick before her present illness. Anthropologically and other- 
wise she corresponded to her type — Austrian Jewess. Physically 
there was nothing worthy of note. 


When I asked her to tell me her chief complaint she said that it was 
a depression and anxiety. She stated that her attacks were not all 
alike. Thus, her first attack began very suddenly and was charac- 
terized by marked anxiety, depression, apprehension ana insomnia. 
The second, third and fourth attacks were considerably milder, the 
depression being the main symptom, while her fifth attack again 
showed the anxiety and insomnia. Her symptoms did not in any 
way incapacitate her. She attended to her housework as usual and 
there was absolutely no psychomotor retardation. She maintained 
however, that she was afraid that something would happen to her and 
that she often cried out without knowing why. There were no distinct 
phobias, but in all her attacks she showed the characteristic folie du 
doute. Thus, during her attacks she often got out of bed " at least a 
dozen times" to ascertain whether the door was properly locked or 
whether the gas was turned off. Besides the symptoms enumerated 
she also showed the aforecited cardinal symptoms of anxiety neurosis. 
What influenced me in diagnosticating anxiety hysteria was the 
typical sexual etiology. The first attack came two years after her 
husband left for the United States, during which time she lived a 
virtuous life. For the following three years, while with her husband, 
she gave birth to two children and thus her emotional needs were 
fully satisfied. After the fourth child was born she wanted no more 
children and her husband practised coitus interruptus. That seemed 
to account for the difference in the symptoms of the various attacks. 
For lack of gratification is a very frequent cause of insomnia, par- 
ticularly in persons showing nothing else to account for it. But, of 
course, we have not accounted for the depression which was present 
in every attack. 

As soon as I decided on the diagnosis I proceeded with 

the psychanalysis. I usually begin by asking the patient 

to give me a full account of the origin of the disease. She 

knew that the first attack came on about six years before, 

just before she came to the United States. Her husband 

left her in Austria with two children and after having been 

away for about two years he sent for her to join him in New 
York. It was while she was getting ready for her journey 


that the first attack came on and continued for about two 
months. She was quite certain that it had no connection 
with her leaving Austria; on the contrary she was more 
than glad to join her husband. The subsequent attacks 
came on periodically every fall. She also recalled that her 
attacks came together with the Jewish fall holidays. 
More than this she did not know. I attempted an associa- 
tion experiment, but either she refused her cooperation 
or she was unable to grasp the meaning of the procedure. 
As I attributed her depression and anxiety to the repres- 
sion of painful or disagreeable reminiscences, and as the 
dream is the via regia to the unconscious or the repression 
I asked her to tell me something of her dreams. She 
insisted that she had not dreamed for years. She finally 
recalled, however, having had a dream before or at the 
beginning of her first attack. This was the dream: 

"/ walked on the street and a horse harnessed to a wagon 
was running toward me. I could not get out of its way; the 
horse was almost upon me. I put out my arm to push it away 
when it caught my hand in its mouth and bit me. Screaming, 
I awoke terrified." 

These were the " manifest thoughts" of the dream and to 
those acquainted with Freud's theories they are quite 
significant. In analyzing dreams we simply translate 
the manifest into the latent. The manifest thoughts have 
apparently no meaning, but the latent thoughts are sense- 
ful and always show the hidden fulfilment of a repressed 
wish. As the dream occurred before or at the onset of 
the attack I assumed that it had some relation to it, as 
dreams are always based on experiences or thoughts of 
the day preceding the dream. Also, the fear in the dream 


pointed to its being of a sexual nature and I suspected 
that the horse was simply a sexual symbol. 6 

On asking the patient to tell something about the horse 
she stated that it was a bay horse and very spirited. That 
was all she knew. When I urged her to tell me all the 
thoughts that occurred to her in this connection she impa- 
tiently remarked: "I don't know what to tell you; I could 
talk about horses for hours. I know quite a bit about 
horses, as I lived next door to a government horse-breeding 
station." She then displayed considerable emotivity, 
but on being urged to tell whatever was in her mind she 
stated that she witnessed the practical details of horse breed- 
ing at a very early age. Indeed, she was certain that this 
was her first conscious sexual impression. "Of course," 
she added, "I was too young to know the real meaning of 
things. I imagined that the horses were fighting." This 
sadistic conception is very common in children and as 
Freud shows in his paper, "Concerning Infantile Sexual 
Theories," 7 children always interpret the sexual act in that 
sense. There was a sudden blocking and when asked to 
continue she suddenly recalled something which had no 
connection with horses. The evening before the dream, 
while sitting in the room with some neighbors, some ani- 
mal, perhaps a mouse or rat, ran out of the brick stove into 
the bed. Unlike her sex she was ordinarily not afraid of 
mice or rats, but this time she was terribly frightened and 
continued to be so for hours. She rummaged through the 
bed and found nothing; still she was afraid to sleep in this 
bed. This recalled that this attack of fright occurred a 
few hours after an unsuccessful attempt to sell her feather 
beds. She again became silent and claimed that her stream 


of thoughts was exhausted. Suspecting that her attack 
of fear was the manifestation of a mental conflict in a sex- 
ual abstainer, I asked her why she was so terrified at the 
sight of what she imagined was a mouse or rat, if she was 
ordinarily not afraid of these animals. Her ready re- 
sponse was that she was never afraid of the real mouse or 
rat, but that at that time she imagined that they were only 
apparitions, that someone tried to exert some evil influ- 
ence over her by magic. She laughingly added that she 
no longer believed in such nonsense. When I asked her 
who she thought tried to exert an evil influence over her 
and why that was attempted, she at first refused to answer, 
remarking that the whole thing was not worth talking 
about, but after considerable urging she said that she then 
believed that it was a man who offered to buy her feather 
beds. With great emotivity and hesitation she described 
this man, whom we will call X. as a very disagreeable and 
impudent fellow. He wished to buy her feather beds, but 
for some reason she could not come to any terms with him. 
He, however, persisted in calling on her until she became 
so tired of seeing him that she hid herself whenever she 
saw him coming. She suddenly broke off the narrative and 
when I urged her to continue she became very indignant. 
She said she saw no reason for the revival of all this foolish- 
ness; she was very sure that this questioning had nothing 
to do with her disease, etc., etc. Such outbursts are very 
frequent in the course of psychanalysis and always occur 
when we strike the main complex. 8 

As soon as I knew the circumstances of the case, and 
after hearing the dream, I thought of cherchez Vhomme, and 
after witnessing her emotional outburst I was sure that I 


had my man. As I said above the dream showed a mental 
conflict of a sexual nature and the attack of fear, too, as I 
will show later, symbolically represented a sexual attack. 
Indeed the whole setting was such that there was no doubt 
in my mind that she had some sexual experience with X., 
and that her periodic attacks of depression merely repre- 
sented the former libido changed into depression by 

After calming her I frankly told her that I was con- 
vinced that she was concealing something, that I believed 
she had had some affair with X. and that unless she told 
me everything I could do nothing for her. She emphatic- 
ally denied my assumptions, but would not explain why she 
had to hide when she saw X. and why she thought he tried 
to exert evil influences over her. She became very indig- 
nant when I was equally assertive in my statements and 
left me rather abruptly. I made no attempt to restrain 
her or remonstrate with her because my experience taught 
me that it is of no avail, and that it is well to give 
the patient a chance to fully discharge her repressed 

Two days later she returned, but this time she looked 
quite dejected and penitent. A few kind remarks from 
me helped her to disburden herself. Weeping, she made 
the following confession: "Since I left you I was very 
miserable. I have cried most of the time; the whole thing 
came back to me, I could not banish it from my mind, so I 
decided to come and tell you all." She then assured me 
that for the two years that she was separated from her 
husband she had lived a virtuous life. She was hardly ever 
bothered by erotic thoughts and had no difficulty in sup- 


pressing them when they -came. While getting ready to 
join her husband in America she sold her household effects 
and X. wanted to buy her feather beds. When she showed 
him the feather beds he joked with her about her coming 
journey to America and alluded to her future happiness 
with her husband. This aroused some erotic thoughts and 
when X. accompanied his talk by touching her suggestively 
she was surprised not to have resented it. In brief, she 
met him a number of times, always on the pretense of sell- 
ing the feather beds and she was afterward surprised at her 
own weakness. She, however, assured me that she had not 
broken her marriage vows. "That is the only thing I 
have not done," she said. It was after she suddenly awoke 
to the gravity of the situation that she refused to see him 
and feared him. She was really afraid of herself; she did 
not trust herself. These experiences which gave rise to a 
number of erotic thoughts and fancies were then changed 
into displeasure. It was then that she was afraid to sleep 
alone with her children and had to ask a neighbor to sleep 
with her. It was about the same time that the rat incident 
occurred which made her think of magic. This was due 
to the fact that even after she stopped seeing X. she 
continued to have sexual thoughts and fancies. The more 
she tried to banish them the more they came. By associa- 
tion of ideas they recalled to her all her sexual experiences, 
such as early masturbation, etc., which in view of their per- 
sistence against her own will she could attribute only to 
some external power — magic. Of course, it must be 
remembered that there was a time in her life when she 
actually believed in magical influence, and owing to the 
mental upset the repressed complex simply came to the 


surface. Similar mechanisms are at the basis of hal- 
lucinations and delusions. 9 

The other mechanisms of the case are quite simple. As 
I said above the nature of the dream shows that it deals 
with sexual emotions. We also showed that the horse 
was intimately connected with her first sexual impres- 
sions. She also stated that when she masturbated later 
in life the horse often served to arouse her sexual fancies. 
In the dream when "the horse was almost upon her," i.e., 
when she almost yielded to temptation, her moral self 
gained the upper hand and she "put out her arm to push 
it away." She, however, sustained a scar, her hand was 
bitten. That part of the dream is constellated by the 
following facts: She was actually bitten by a horse at the 
age of six; and her early observations of horse breeding 
had often excited her passions and induced a repetition 
of her habits. The same effect had been produced in her 
by the visits of X. The horse in the dream may therefore 
be taken in this sense as symbolizing X. who recalls her 
early impressions of sexuality. The dream often makes 
use of such symbolizations. The gross sexual is always 
under repression, hence we see instead its inrooted associa- 
tions. Horses, bulls, dogs, cats and chickens are often 
sexual symbols in dreams, because it is with these animals 
that children are first apt to see the sexual procedures. 10 
Our patient conceived sexual relations in the sadistic 
sense, they were first impressed upon her in childhood by 
the breeding observations above referred to. In brief, 
her dream merely symbolizes these relations as shown by 
the cited association and the expression "the horse was 
almost upon me." The biting, too, she vividly recalled 


seeing while watching the horses. The dream, therefore, 
represents the hidden fulfilment of her repressed wish, 
while the fear is the libido which was changed by the 

It still remains to explain why the depressions continued 
to recur annually. The incidents enumerated above took 
place before the Jewish Day of Atonement, and it was on 
this day, which is the most solemn day for the orthodox 
Jew, that her actions appeared to her in the most lurid 
colors. This is the day on which all true believers are 
inscribed in the "Book of Life" or "Book of Death." 
It is a day of fasting and confession and she certainly 
had a lot to confess. She could not consider her sins 
forgiven, and dreaded some impending evil, perhaps an 
accident at sea. She came to the United States about 
five weeks later. She was still in a state of depression, 
but it soon wore off. But every year, with the approach 
of this solemn day, the depression returned. She merely 
celebrated the anniversary of her painful experience. 
She never recalled the original episode because it was of a 
disagreeable and painful nature; the accompanying 
emotions, however, came to the surface and constituted 
the depression. Such depressions are quite common, and 
are often mistaken for manic depressive insanity. I 
myself have seen five cases of similar depression within 
the last four years. 

After the analysis was completed the patient felt much 
relieved and grateful. I saw her a week later and there 
was not a trace of her former depression. She was cheer- 
ful and happy, and expressed her surprise at the sudden 
disappearance of her symptoms. She attributed it all 


to a mixture of rhubarb and soda which I gave her. She 
has had no attack of depression since then. 

This short analysis teaches a number of things. First: 
There is a group of cases of periodic depression which do 
not belong to manic depressive insanity. They are 
anxiety hysterias based on somatic and psychosexual 
traumata. I am convinced that many cases that I have 
seen during my hospital service which were classified as 
manic depressive insanity and " depressions not sufficiently 
distinguished" belong to this category. Second: Freud's 
psychanalysis is, in my opinion, the only rational therapy 
for such cases, as it not only unravels the hidden mechan- 
isms, but also removes the somatic sexual traumas, by 
correcting the abnormal sexual life. Third: The im- 
portance of dream analysis need hardly be emphasized. 
It is the sine qua non of the treatment. 

A few words about examining the patient's psycho- 
sexual life. This, of course, presupposed a number of 
prerequisites. Not only must the physician himself 
be able to approach the subject without prudishness and 
lewdness, but he must, perforce, know something about 
psychosexuality. Unfortunately there are very few men 
in this country who take the subject seriously. Most 
physicians either ridicule or scorn those who have the 
courage to cope with sexual problems. For reasons known 
to themselves, but which we sometimes find in our 
psychanalytic work the word sexuality suffices to arouse 
their righteous indignation and to cause them to condemn 
everything connected with it. They seem to forget that 
besides the venereal diseases there are other sexual mala- 
dies requiring scientific treatment. Whatever is, has & 


reason, and it is the duty of every scientific man to view 
the cold facts honestly and fearlessly. Much unhappiness 
and misery would be eradicated if we would not leave 
these poor sexually distressed victims to the charlatans 
and quacks who not only rob them financially, but add 
to their misery and often drive them to suicide. 

I have successfully treated by Freud's psychanalytic 
method cases of homosexuality, psychic impotence, sexual 
anesthesia in women, and many other so-called perver- 
sions, and my patients and I feel that distinct good has 
been done. To those who condemn us for recognizing 
the sexual life I can quote no fitter words than those of 
St. Augustine: "If what I have written scandalizes any 
prudish persons let them rather accuse the turpitude of 
their own thoughts than the words I have been obliged 
to use." 


1. Freud: Selected Papers on Hysteria and Other Psychoneuroses, 
p. 149. 

2. Freud: L. c, p. 133. 

3. Freud: L. c, p. 141. 

4. Freud: L. c, p. 148. 

5. Stekel : Nervose Angstzustande und deren Behandlungen, Urban 
& Schwarzenberg, Wien, 1908. 

6. Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams. 

7. Freud : Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, Zweite 
Folge, p. 159. Deuticke, Wein, 1909. 

8. Jung: The Association Method. Translated by A. A. Brill, 
American Journal of Psychology, April, 1909. Cf. also Chap. V. 

9. Jung: The Psychology of Dementia Praecox. Translated by 
Peterson and Brill, Journal of Nervous and Mental Dis. Pub. Co. 

10 Ibid., p. 141. 




Their Relation to the Sadistic Component and the 
Psychology of Love and Hatred 

During the spring of 1909, the patient R., twenty-three 
years old, born in New York City, of Hebrew parentage, 
married, driver by occupation, applied for treatment in 
the neurological department of the Vanderbilt clinic. He 
was examined by Dr. C. Beling, who, after discussing the 
case with me, made the diagnosis "compulsion neurosis, 
probably paranoid," and referred the patient to the de- 
partment of psychiatry to be treated by me. 

R. was in excellent physical condition. There was 
nothing to attract one's attention to him anthropologic- 
ally; his features were well formed and symmetrical, 
mentally he was alert and intelligent, answering questions 
readily and relevantly and his judgment and reasoning 
corresponded to his type — a bright, thoroughly American- 
ized young man of Russian-Jewish extraction. 

According to the patient there was nothing to note about 

his family history. He was the only child and as far as 

he could judge there were no mental or nervous diseases 

in the family. His own life was not marked by any 

special events. He attended the public school up to the 



age of fourteen years and was a good student. After 
leaving school he worked and then peddled, first with his 
father and then alone in the neighboring farming districts. 
His present position he had obtained two years before. I 
will add here that upon entering somewhat deeper into 
my patient's symptom-complex I soon became convinced 
that I dealt with a case of compulsion neurosis and that 
there was nothing paranoid in it. 

By compulsion neurosis in the Freudian sense we under- 
stand those cases which present obsessions, doubts and 
phobias and which are commonly called psychasthenias. 

The patient sought treatment because for four years he 
had been annoyed by the thought that all the Jews would 
be killed by the Christians. To use his own words: "I 
have the idea that all Jews will be killed by Christians. I 
know the idea is foolish, but I cannot shake it off. It is 
always with me and at times is so strong that I almost 
believe it. I think that I will be killed because all Jews 
will be killed. I argue with myself about the impossibility 
of this idea, but I always come to the conclusion that 
although it is absurd it might happen and this naturally 
depresses me. I begin to worry and feel sorry for my poor 
father and I often cry over it." 

What the patient himself thought strange was the fact 
that he had absolutely no reason for such thoughts. He 
never had any trouble with any Christian. On the 
contrary he could number many Christians among his 
friends. He had been employed by a Christian firm and 
was highly regarded and the one person with whom he 
had some differences was the only other Jew who was 
employed by the same firm. To my question he answered 


that on a few occasions he had thought of committing 
suicide. It came to him as a sort of a command: "You 
must die." But he argued that it would be useless to do it 
as the Christians would then cut up his body. He stated 
that the idea came on suddenly one day about four years 
before. It at first surprised and seemed strange to him, 
but he soon found that he could not rid himself of it. He 
had to think of it or of something referring to it. When 
asked to explain he said that he was always spinning 
fancies around it. He elaborated upon all sorts of 
abstruse questions in reference to it, e.g., what kind of a 
world would it be after all the Jews were killed; what 
would Mrs. X. do; suppose Mr. Z. escapes, etc. As a 
result of all this he was very depressed, had no ambition 
and could take no interest in anything. 

Besides these obsessions he complained of headaches and 
a peculiar "dull feeling" which came on from time to time 
and during which he could not think. He also stated 
that he was very often suspicious. He feared that some 
one would make remarks to him. This only occurred to 
him when he visited a public urinal. 

We see then that the main feature of the case is the 
obsessive thinking. The only detail that would lead one 
to think of paranoia is the suspicion in public urinals. 

As soon as the diagnosis was made I began to treat the 
patient by the psychanalytic method. Before entering 
into the analysis proper let us hear what Freud has to say 
on the mechanism of compulsion neurosis. 

In his observation on the defense-neuropsychoses 
Freud describes the essence and mechanism of compulsion 
neurosis as follows: 1 "Sexual experiences of early child- 


hood play the same part in the etiology of the compulsion 
neurosis as in hysteria but whereas the latter is char- 
acterized by passivity, the former is noted for its aggres- 
sion or sexual activity. The essence of the compulsion 
neurosis may be expressed in the following formula: 
Obsessions are always transformed reproaches returning 
from repression which always refer to a pleasurably 
accomplished sexual action of childhood. The typical 
course of compulsion neurosis is as follows: The first 
period or the period of childish immorality contains the 
germs for the later neurosis. There is at first a sexual 
seduction which later makes the repression possible. 
This is followed by the actions of sexual aggressions 
against the other sex which later manifest themselves as 
actions of reproach. This period is brought to an end by 
the appearance of the — often self ripened — sexual matur- 
ity. A reproach then attaches itself to the memory of 
that pleasurable action and the connection with the 
initial experience of passivity makes it possible — only 
after conscious and recollected effort — to repress it and 
replace it by the primary symptom of the defense. The 
third period, that of apparent healthiness, but really of 
successful defense, begins with the symptoms of scrupu- 
lousness, shame and diffidence. The next period of the 
disease is characterized by the return of the repressed 
reminiscences, i.e., by a failure of the defense. But the 
revived reminiscences and the reproaches formed from 
them never enter into consciousness unchanged. Instead, 
compromise formations between the repressed and re- 
pressing ideas become conscious as an obsession and ob- 
sessive affect and substitute the pathogenic memory in the 


conscious life. In the further course of the disease, 
depending on whether the memory content of the reproach- 
ful action alone forces an entrance into consciousness or 
whether it takes with it the accompanying reproaching 
affect, we may have two forms of the neurosis. The first 
represents the typical obsession, the content of which 
attracts the patient's attention. Only an indefinite 
displeasure is perceived as an affect, whereas for the 
content of the obsession the only suitable affect would be 
one of reproach. The second form of compulsion neurosis 
results if the repressed reproach and not the repressed 
content of memory forces a replacement in the conscious 
psychic sphere. The affect of the reproach can change 
itself into any other affect of displeasure, and if this occurs 
there is nothing to hinder the substituting affect from 
becoming conscious. Thus the reproach (of having 
performed in childhood some sexual actions) may be 
easily transformed into shame (lest someone becomes 
aware of it), into social fear (fearing punishment from 
others), into delusions of observation (fear of betraying 
those actions to others), into fear of temptation (justified 
distrust in one's own ability to resist), etc. Moreover, 
the memory content of the reproachful action may also 
be represented in consciousness, or it may be altogether 
concealed, which makes diagnosis very difficult. Many 
cases of the so-called "periodic neurasthenia' ' or " periodic 
melancholia" may be explained by compulsive affects. 

Besides these compromise symptoms which signify a 
return of the repression and hence a failure of the origin- 
ally achieved defense, the compulsion neurosis forms a 
series of other symptoms of a totally different origin. 


The ego really tries to defend itself against those descend- 
ants of the initial repressed reminiscences and in this 
conflict of defense it produces symptoms which may be 
designated as " secondary defense." These are altogether 
protective measures which have performed good service 
in the struggle carried on against the obsession and the 
obsessing affects. If these helps in the conflict of the 
defense really succeed in repressing anew the symptoms 
of return, obtruding themselves on the ego, the compulsion 
then transmits itself on the protective measures them- 
selves and produces a third form of the compulsion neu- 
rosis, the compulsive action. These are never primary. 
They never contain anything else but a defense, never an 
aggression. Despite their peculiarity they can always 
be fully explained by reduction to the compulsive remin- 
iscences which they oppose. 

The secondary defense of the obsessions can be brought 
about by a forcible deviation to other thoughts of possibly 
contrary content; hence in a case of success there is 
compulsive reasoning concerning abstract and trans- 
cendental subjects, because the repressed ideas always 
concern themselves with the sensuous, or the patient 
tries to become master of every compulsive idea through 
logical labor and by appealing to his conscious memory. 
This leads to compulsive thinking and examination and 
to doubting mania. The priority of the perception 
before the memory in these examinations at first induce 
and then force the patient to collect and preserve all 
objects with which he comes in contact. The secondary 
defense against the compulsive affects results in a greater 
number of defensive measures which are capable of being 


transformed into compulsive action. These can be 
grouped according to their tendency. We may have 
measures of penitence (irksome ceremonial and observa- 
tion of numbers), of prevention (diverse phobias, super- 
stitions, pedantry, aggravation of the primary symptom 
of scrupulousness), measures of fear of betrayal (collecting 
papers and shyness), and measures of becoming uncon- 
scious (dipsomania). Among these compulsive acts and 
impulses the phobias play the greatest part as limitations 
of the patient's existence. ,, 

Let us now return to our patient and see in how far he 
agrees with the description just read. Bearing in mind 
Freud's dictum that no neurosis is possible in a normal 
vita sexualis, I naturally made a thorough examination of 
the patient's psychosexual development. As usual in such 
examinations his answers were monosyllabic and evasive 
and all that I could elicit was that he was perfectly well 
sexually until the age of fifteen or sixteen years when he 
began to masturbate. He began to consort with women 
at eighteen years, but indulged rarely. He admitted that 
his marriage was not a happy one, but stated that his 
sexual life was normal. Previous to marriage he went 
through many conflicts. He was afraid that masturbation 
would drive him crazy and therefore stopped it, but he 
then began to suffer from frequent pollutions which worried 
him a good deal. He entertained the usual hypochon- 
driacal ideas of the masturbator. He seemed to be un- 
willing to tell me anything else and I did not urge him. 
I was sure that there was abundant material and that 
he would tell it to me sooner or later. In the course of 
psychanalysis we often come to what seems a stone wall. 


The patient has nothing to tell us and he does not 
dream. This is only a form of resistance which the 
experienced psychanalysist must know how to break. 

As the character of a person represents the reaction 
formations of his latency period it is always wise to exam- 
ine these reactions especially those that are accentuated, 
and as our patient seemed to be very shy — he never looked 
me in the face while talking — I asked him if he was un- 
usually bashful. To my surprise he answered that bash- 
fulness or shame was responsible for his obsession. He 
stated that he had been abnormally bashful and shy since 
he was twelve years old. This was especially noticeable 
when he was in the presence of women. A few years be- 
fore he became acquainted with a young lady who invited 
him to call. He was very anxious to do so, but was too 
shy and bashful to accept her invitation. The following 
morning while half awake he noticed that he was not bash- 
ful. This gave him the idea that if he could remain in a 
half waking state he would not be bashful. He remained 
in this state for two days, when he suddenly began to 
think of Jews and Christians and later of the obsession* 
This half waking state was simply a secondary defense 
against a painful idea. The neuroses make prolific use of 
such mechanisms. Thus many dipsomanias are nothing 
but flights from consciousness or measures of becoming 
unconscious. I had occasion to analyze two female pa- 
tients who were subject to screaming spells. They had to 
scream apparently without any provocation. Analysis 
showed that the screaming was merely a flight from a pain- 
ful thought. With their screaming they drowned their 
inner painful and disagreeable voices. Many hysterical 


fainting spells show the same mechanism. Our patient 
merged into a semi-stuporous state not only to escape from 
the abnormal bashfulness, but from those thoughts which 
caused this reaction. 

This revelation threw new light on the subject. From 
the nature of the obsession and the patient's extreme 
devotion to his parents, especially the father, I at once 
surmised that there was probably a strong repressed 
sadistic component and that the pronounced abnormal 
bashfulness could only be looked upon as a transformed 
reproach of sexual acts in childhood. On going more 
deeply into the infantile sexuality I discovered the follow- 
ing facts: R. was an only child and therefore received more 
than the usual amount of love from his parents. 2 He was 
idolized by both parents, especially by his mother with 
whom he slept almost constantly until the age of four 
years. This was favored by the fact that his father's 
business necessitated his remaining away from home for 
long periods. At that age something happened which 
changed his mother's attitude toward him. The patient 
attempted something of a sexual nature with a little girl 
with whom he played on the roof and was severly punished 
for it by the girl's and his own mother. The latter be- 
came very severe with him. She allowed him to sleep 
with her but kept him at a distance. He felt this very 
keenly and cried in silence, but said nothing. The mother 
instinctively reproached herself for the son's sexual pre- 
maturity. By giving him too much affection she awak- 
ened and kept alive his infantile sexuality which then in- 
cited him to attempt with the little girl what his own 
mother innocently permitted. The estrangement from his 


mother strengthened his attachment for his father and as 
the latter was rarely at home and made a great fuss over 
him whenever he returned that feeling continued for some 
time. The boy was very happy when his father returned 
and cried bitterly when he left home. It would seem that 
the latency period did not progress in the normal manner 
for the patient recalled many instances of sexual aggres- 
sion and a homosexual experience with two adults. At 
the age of from six to seven years he was self-willed, wild 
and very revengeful. He evinced a special cruelty to ani- 
mals and was happy when he could kill a bird or kick a 
cat. One of his favorite pastimes was to wring the necks 
of chickens or to stuff up their nasal openings with wax 
and hold their beaks until they suffocated. 

We now come to the age of puberty. The patient 
recalled that at the age of nine years he was very inquisi- 
tive sexually and would look under girls' dresses whenever 
he could. At twelve years a man attempted to have 
sexual relations with him, but he refused. Soon there- 
after he became shy and abnormally bashful. From 
twelve to fifteen years there were no sexual experiences 
to note. It may be called a deferred latency period. At 
fifteen he played with little girls and about the same time 
began to masturbate. When he was about sixteen while 
peddling in the farming districts he began to exhibit in 
the presence of women. He claimed that this action 
gave him a "strange pleasant feeling." At the age of 
seventeen he began to practise active pederasty with a 
boy of thirteen which continued for about a year once 
every three weeks. At eighteen he began to consort 
with women, but with the exception of a few experiences 


he led a continent life until he was married at twenty-two 
years. Since the birth of his child he had practised coitus 
interruptus. His married life did not seem to influence 
his neurosis. He stated that he was especially annoyed 
by his obsession during the marriage ceremony and that 
although the obsession was not so strong during the first 
year of his married life it soon resumed its former com- 
pulsiveness and constancy. 

The facts that I have thus far obtained did not come out 
as smoothly as you might imagine. It was a constant 
struggle with enormous unconscious and conscious 
resistances, the overcoming of which required much effort 
and patience and, I might add, skill. But the patient 
soon became interested in the work and as the resistances 
were broken he spoke freely about his abnormal sexual 

As has been stated before we make use of dream inter- 
pretation, for the dream is the via regia to the unconscious 
and at almost every session the patient brought me a 
few of his dreams. It was through these dreams that I 
discovered most of the details enumerated above. To show 
how the dream gives us information I will cite a dream 
which he brought about four months after the begin- 
ning of the analysis. It read as follows: "/ passed a 
store and saw a mad dog, a cat and a goat. A crowd was 
watching them. I said to somebody l It is a wonder that 
they let that mad dog bite the horse' — just then a policeman 
began to shoot at the mad dog. He fired six shots, but missed 
it. The policeman then got in the window and was going 
to take the mad dog to the lock-up and it looked something 
like a horse and then it was a man." While still half asleep 


he said to himself " I must write that down for the doctor." 
To one who knows the language of the unconscious this 
dream tells many things. The appendix to the dream 
"I must write that down for the doctor" very often occurs 
in dreams in the course of psychanalysis and regularly 
corresponds to a great resistance to the confession 
involved in the dream and is frequently followed by the 
forgetting of the dream. It also means that the dreamer 
decided not to tell anything about it to the doctor. This 
was also confirmed by the crowd in the dream which 
signifies a secret. As the dreamer himself is always the 
principal actor in the dream I concluded that he must be 
concealed under the mad dog. This, too, is confirmed 
by the fact that the mad dog then becomes transformed 
into a man. But as the dog was also a horse there must 
be some community between the horse and the dog and 
the man. The nature of the dream shows that it is of a 
sexual nature. 3 When I asked him to tell me what the 
policeman brought to his mind he finally recalled a rather 
disagreeable reminiscence. At the age of fifteen he was 
in the habit of taking little girls on his lap and on the 
pretence of playing with them he masturbated. On one 
of these occasions in the Bronx Park he was suddenly 
detected by a policeman who ran after him and threatened 
to shoot him. Animals in dreams are usually sexual 
symbols and as he could give no associations I was con- 
vinced that there must have been something between 
him and the animals of a sexual nature. These are no 
arbitrary deductions, but they are based on psychological 
facts which all who are interested can find in Freud's 
"The Interpretation of Dreams." I did not hesitate to 


tell him my conclusions and after enormous resistance 
and great emotivity he admitted that he was guilty of 
bestiality with the horse, dog and sheep. This occurred 
while he was peddling in the farming districts between 
the ages of seventeen and eighteen. It was not a case of 
erotic zoophilia as he has not resorted to such practises 
since. It was simply a case of faut de mieux in a sexually 
hyperasthetic and very bashful boy. 

In his "Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory" 
Freud states that the constitutional sexual predisposition 
of the child is more irregularly multifarious than one 
would expect; that it deserves to be called "polymorphous 
perverse" and that from this predisposition the so-called 
normal behavior of the sexual functions results through 
the repression of certain partial impulses and components 
of the infantile predisposition, and through the subordina- 
tion of the rest under the primacy of the genital zones 
for the service of the function of procreation. The 
perversions correspond to a disturbance of this connection 
due to a superior compulsive-like development of some 
of the partial impulses, while the neurosis could be traced 
to a marked repression of the libidinous strivings. With- 
out going into any detailed comparisons, I will simply 
state that a study of our patient's psychosexual life agrees 
in every particular with what I have just quoted from 
Freud. Let us now see how this corresponds with the 
patient's compulsive idea. 

When I first heard the principal obsession, viz., that 
all the Jews will be killed by the Christians, I was, perforce, 
reminded of such personages as Catherine de Medici and 
Gil de Rais; I was struck by the idea of such unheard of 


wholesale slaughter, and remembering that th e symptom 
represents the whole or a partial sexual manifestation of 
the patient from the sources of the normal or perverse par- 
tial impulses of sexuality, I naturally thought that there 
must be a marked sadistic component in the patient's psy- 
chosexuality. As I have shown above, my assumption was 
fully confirmed. Further investigations of the causes of 
the obsession in mature life brought out the fact that it 
appeared suddenly at about the age of twenty while the 
patient was seriously thinking of marrying, and just after 
getting over an unhappy love affair. This amour was 
with the daughter of a farmer whose acquaintance he 
made while traveling near her home. He was very fond of 
the girl and would have married her but for his father who 
would not hear of his marrying a Christian. His father 
played a peculiar part in R.'s life. There was a constant 
struggle of the two contrary feelings of love and hatred. 
Paradoxical as it may seem, he hated him as intensely as 
he loved him. The continued existence of such contrasts is 
possible only under special psychic determination and with 
the help of the unconscious state. We know that the con- 
trasting feelings of love and hatred can be readily enter- 
tained in reference to indifferent persons. Thus, a clerk 
may think that his superior is an excellent executive man, 
but an unscrupulous lawyer. But when it concerns some 
one nearer to us, let us say a wife or parent, we strive for a 
single feeling and we therefore overlook the faults which 
may provoke displeasure. But the love does not extin- 
guish the hatred. It merely represses it into the uncon- 
scious where it is kept from destruction and may even grow 
in intensity. 4 The determination of this peculiar con- 


stellation of love lies in the separation of these contrasting 
feelings and a repression of one — usually the hatred — at a 
very early age. As a preliminary explanation of the com- 
pulsion neurosis, Freud states that the sadistic component 
of love was especially strongly developed constitutionally 
in those cases of unconscious hatred and for that reason 
they were subjected to a premature and thorough suppres- 
sion. The phenomena of the neurosis, then, take their 
origin on the one hand from the conscious attachment 
which comes to the surface through reaction and on the 
other hand from the unconscious sadism in operation. If 
we review the patient's relation to his father we find that at 
an early age he was, as it were, his rival. Whenever the 
father was home he had to renounce many pleasures, such 
as sleeping with his mother. Later on when his mother 
changed her attitude toward him he became very attached 
to his father, but he often had occasion to hate him be- 
cause he often punished him. As he grew older these feel- 
ings were intensified by the fact that his father was an 
orthodox Jew and he wanted to be an American. He was 
ashamed to be seen with his father because the street 
urchins made derogatory remarks about him. They called 
him Jew and Sheeny. He himself often applied the same 
epithets to him, which was naturally followed by a re- 
proach and an outburst of affection. When his father 
opposed his marriage with the Christian the old rivalry 
was revived. His father again stood in his way of attain- 
ing his sexual object. Just as he kept him away from his 
mother during childhood so he now prevented him from 
marrying. His feeling for the girl was also characterized 
by the contrasts of love and hatred, but whereas this was 


largely a conscious perception, his former intense con- 
scious hostility toward his father escaped him long ago 
and could only be brought to consciousness in the face of 
the most violent resistance. This was especially favored 
by his long abstinence and recent love which thus helped 
to enhance his libido and to take up again the old struggle 
against the authority of the father. We may say that 
the repression of the infantile hatred toward his father 
gave rise to all further happenings of the neurosis. While 
he was wavering between his father and his beloved and 
escaped from conscious reflection by merging into a semi- 
stuperous state, he was one day attracted by the big red 
head lines of a newspaper about the massacre of the Jews 
in Russia. As his father was a Russian Jew a thought 
something like the following suddenly flashed through his 
mind: "If my father were only there!" which may be com- 
pleted]"!^ would be killed and I could marry a Christian;" 
but this conscious perception was naturally at once sup- 
pressed. A few days later he began to compare notes 
about Jews and Christians which finally developed into 
the obsession "All Jews will be killed by Christians." 
In other words the whole process followed the well-known 
mechanism of projection, i.e., an inner perception is sup- 
pressed and as a substitute its content comes into con- 
sciousness as a perception from without after it has under- 
gone some distortion. The distortions are effected in the 
same way as in dreams, i.e., by substitution, displacement, 
inversion, ellipses, etc. Here it was not a real distortion, 
but rather a generalization which is a common mechanism 
of obsessions. 5 

After this analysis the obsession from which the patient 


had suffered for about four years and which had caused 
him untold misery soon disappeared. The treatment 
lasted for about four months, during which I saw the 
patient at first three times a week, then twice and once a 
week. We usually spent an hour at each session. The 
patient was by no means cured. There was still much to 
be done. Thus his homosexual component had to be dealt 
with.* After eight months treatment I discharged him 
as cured. Since then he has become more ambitious. 
He gave up his position as driver and is now the owner 
of a well paying business. 

The analysis of this case fully confirms Freud's assertion 
that a special aggressive activity in childhood is char- 
acteristic of the later compulsion neurosis. This activity 
manifests itself preponderately in an intensive occupation 
with the desire for looking and knowing. The rich and 
active emotional life of childhood helps to develop pro- 
fusely the feelings of love and hatred toward parents, 
or sisters and brothers, which, in addition to the curiosity 
concerning sex and birth, forms the central complex of 
the neurosis. One always finds in the symptom forma- 
tion of compulsion neurosis a continuous struggle between 
love and hatred for the same person, and as we said above 
such feeling is only possible under special psychic 

However, whenever an intensive love is confronted by 
just as strong a hatred there always results a partial 
paralysis of volition. It is an inability to form decisions 
in all those actions for which love forms the motive power. 

* Analysis showed that his suspicion in public urinals was due to a 
repressed wish to exhibit in order to attract those near him. 


This indecision does not confine itself long to one group 
but becomes diffused over all actions by the familiar 
mechanism of displacement. 

This gives rise to the predominance of compulsion and 
doubt as we find them in the psychic life of compulsive 
neurotics. "Doubt corresponds to the inner perception 
of the indecision, which in consequence of the inhibition 
of love through hatred usurps every intentional action 
of the patient." 6 It is really the doubt about love, which 
should be the most certain of all things subjective, which 
spreads on everything else and then becomes displaced on 
the most indifferent trifles. He who doubts his love 
must also doubt everything of lesser importance. A few 
years ago I was consulted by a man of fifty-six years 
who was obsessed with the idea that he was not fit for 
the position he occupied. He stated that he was not 
sure of his actions, that no matter what he did he imagined 
was wrong, and that he really made many business 
mistakes. He resigned his position as manager of a big 
business concern, but after examining everything the 
officers of the company were satisfied that he made no 
mistakes at all and insisted upon his remaining with them. 
I myself spoke with a member of the firm who told me 
that during his thirty years service there had been no 
complaints against him. The patient admitted that he 
was quite capable of filling his office up to a few months 
before but that since then he had been doubting the 
correctness of his business transactions. In brief it was 
a typical case of doubting mania. 

The analysis revealed the following facts: The neurosis 
became manifest when he was about to marry a young 


woman who was twenty-two years his junior. He at first 
worried over the fact that he would not be able to "make 
good" as a husband, because he believed himself to be 
sexually impotent. This doubt then became generalized 
and displaced to all his business transaction. Long 
before he consulted me he no longer thought of his 
sexual impotence but occupied himself constantly with 
absurd questions concerning legitimate business affairs. 

The same doubt which produces uncertainty and leads 
to continued repetition in the protective measures, in 
order to drive away uncertainty, finally brings it about 
that these protective acts become just as impossible of 
accomplishment as the originally inhibited decision of 
love. Thus a patient recommended to me by Dr. Pierce 
Bailey of New York was in the habit of praying for an 
hour and sometimes even longer before retiring. His 
father stated that he could not be stopped and that he 
usually fell asleep while praying on his knees. This 
patient was not very religious. He told me that his 
prayers were constantly interrupted by extraneous 
blasphemous thoughts which usually repeated the opposite 
of what he was praying for. Investigation showed that 
his prayers were usually offered for those who played the 
leading part in his neurosis and that the fancies obtruding 
themselves contained the opposite impulse of that which 
the prayer was to ward off. 

The compulsion, however, is an attempted compensa- 
tion for the doubt and a correction for the unbearable 
state of inhibition as evidenced by the doubt. If any of 
the inhibited resolutions is finally decided upon, it must 
be brought to completion. To be sure it is no longer the 


original one, but its dammed in energy will not abandon 
the opportunity of finding an outlet through the substitu- 
tive action. It therefore manifests itself in commands 
and prohibitions depending on whether the loved or the 
hostile impulse occupies the path of discharge. If the 
obsessive command cannot be brought to execution it 
produces an unbearable tension which is perceived as 
marked anxiety. 

These are some of the deeper mechanisms of compulsion 
neurosis. I realize that some may find them somewhat 
too complicated to follow, but the only way of obviating 
these difficulties is close study and personal experience. 


1. Selected papers on Hysteria, p. 155. 

2. Cf. Chap. X on The Only Child. 

3. Cf. Chap. III. 

4. Jahrb. f. Psychoanal. u. Psychopath. Forschungen, Vol. I,p. 375. 

5. L. c, p. 419. 

6. L. c, p. 416. 


The Work of the Zurich School — the Association Experi- 
ment — Complex Theory — Mechanism of 
Delusions and Hallucinations 

The conclusions reached by Freud as expressed in the 
theories of the psychoneuroses, dreams and the psycho- 
pathology of everyday life were fully confirmed by the 
Zurich school after a thorough investigation on the basis 
of experimental psychology. Stimulated by Bleuler, 
Jung and Riklin 1 collected a large number of associations 
from normal persons with the intention of finding out, first, 
whether there existed any regularity in the reactions and, 
second, whether there were definite reaction types. They 
soon discovered that the process of association is a very 
flighty and variable psychic process and that it is beyond 
the limits of objective control. They also found that 
attention plays the greatest part in the process of associa- 
tion. Although it directs and modifies the associative 
process it can nevertheless be most readily controlled 
experimentally. They therefore decided to investigate 
experimentally the following questions: 1. The laws of 
fluctuation in associations in the normal, and 2. the direct 
effects of attention on the process of association, especially 
whether the validity of association relatively diminishes 

with the distance from the fixation point of consciousness. 



They examined many educated and uneducated persons 
by giving them a hundred stimulus words and noting the 
reactions. The reaction time was measured with a one- 
fifth second stop watch. The second series of experiments 
consisted of 100 associations with internal distraction. 
The third series consisted of 100 associations taken during 
external distraction by means of a metronome. The 
results obtained from 12,400 associations showed many 
interesting facts of which only few will interest us here. 

After classifying the associations it was found that there 
was a distinct fluctuation in the numerical relations of 
single individuals. The main reason for this was the 
intensity of attention. That accounted for the fact that 
some reacted with inner and others with outer associa- 
tions. It was found, for example, that although every 
person had manifold qualities of associations at his dis- 
posal, the reactions elicited nevertheless depended on the 
degree of attention evoked by the stimulus words. Thus, 
whenever the test person was distracted he always reacted 
with outer and sound association rather than with inner 
associations, i.e., he followed the lines of least resistance 
and reacted with habitual and easy speech combinations. 
Jung concluded that whenever there is a disturbance of 
attention one must expect shallow reaction types or sound 
associations and, conversely, whenever one finds sound 
associations he must presuppose a disturbance of attention. 

Without entering into the theoretical part of associa- 
tions in general I will now show the practical side of the 
work as it is applied in the Clinic of Psychiatry at Zurich. 

One hundred words are usually employed for analytic 
and diagnostic purposes. They are designated as test 



words and were selected and arranged in a manner to 
strike almost all of the common complexes. The test 
words are printed in rows with enough side space for the 
test person's answers or reactions. The experiment is 
carried out with the test person sitting in front of the 
physician who calls out each word in a loud and clear 
voice, measuring at the same time with a one-fifth of a 
second stop watch the time elapsing between the utterance 
of the test word and the reaction or the answer from the 
test person. The average reaction time is generally taken 
as 2.4 seconds. Before the experiment is begun the test 
person is instructed to pay attention to the test words and 
answer as quickly as possible the first word that comes to 
his mind. The answers, as well as the reaction time, 
are carefully noted and after the whole list has been gone 
through, the stimulus words are repeated and the patient 
is asked to reproduce the original answers which are again 
noted. Depending on the case in question some special 
words may be inserted, but as a rule the following 100 
words are used: 

1. head 



27. lamp 

2. green 


to dance 

28. to sin 

3. water 



29. bread 

4. to sing 



30. rich 

5. dead 



31. tree 

6. long 



32. to prick 

7. ship 



33. pity 

8. to pay 



34. yellow 

9. window 



35. mountain 

10. friendly 



36. to die 

11. to cook 


to swim 

37. salt 

12. to ask 



38. new 

13. cold 



39. custom 



40. to pray 

41. money 

42. foolish 

43. pamphlet 

44. despise 

45. finger 

46. expensive 

47. bird 

48. to fall 

49. book 

50. unjust 

51. frog 

52. to part 

53. hunger 

54. white 

55. child 

56. to take care 

57. lead pencil 

58. sad 

59. plum 

60. to marry 

61. house 

62. dear 

63. glass 

64. to quarrel 

65. fur 

66. big 

67. carrot 

68. to paint 

69. part 

70. old 

71. flower 

72. to beat 

73. box 

74. wild 

75. family 

76. to wash 

77. cow 

78. friend 

79. luck 

80. lie 

81. deportment 

82. narrow 

83. brother 

84. to fear 

85. stork 

86. false 

87. anxiety 

88. to kiss 

89. bride 

90. pure 

91. door 

92. to choose 

93. hay 

94. contented 

95. ridicule 

96. to sleep 

97. month 

98. nice 

99. woman 
100. to abuse 

Now it would seem that any intelligent person could 
give a fluent answer to any of these words but one soon 
becomes convinced that such is not the case. As one 
proceeds with the experiment he finds that not all stimulus 
words are reacted to with the same smoothness and 
facility. In his "Association method" 2 Jung shows that 
all apparently adventitious mistakes in the association 
experiment have a definite reason and that contrary to 
the belief of the test person his answers are not at all 
arbitrary, but generally betray his inmost secrets. Hence 
whenever we find any impediments in the experiment such 
as a prolonged reaction time, a lack of or a faulty reaction, 
a repetition of the stimulus words or a failure of repro- 
duction we have a complex indicator. That is, the mis- 


take indicates that the stimulus word has touched a com- 
plex* and thus retarded or completely inhibited thereaction* 
The value of this experiment is quite obvious. Whereas 
the patient may refuse to enter into conversation about 
his morbid productions he is quite willing to cooperate in 
the experiment. He sees no harm in answering the first 
word evoked by the stimulus as he is entirely unaware of 
its import. Some think it is a "sort of game" which has 
no bearing on their condition. But as soon as a few com- 
plexes are found and the association correctly interpreted 
the patient readily recognizes the superiority of the 
examiner and generally talks freely. As I will show 
later this is not as simple as it may seem. To illustrate 
the actual work I will cite the following cases : 

Case I. — I. S., set. thirty-nine, single, bank official, was transferred 
to the psychiatric clinic of Zurich, November 16, 1907, from the 
Bohemian asylum of D. where he had been for about four months. 
From the abstract we learned that the patient went through an acute 
attack lasting only a few weeks. He was markedly confused and 
hallucinatory, but gradually improved. He had not, however, 
regained any insight into his condition and still entertained numerous 
false ideas. 

On admission he was orderly and well behaved. He seemed to take 
a lively interest in things, but was inclined to be seclusiveand uncom- 
municative. When drawn into conversation he gave a fair account 
of his experiences, but now and then he only vaguely intimated things 
absolutely refusing to enter into details. His orientation was perfect, 
no hallucinations of any kind could be elicited, though he showed no 
insight into his condition. Physically, besides diminished knee jerks, 
nothing abnormal could be found. He gave a fluent account of his 
vita anteacta and only here and there was it necessary to question him. 

* The word is used in the sense designated by the Zurich school, 
i.e., as a complex of ideas of marked emotional accentuation which, 
was split off from consciousness and repressed into the unconscious. 


He stated that he was born in W. near Zurich. His mother was an 
invalid for years. She suffered from some "nervous trouble" and 
died when he was about ten years old. His father, an octogenarian, 
was still living. He knew nothing about the other members of his 
family for since his eleventh year he had been brought up among 
strangers. Up to his sixteenth year he was under the guidance of a 
clergyman who brought him up very religiously. He attended school 
up to his seventeenth year when he began his business career and since 
his twentieth year he had worked in the bank of B. He saw his father 
quite frequently up to 1903 when there was a disagreement between 
them ending in a complete estrangement. When asked about the 
cause of this quarrel he at first refused to speak of it, but on being 
urged he said : " The last time my father was in B. I told him that I 
would like to marry my landlady, a widow, in whose house I lived for 
more than seven years. He strongly objected and threatened to 
disown me should I disobey him. He also upbraided me for my 
mode of living. He is very religious and antisemitic while I was an 
agnostic and worked among Jews for eighteen years. I reminded 
him that I was old enough to follow my own inclinations and so 
we parted. Since then I have written to him a number of times, but 
all my letters have been returned to me." 

His psychosis he described as follows: "I was always well until the 
beginning of February, when I suddenly became thoughtful. I did 
not sleep well and was very nervous. On February 3, 1907, at 
7 p. m., I was alone in my room when I began to feel a strange power 
influencing me. I felt ecstatic, but I knew that there was something 
peculiar in me. It was like an electric magnetic power or ether. It 
suddenly forced me down on the floor on my left knee. My hands 
were pressed together in an attitude of prayer and with great force 
I cried out: 'Lord, have mercy on suffering humanity.' I spoke 
with a stentorian voice like a preacher. I repeated the 'Our Father ' 
hundreds of times. I felt an influence of the Egyptian gods Isis and 
Osiris. I was also forced to repeat numerous times 'Am I Parsifal, 
the guileless fool?' (Parsifal reinster Thor). This state continued 
for seventy-two hours during which I did not sleep at all. I also 
imagined that I was very wealthy. The whole thing was like a colos- 
sal suggestive influence and the Jews played some part in it. After 
four days I got out of bed and took a walk which refreshed me, but 
I caught a cold which continued for six weeks. During that time I 


was under the magic of a peculiar suggestive inspiration in which the 
Jews played a great part." 

Asked whether he heard voices talking to him he stated that he 
heard none during the first crisis. " It was only a magnetic suggestive 
force." Continuing, he said: "I then wrote a letter to my firm with 
whom I had been for eighteen years, telling them that my present 
views did not permit me to work for a Jewish firm. Following an 
inspiration I went to Lucarno where I remained until April 5. I then 
returned to B. and in order to recover completely I went to a country 
place near the sea where I remained for five weeks. In June I went 
to see my father, who lived in K., Bohemia, but was not permitted 
to see him as his doctor forbade it, saying he was too sick. I could 
not believe that the doctor told me the truth. It was certainly 
remarkable that my old father should estrange himself in such a 
manner from his only son. At the end of June I was offered a position 
in Munich, but when I arrived there I found that the head of the firm 
was a Jew so I refused it. On July 14, a letter sent to my father was 
returned marked 'Moved. Address unknown.' I again became 
excited and felt the peculiar suggestive inspirations. Such inspira- 
tions were never in me before and probably had their reasons 

I again went to K., arriving there on July 16. My father's residence 
was locked and the neighbors told me that he had moved to D. I 
decided to follow up my investigations the next morning, but 'Man 
proposes and God disposes.' I passed a fearful night. I was con- 
tinually under influences. I dreamed that I climbed a high mountain 
or mountains and all of a sudden I became 'like nailed' and I could 
not move any further. I was afraid of falling and was extremely 
terrified. At dawn I arose and decided to take a walk in the forest, 
but no sooner did I leave the hotel when I suddenly heard a voice in 
my ears. I looked about alarmed, but saw no one. The voice 
asked me peculiar questions and gave still stranger commands. It 
was something like telepathy. I almost lost my mind. I noticed 
two policemen and I appealed to them for protection. They took 
me to the police station and then I only faintly recollect being taken 
to a hospital in a cab. I was in an unconscious, peculiar, feverish 
state. I heard voices constantly, but they were very indistinct. I 
saw silhouettes like bluish angelic forms. I saw my father. He was 
God and I was the Son, and Superintendent R. was the Holy Ghost. 
I was in that condition for about one week and then I recovered my 


senses. They then sent me to the asylum in D. and on November 
16 I was transferred here." 

The last part of the patient's statements concurs with the hospital 
records from D. He finished by paraphrasing Hamlet, "There are 
more things in heaven and earth, doctor, than are dreamt of in your 

An attempt was made to have the patient explain some of the 
individual points, but he became diplomatic and suspicious, saying 
that he had told everything to the best of his ability and that he 
really could not remember any more. Besides he was sure that no 
doctor could understand this or explain it to him, that he was perfectly 
well now and only wished to be discharged so that he might go and 
see his old father. When asked what he thought of the whole affair 
he said that he was sure the whole thing was something divine and 
supernatural and also implied that he understood it all. No amount 
of urging, however, could induce him to enter deeper into the question. 

In the ward, besides his seclusiveness, nothing abnormal could be 
noticed. He spent most of his time in reading. He also wrote 
numerous letters to his father and friends, telling them about his 
strange experiences, and assuring them that he was now completely 
changed and perfectly well both physically and mentally. During 
my visits he was always affable, but, except concerning his discharge, 
he evinced no desire to enter into conversation. When an attempt 
was made to question him he immediately stated "that it was time 
wasted and that he had told me all he knew," and always ended with 
his preferred quotation, mentioned above, "There are many things, 
doctor, etc." Only on a few occasions was it possible to induce him 
to explain some of the details. 

This condition remained essentially unchanged for more than two 
months when he was discharged: Diagnosis, dementia praecox. 

For those who work up their cases on a Kraepelin- 
Wernicke basis the problem, if not solved, is finished. To 
be sure the case could be elaborated upon. A detailed 
description of the various incidents could be given, but 
no matter how extensive and detailed it might be made, 
if we followed Kraepelin the personal factors would be 
very meagerly, if at all, considered. Indeed, Kraepelin 


in all his works, gives very accurate and faithful descrip- 
tions of his cases, but he does not go beyond that. It 
makes no difference what the nature of a special case may 
be so long as it fulfils certain conditions as regards the 
emotional status, morbid perceptions, delusions, manner- 
isms, etc. In other words Kraepelin totally ignores in- 
dividual psychology. 

However, both on the continent and in this country the 
tendency now is to pay more attention to individual 
psychology. Instigated by the valuable discoveries of 
Freud, the Zurich school took up the problem and the 
results, as every one knows, are most gratifying. In this 
country A. Meyer and August Hoch approached the prob- 
lem from a somewhat different standpoint but came to 
essentially the same conclusions, namely, that attention 
must be paid to the actual cases and that a mere general 
description does not suffice. The works of Bleuler, Jung, 
Riklin and others show how effete and soulless the old 
routine methods of description appear in comparison to 
the very interesting psychanalytic methods where one 
finds a definite relation between cause and effect. In 
making these statements I do not wish to detract in any 
way from the great merits of Kraepelin whose epoch- 
making works in modern psychiatry everyone duly recog- 
nizes; but the superiority of Kraepelin's methods over 
those of his predecessors only serves to emphasize their 
deficiencies when compared to the psychanalytic methods. 

As aforesaid it was impossible to draw the patient into 
ordinary conversation for any length of time, so that I 
started by taking his associations and then analyzed them. 
The following associations are given: 



Stimulus Word 




1. Coal 

Burning Material 



2. Moderate 



Wine Beer 

3. Song 

Singing Club 



4. To Suppose 

To Doubt 



5. Pain 



Physical Pain 

6. Lazy 




7. Moon 




8. To Laugh 




9. Coffee 



Coffee Table 

10. Broad 




Ass. 1, "coal-burning material" shows a long reaction 
time. This is frequently seen in the beginning of the 
experiment. On analysis it recalls many reminiscences 
of his youth when he lived in the coal regions of B. Ass. 2, 
"moderate — temperance — wine, beer" refers to his com- 
plex of drink. At the age of twenty-five he drank much 
beer, his father often spoke to him about moderation. 
Ass. 3, "song — singing club," recalls the singing club of B. 
which patient often visited, it especially recalls a dirge 
which he once heard and this recalls his dead sweetheart. 
Ass. 4, " to suppose — to doubt — religion " refers to the com- 
plex of religion. He supposed that there was no God and 
he doubted all religion, but now he is quite convinced that 
the contrary is true. Ass. 5, "pain — body — physical 
pain" refers to rheumatic pain to which he is subject, but 
mainly to the pains caused by his father's behavior in 

ignoring him. Ass. 6, "Lazy — schoolboy — urchin" refers 
to the seven-year-old son of the widow with whom he 
boarded. Patient showed numerous resistances and 

* The time is indicated in seconds, 
f X = correct reproduction. 



obstructions and finally refused to continue with this 
association. Ass. 7, "moon — heaven — Venus." Asked 
to explain this strange association he said: "On March 
28 I awoke during the night and there was a beauti- 
ful moon. I had a suggestive dream. I thought that it 
could be possible to walk on the water and be born like 
Venus was." He then refused to continue, but after many 
obstructions and inhibitions he said that by water he means 
the Atlantic and Venus refers to his sweetheart who died 
in America. The day before, he saw a picture in the 
Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung of a newly discovered " sea- 
people" with webbed fingers and toes who either barked 
or prayed to the moon. Ass. 9, "coffee — drink — coffee 
table" recalls a friend in Guatemala, a coffee planter, who 
just married a Swiss girl and this recalls his "first and only 
sweetheart" who married in America. This may also 
refer to his drinking complex. Ass. 10, "broad-board 


den obstruction) 

l*j\s W Ullft, KJ. 

Stimulus Word 




11. Air 




12. To frighten 

Oh terror 


To collapse 

13. Plate 




14. Tired 




15. Intention 



Determination of will 

16. To fly 




17. Bye 




18. Fruit 




20. To work 




21. To sail 




22. Modest 




23. Soil 




24. To whistle 





Ass. 11, "air — ether — body" refers to ether which filled 
his body during his first attack. Ass. 12, " to frighten— 
oh terror — to collapse" is explained as follows: "When I 
first heard the voices in K. I became so terrified that I 
almost collapsed. It was so real, as though some one 
was near me. I remained 'like nailed/ Then I called 
out 'who talks to me and what is your name?' The 
voice replied ' water, drink water/ " (See Ass. 7.) It 
was so terrible, especially after the frightful night, I 
did not sleep at all during that night. I thought some one 
was in the room and I looked under the bed, but I found 
no one. I also dreamed of climbing mountains. I arose 
at 5.30 and then a suggestive thought almost like a voice 
said: 'Jump from the fourth floor window and if you 
believe you will rise unharmed/ Then another sugges- 
tion said 'How can you do it, you are only a sinner' and 
then I left the hotel. Ass. 14, "intention — resolution — 
determination of will" is explained as follows: "Between 
1890 and 1895 I drank considerably. Then I formed a 
resolution not to drink and I was a total abstainer until 
1899 when I was operated upon for hemorrhoids. Since 
then I drank moderately. I also resolved never to 
marry. When I was twenty-two I had a sweetheart, a 
very pretty girl, Marie Biere. I was very anxious to 
marry her, but my father objected to it, saying that I was 
only a young fool, etc. In 1887 she went to America, to 
Pittsburgh, Pa., but before going we promised to be true 
to each other. In 1888 I heard she married a Swiss in 
Pittsburgh. I was very dejected. It was my first real 
and true love. I had many sweethearts after that, but I 
never loved another woman. I then went to Paris and 



just cast myself into the whirl so as to forget everything 
and I finally forgot her. In 1891 1 heard she died." (While 
reciting this the patient became very emotional). Ass. 17, 
"eye — head — angel" recalls his father's head, "he has a 
wonderful eye like Bismark — it is God's eye." (He has 
only one eye). (In his delirium his father was God, etc., 
see above.) Ass. 21, "sail — ocean" shows a very long 
reaction time. He thinks of America where he was so 
very anxious to go, but his father objected. Ass. 22, 
"modest — virtue — quality" cannot be explained. He 
began to speak of modest women but suddenly stopped. 
It probably has some erotic sense.* Ass. 23," soil — earth " 
shows a long reaction time due to a perseveration of former 
reaction; probably refers to dream about birth of Venus. 
Ass. 24, "whistle — schoolboy" is another reference to the 
boy mentioned in Ass. 6; he showed many obstructions 
and finally asked not to be questioned about it. Ass. 25, 
" aim — intention" is a perseveration of the former — he 
says "Everything has its reasons, dress is only to cover 
the body" — probably some erotic complex. 

Stimulus Word 




26. Hat 




27. Hand 



God's hand 

28. To wake 

In bed 


To get out of bed 

29. Apple 

You have I believe 


Fruit tree vegetables 

30. Evil 




31. Mouth 




32. To drink 



An inn 

33. Bed 

To sleep 



34. Pretty 

Pretty girl 



35. Danger 



Mountain fall 

* The word is used in its original Greek sense, as anything apper- 
taining to love — eros. 














Stimulus Word Reaction 

36. To visit Friends 

37. Laborer Mason 

38. High Mountain 

39. Axe Instrument 

40. To observe Adjective 

Ass. 27, "hand — body — God's hand" is not explained, 
but it probably refers to his religious complex. Ass. 28, 
"to wake — in bed — to get out of bed" refers to expression 
"wide awake boy" and this again recalls the son of his 
landlady (obstruction emotivity). Ass., 29 "apple — you 
have I believe — fruit tree vegetables" is a perseveration of 
former reaction, or may have an erotic sense — he is 
unable "to explain it." Ass. 30, "evil — quality" evokes 
"bad boy" meaning the landlady's boy as does the 
following Ass. 31," mouth — head — boy" which he explains 
as "human mouth connected with chewing, eating, etc." — 
mother's mouth — "I have never done such dirty things." 
Asked to explain what he means he at first refused to 
continue and on being urged he said "I think of the scenes 
that I witnessed in Paris." This was followed by a sudden 
outburst of excitement. He jumped up and talked very 
excitedly. He saw no reason why he should be forced to 
talk of such dirty things, that he never would think of it 
if not for the experiments, etc. He was so irritable that 
the analysis had to be stopped for a week. Ass. 32, 
"drink — thirst — inn" refers to his alcoholic complex. 
Ass. 34, "pretty — pretty girl — beer" refers to his sweet- 
heart whose name was Biere. Ass. 35, " danger — mountain 
— mountain fall" refers to his dreams of mountain 
climbing. He also stated that he was once in danger of 
falling off a steep mountain and was only saved by the 



timely arrival of a mountain guide. Ass. 38, "high — 
mountain" again refers to his mountain climbing and 
also to the frightful dreams about climbing at the onset 
of the second crisis. Ass 40, "to observe — adjective — 
school" refers again to the schoolboy and, as usual, the 
patient could not "explain it." 

Stimulus Word 




41. Road 

I also think of a lawn 



42. Round 




43. Blood 




44. To state 




45. Attention 




46. Gay 




47. Market 

Stock market 



48. To forget 




49. Drum 




50. Free 




Ass. 41, "road — I also think of a lawn-forest" refers to 
the morning of his second attack when he arose early to go 
into the forest. Ass. 43, " blood — operation — knight " the 
patient states that in 1899 he underwent an operation for 
hemorrhoids during which he lost much blood. It also 
recalls the blood of the grail referred to in Parsifal. From 
blood he also goes to the word "blutt" which means 
naked and this recalls a dream fragment about arms and 
breasts which he had on the night of July 16. Ass. 44, 
"to state — school — schoolboy" refers again to his land- 
lady's boy. Ass. 45, "attention — da-danger — quality" 
refers to his last attack when the voices addressed him. 
Ass. 47, "market — stock market — money" refers to his 
trade complex. Ass. 48, "to forget — time — love" he 
explained as follows: "love is in time forgotten." Ass. 50, 
"free — air" refers to his confinement. 



Stimulus Word 




51. Religion 

The living word 



52. Jews 

Deutches Volksblatt 



53. Isis 




54. Widow 




55. Parsifal 



Guileless fool 

56. Father 




Ass. 51, "religion — the living word — Thomas" was 
explained as follows: "Despite my being brought up 
religiously I became a free-thinker and for years I never 
thought of religion. I scoffed at everything. I was the 
real 'doubting Thomas/ I studied Nietzsche and es- 
pecially Max Stirner, whose last book 'Der Einzige u. 
sein Eigentum (The Ego and His Own) ' has the motto, 
'All things are nothing with me.' It is a very dangerous 
book. But all my ideas and plans have been crushed 
because I could not conceive the real and holy religion. 
What happened to me within the last year is a sign sent 
from above, 'the true living word' which forces me 
to seek God. I have still something of the 'doubting 
Thomas/ but it will soon disappear." Ass. 52, "Jews — 
Deutsches Volksblatt — rich." Patient denied bearing 
any animosity against Jews. He worked eighteen years 
with Jews and always got along very nicely with them. 
"They are very nice rich people," he said, but for some 
reason which he is unable to explain he was a constant 
subscriber to the Deutsches Volksblatt, which he claims 
is an antisemitic journal. Ass. 53, "Isis — Osiris — 
banker" refers to Mr. Osiris, a very wealthy banker in 
Basel, who died before the patient's first attack. The 
patient says that he now recalls that during the first 
attack he had the idea that this banker left him 30,000,000 


francs. Some one told him so. He denies ever having 
had any relations with Mr. Osiris. Osiris is a contiguous 
association of Isis. Ass. 54, "widow — Wehrli" refers to 
Mrs. Wehrli, his landlady, with whom he boarded for 
seven years. He stated that he really did not love her, 
but he liked her and seriously thought of marrying her. 
In 1903 he spoke about it to his father who objected to it. 
After Christmas, 1907, he resolved to save money and then 
marry her, but since the last attack he gave up the idea. 
Ass. 55, "Parsifal — knight — guileless fool" refers to Parsi- 
fal as depicted in Wagner's opera, where he is named the 
guileless fool. Patient seemed to identify himself with 
the knight, but did not fully explain it. Like Parsifal he 
had to undergo many vicissitudes before recognizing the 
true religion. But we shall return to this later. Ass. 56, 
"father — love" is not fully explained. Patient said: 
"There were times during which I almost hated my father, 
but now I am very much concerned about him and am 
very anxious to see him." 

One hundred and fifty associations have been taken from 
the patient, but the given associations are sufficient for the 
explanation of the principal complexes and to give us a 
fair understanding of the symptomatic ideogenesis. The 
main characteristics of the associations are the long 
reaction times and faulty reproductions. As we have 
said above the average reaction time of persons of his type 
is taken as 2.4 seconds. In the associations given about 
84 per cent, are above the normal reaction time and only 
about 43 per cent, of the reactions are correctly reproduced. 
These are the so-called complex-indicators and wherever 
they occur are taken as signs of complex constellations. 


The stimulus word either consciously or unconsciously 
touched the complex and this evoked the intervention of a 
presentation of strong feeling tone. This always happens 
in normal and neurotic individuals and Jung has shown 
that the same holds true in Dementia Prsecox. 

When we examine the nature of the associations we 
find that sixteen (3, 7, 9, 15, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 31, 34, 35, 
45, 53, 54, 58) belong to the erotic complex, seven (4, 11, 
12, 27, 43, 51, 52) to the complex of religion and six 
(6, 24, 28, 30, 31, 40) directly concern the "boy." Unfor- 
tunately the last associations were not satisfactorily 
explained by the patient. Judging from the very strong 
repression which dominated them we are quite certain 
that they play a great part in the patient's psyche. Two 
suppositions should be kept in mind: 

(1) Patient may be the father of the boy. 

(2) There may have been some homosexual relations 
between them. In favor of (1) is the fact that he boarded 
for more than seven years with the boy's mother (the 
boy was about seven years old). A number of letters 
exchanged between the patient and his landlady point 
to that. If he is not his son there probably was some 
homosexual relation between them as shown by Ass. 31. 
We are therefore perfectly justified in adding these six 
associations to the erotic which gives a total of twenty- 
two. The religious complexes, too, are intimately con- 
nected with the erotic. 

Bearing this in mind we can form an idea of the part 
played by the erotic in the patient's psyche. We can say 
that almost all his psychical components when thoroughly 
analyzed show some relation to it. This may seem 


peculiar, but it is not at all unusual, it is found in all 
psychoneuroses as well as in the normal. According to 
Freud all so-called day dreams in women are of an erotic 
nature. 3 In men they may be of an erotic or ambitious 
nature, but whenever it is possible to analyze the ambitious 
reveries they, too, may be found to belong to the erotic. 
All great actions and accomplishments, heroic or commer- 
cial, are generally done for the purpose of pleasing some 
woman and to be preferred to other men. That our 
patient is no exception to the rule is quite natural. 


We have here a man of thirty-nine years old suffering 
from a psychosis of a year's duration. He cannot account 
for it. He thinks it came on suddenly. Only a few days 
before the onset he was thoughtful and nervous. This 
psychosis is characterized by two distinct crises with a 
transitional period of about five months. Both crises 
were of the delirious, confusional, dream-like type, the 
first lasting three days, and the second about one week. 
The period of transition is characterized by marked rest- 
lessness, delusions and hallucinations. The second crisis 
was not followed by any recovery in the strict sense, as he 
still entertained false ideas which he did not try to correct. 
On the contrary he considered all attempts in that direc- 
tion futile and unnecessary. The strange manifestations 
he recognized as supernatural, divine and purposeful; 
they were intentionally sent to compel him to change his 
mode of living and return to the religion of his father. 
He sees in all this the " Hand of God." In other words, 
we see here a gradual and systematic change of personality 


which we have every reason to believe is only the process 
of transformation and will probably lead to further 
systematization and dissociation.* 

Both the abstract of the history and the patient's 
katamnestic account give a fair gross picture of the psy- 
chosis, but do not in any way explain the psychogenesis 
of the symptoms. The associations, as can be seen, have 
thrown considerable light on the subject, they uncovered 
many obscure points and called forth many new ones, 
but we are still in darkness concerning the causal deter- 
minations of the symptoms which we shall now proceed to 

That the psychosis did not come on as suddenly as 
would appear is quite certain. When we thoroughly 
examine the patient's antecedent history we find that for 
a number of years his mind was gradually being pre- 
pared for it. Since his twenty-second year he sustained 
a number of psychic shocks of different degrees. The 
first and most important was his love affair with Miss B. 
which ended so unfortunately. To form an opinion of the 
effect it left on the patient it was only necessary to watch 
his mimic while he recited this episode. As we know it is 
very difficult to evoke an adequate affect in such patients, 
but when this unhappy love affair of sixteen years ago 
was touched he immediately lost his wonted taciturnity 
and indifference, his eyes brightened and his face red- 
dened. He was again the young lover of twenty-two. 
He spoke fluently about his ardent affections: " I was then 
innocent and really loved. It was my first and true 

* Nothing has been heard from the patient since his discharge 
from the hospital. 


love. All the other love affairs which I subsequently 
entertained were dulled by this first one." He became 
enraged when he recalled his father's attitude in this 
affair. "Whenever I think of it I am compelled to hate 
him," he said. It is not difficult to see that this love was 
always in his mind in a repressed state and that it mark- 
edly influenced his actions. 

In 1901 he loved another woman, Miss I. W. "It was 
only sexual love," he said, "but I would have married 
her." She proved false to him and married an army 
officer. In 1903 he decided to marry his landlady and his 
father again obj ected. This time, however, he disregarded 
his father and resolved to follow his own inclinations. As 
a result his father severed all relations with him and 
he neither saw nor heard from him for three years, yet 
this did not seem to disturb him. Yet in spite of all he 
did not marry Mrs. W. For reasons unexplained he 
kept on putting it off until Christmas, 1907, when he 
finally resolved to save his money and marry her. But 
at the same time there was a reawakening of paternal 
sentiment. He sent his father letters and his photograph, 
but they were all returned. This irritated him and he 
decided never to write to him again. As we have shown 
he did not keep his resolutions. 

Besides the episodes mentioned there were probably 
other psychical disturbances, but unfortunately the 
patient was not very communicative. We also see quite 
plainly that for a number of years he was subjected to a 
mental conflict. As a youth he was brought up amid 
religious surroundings: His father was antisemitic and 
naturally the same ideas were inculcated in the son. 


When he became older he changed completely. He 
became an atheist and worked among Jews for eighteen 
years. He no longer attended church, but studied Nietz- 
sche, Stirner and others. Now and then his father 
upbraided him for it, but without avail. That he did not 
entirely rid himself of his early religious training, but only 
repressed it, is shown by the fact that he kept on sub- 
scribing to an antisemitic journal and during the Dreyfus 
affair, he was the only anti-Dreyfussard in his office. He 
could not be convinced that Dreyfus was not guilty 
(symbolic actions). Unconsciously his early training 
remained in a dormant state. It is not at all easy for one 
who has been brought up in a certain religious atmosphere 
to his sixteenth year to entirely free himself from it. Many 
persons imagine that they are entirely emancipated from 
their early religious training and are manifestly so until 
a grave moment intervenes. Then, provided they are 
mentally strong, the repressed ideas reassert themselves. 
This accounts for the many so-called conversions and 
recantations during grave diseases or on death beds. 

Both the patient's crises show some connection with 
religious events. Christmas, 1907, marks the manifest 
beginning of his restlessness. At this time his feelings 
toward his father suddenly changed. The suggestive 
dream referred to under Ass. 7 was on the evening of 
Good Friday and marked the beginning of the second 
attack.* The day following the dream he set out on the 
journey which finally landed him in the hospital of K. 

We see, then, that we have at least two psychic instances 

* The episode in Wagner's Parsifal is also centered around Good 


of great moment which have long been repressed and 
which now suddenly reasserted themselves. The question 
arises — how did this come about? A personal predispo- 
sition is presupposed. The conflict existing for years 
caused an " abaisment du niveau mental" (Janet). 4 The 
repressed unconscious complexes gradually freed them- 
selves from the domination of the ego-complex 5 and 
then manifested themselves in the form of automatisms, 
such as suggestions and inspirations and finally as 
hallucinations. The obnubilation which followed allowed 
the appearance of the manifold senseless manifestations 
which were brought about by the dream mechanisms 
of Freud. 

If this supposition is true, the individual symptoms 
ought to be psychically constellated by the complexes. 
I shall forthwith show that this is really the case. 

When we look at our cases in the wards we are often 
struck by their strange utterances and peculiar behaviour. 
Until recently we were quite satisfied to note that the 
patient is delusional and demented, that he utters sense- 
less phrases and goes through a number of peculiar actions. 
Thanks to Freud we know that all actions and speech in 
both normal and abnormal individuals are psychically 
determined. 8 Jung, following Freud, made thorough 
analyses of cases of Dementia Praecox showing that all 
the patients' absurd utterings were quite relevant when 
analyzed and, furthermore, that all the speech and motor 
manifestations were distinctly traced to the complex. 7 

Let us now examine the individual symptoms of our 
patient. The crises which we went through can be readily 
compared to the normal dream. Like the expressions 


in dreams our patient's utterances at first sight seem quite 
senseless, but have a meaning as soon as analyzed. The 
first crisis began with an ecstatic feeling. He was forced 
into an attitude of prayer by an invisible force. He had 
to cry out, "Lord, have mercy on suffering humanity." 
This is nothing but a powerful reassertion of his repressed 
religious presentations, which by his impaired judgment 
can only be interpreted as an external power. The com- 
plex of religion gained the upper hand and he was therefore 
forced to assume an attitude of prayer and cry out, 
"Lord, have mercy, etc." He also had to repeat the 
" Our Father" hundreds of times. As we know his father 
played a great part in this attack, hence the frequent 
repetition. The directing thought being absent the 
vacuum of association causes the stereotyped repetition. 
It must also be remembered that he identified himself 
with Christ and his father with God. Hence he repeated 
the Lord's prayer. 

The influence of the Egyptian gods, Isis and Osiris, is 
explained in Ass. 53. The death of Mr. Osiris naturally 
interested him as he was a bank official. It is quite 
iikely that either consciously or unconsciously he expressed 
a wish that some of the money would be left to him. The 
delirium, like the dream, fulfilled that wish and he, there- 
fore, imagined that the banker left him thirty million 
francs. Osiris, is a contiguous association of Isis. Hence 
he felt the influence of Isis and Osiris. 

Why was he forced to repeat "Am I Parsifal, the guile- 
less fool?" In order to understand this analysis it is neces- 
sary to bear in mind the original German. He kept on 
repeating "Am I Parsifal reinster Thor." Those ac- 


quainted with Freud's methods of analyzing dreams know 
what a great part is played by " condensation" and " con- 
tamination."* On carefully examining the patient's 
doings of the day before his first crisis it was found that on 
looking over some old papers and correspondence he found 
many letters from his old sweetheart. He stated that he 
did not attempt to read them, but he happened to notice 
the following sentence: " I am in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 
with a family named Thaw." This was the first letter she 
sent him from America in which she told him that she was 
a servant in the Thaw family. She remained with this 
family for some time and he corresponded with her regu- 
larly for about a year. He stated that after noticing this 
sentence it "sort of possessed him" and for hours he was 
compelled to repeat in his mind " Pittsburgh, Pennsyl- 
vania, Thaw." He spoke English fairly well and had a 
very good reading knowledge of it. On being requested to 
write this phrase he wrote it as follows: "Pa., Pittsburgh, 
Thaw," remarking at the same time that Pa. is the abbrevia- 
tion for Pennsylvania. I now venture the following ex- 
planation. The memory picture of the word Pennsylvania 
may be the whole word or its abbreviation Pa., hence in 
the mind they exist simultaneously as Pa., Pennsylvania. 
The dream does not find it difficult to condense Pa. 
Pennsylvania into Pannsylvania and then form it into 
PANNSYVLania which corresponds to Parsifal. The 
resemblance between Thaw and Thor is quite obvious. 
If we now place the two sentences parallel to each other 
we have the following: 

* Condensation is a fusion of events, pictures, and elements of 
speech. Contamination is a fusion of speech only (Jung). 


PANNSYVLania Pittsburg THAW 

All letters for the pronunciation of "reinster" can 
readily be found in the word Pittsburgh and the remnant 
of Pennsylvania. Such condensations and transpositions 
happen quite frequently in dreams, especially if there be 
another determining factor. Our patient imperfectly 
identified himself with Parsifal as shown in Ass. 55. 

"The Jews played some part in it" is all we could get 
from our patient. He insisted that he never had any 
differences with Jews. What part they played in his attack 
cannot be explained, but it may simply have been a forc- 
ible reassertion of his father's doctrines. 

Thus we see that all the known senseless utterances of 
the first crisis are fairly well determined. Let us now 
turn to the second crisis. 

He was quite sure that during the first attack he heard 
no distinct voices. Everything was accomplished by 
some strange power which he designates as magnetic 
electric mental suggestion. These suggestions, although 
abating after the first crisis, did not entirely cease. He 
said that he was all the time more or less under sugges- 
tions. On July 16 he reached K. and passed a very restless 
night there. He slept but little and was constantly 
troubled by frightful dreams. 

Only since Freud gave out his very profound and excel- 
lent work "The Interpretation of Dreams" can dreams be 
scientifically interpreted and those proficient in his 
methods possess an invaluable instrument for the explora- 
tion of the mind. When the patient was asked to recount 


the dreams lie only remembered about " climbing a high 
mountain or mountains, " that he suddenly became "like 
nailed" and could go no further and that he "experienced 
intense fear." (On another occasion be claimed to have 
dreamed about round arms and breasts. See explanation 
of Ass. 43.) When an attempt was made to analyze it 
he absolutely refused all collaboration. Notwithstanding 
this we know enough about dreams to enable us to venture 
an opinion. Since the first crisis he was under great mental 
stress. The conflict was "Shall I abide by my decisions 
and marry Mrs. W. or shall I comply with my father's 
wishes." As we know he had for years planned to marry 
in spite of his father's objections and about Christmas 
time was fully determined to do it when a sudden reaction 
set in and his repressed complexes predominated. The 
mountain climbing is a symbolic representation of this 
struggle. He was about to consummate his determination 
when he became "like nailed and could go no further." 
In the dream the sensation of being inhibited, such as not 
being able to move or run when one most desires to do so, 
means "no." There is a conflict of the will. One 
begins to do something and the censor says "No, that 
shall not be done." He was about to overcome all 
parental scruples. After years he finally decided to 
disregard his father and marry when he was suddenly 

This is quite a plausible and innocent interpretation, 
but like every harmless self evident dream it is only con- 
cealing something deeper and more intimate. The fear 
and anxiety in this dream show us that we deal with in- 
tense psychic resistance the content of which belongs to 


the erotic. Dreams accompanied by fear always belong 
to the sexual. "Anxiety is a libidinous impulse emanat- 
ing from the unconscious and inhibited by the fore-con- 
scious." (Freud.) In the waking state we find its counter- 
part in the psychoneuroses. 8 We know also that he 
dreamed of "round arms and breasts." Round arms and 
breasts are woman's arms and breasts. The mountains or 
mountain in the dream probably meant "mons veneris." 
The German expression for mons veneris is well known to 
the patient. As shown above he also dreamed of Venus 
and of her birth. This shows the sexual part of the 
dream. This is further strengthened by the fact that 
since his first crisis he was a sexual abstainer. Suppressed 
sexuality manifests itself in fear. 

The onset of the second crisis was even more intense 
than the first. It began with suggestions and soon 
merged into distinct voices. While dressing the suggestive 
thought "almost like a voice said 'jump from the fourth 
floor window and if you believe you will rise unharmed/ " 
Then another suggestion said "How can you do it — you 
are only a sinner." Here we see very nicely the marked 
activity of the unconscious and the part played by the 
teleological suggestions. Both Bleuler 9 and Jung 10 give 
nice examples of this mechanism. It is a quite common 
contrast automatism and generally manifests itself in 
strong dissociations. Here we see it at the height of the 

As soon as he left the hotel the suggestion changed into 
auditory hallucinations. It was impossible to find out 
the contents of the hallucinations, but during the analysis 
of Ass. 12 he stated that the voice said "water, drink 


water." This likely refers to the Atlantic (Ass. 7) or to 
his complex of drinking (see Ass. 2). We know, how- 
ever, that the voices so terrified him as to cause him to 
apply for police protection. 

What followed he remembers but dimly. He was in a 
delirious dreamlike state for about a week. He was in 
heaven. He heard indistinct voices and saw "many 
bluish angels.' ' His father was God and he was Christ 
and his former Superintendent R., for whom he had no 
particular love, was the Holy Ghost. He was now 
reconciled to his father and his religion. This was a 
hyperbolic realization of the normal dream. Says Freud: 
"The conscious wish becomes a dream incitor only when 
it succeeds in arousing a similar unconscious one," and 
"The wish as represented in the dream must be an 
Infantile one." 10 The wish realization in our patient's 
delirium certainly fulfils all these conditions. It sounds 
like a fragment of a child's conception of heaven and 
recalls such religious paintings as Hofmann's Ascension 
or Zuccaro's Christ Surrounded by Angels. 

Thus the problems are solved. The repressed complexes 
now dominate the ego-complex and influence all thoughts 
and actions. His personality underwent a complete 
transformation. He was no longer a follower of Stirner 
but considered the "Ego and his Own" as dangerous. 
From the avowed philosopher and atheist he changed 
into the devout believer of the supernatural and hence his 
preferred quotation "There are more things in heaven and 
earth, doctor, than are dreamt of in your psychiatry." 

Case. II. — A. St., twenty years old, law student and journalist, 
was admitted to my service in the clinic of psychiatry, Zurich, on 


January 22, 1908. His friend and colleague stated that the patient 
was a Hungarian journalist who came to Zurich to study law. He 
was considered very diligent and brilliant, but somewhat eccentric. 
He seemed to have been depressed for some time, remaining in bed 
for days and taking very little nourishment, but for the previous 
two days he had shown some improvement. He attempted to shoot 
himself at about 12 o'clock on the day of admission. He dis- 
charged five shots and beyond grazing his shirt, striking a candle 
which stood near his bed and a picture of Ibsen on the opposite 
wall he did no damage. The reason for the attempted suicide was 
supposed to be unrequited love. In the beginning of December he 
had made the acquaintance of a lady student with whom he soon 
became infatuated. His love was not reciprocated so that he be- 
came despondent, neglected his work and uttered pessimistic and 
gloomy ideas. The informant stated that as soon as the shots 
were heard he ran into the room and found the patient lying on the 
bed in a delirious condition. He was confused, murmured to him- 
self and asked meaningless questions, repeating "Where are the 
white horses?" The last question he also repeatedly put to the 
physician who was called in soon after the shooting. 

An anamnesis was also obtained from the patient's father about a 
week later. He denied any psychic abnormalities in the family, but 
he himself was neuropathic and it was afterward learned that one of 
his daughters was hysterical. He stated that the patient was always 
somewhat delicate, but developed normally. As he grew up he was 
"indifferent, cold, seclusive and obdurate, but very bright.' , He 
was always at the head of his class. His teachers referred to him as 
a prodigy and his professors predicted a great future for him. At a 
very early age he manifested a great talent for writing and since 
his fifteenth year he had supported himself by journalism. His 
feuilletons were sought for by the leading Hungarian journals. Due 
to the divorce of his parents he had lived apart from them since his 
fifteenth year. He, however, kept on corresponding regularly with 
his father and paid him an occasional visit. 

On admission the patient was exceedingly apathetic and took 

absolutely no interest in his surroundings. When addressed he 

showed some confusion. He seemed to be unable to comprehend the 

questions and his answers were monosyllabic and laconic. He did 

not care what would happen. "Do what you please," he would say. 


In appearance he was under-developed and small. His head seemed 
too big for his body, probably due to his long, black hair which hung 
over his shoulders. The physical examination revealed nothing in 
particular. In the ward he was quiet and indifferent. He lay on 
his back motionless, either keeping his eyes shut or staring vacantly 
into space. He expressed no desires and when an attempt was made 
to draw him into conversation he became mute. He took very little 
nourishment and this only after much urging. When seen the next 
morning he was essentially unchanged. The nurse reported that he 
slept well, but paid absolutely no attention to anything. 

The main features were dulness, apathy, somnolence and probably 
hallucinations as shown by his asking for white horses. This condi- 
tion continued for four days after which he gradually became brighter 
and at the end of a few days more he was apparently his former self. 

He was discharged on January 31 to go to Vienna with his father. 
Diagnosis, schizophrenia.* 

We have here a precocious youth, slightly burdened by 
heredity, who, having been disappointed in love, lost his 
mental equilibrium and merged into schizophrenia. He 
made an unsuccessful attempt at suicide and later he 
was delirious and hallucinatory, uttering senseless stereo- 
typed phrases. This was followed by a short period of 
apathy, mutism and dulness, after which he gradually 

As soon as conditions were favorable an attempt was 
made to draw the patient into conversation so as to have 
him explain some of the obscure points, but, as is generally 
the case, nothing of importance could be elicited. He 
was suspicious or simply unwilling to enter deeply into 
the questions. A hundred associations were therefore 
taken and analyzed by the psychanalytic method, i.e., 
after the complexes were found I resorted to the contin- 

* The patient has been perfectly well since his discharge from the 



uous associations. The words employed were the usual 
100 words used for psychanalytic and diagnostic purposes. 
Some of the words, however, were changed and others 
bearing directly on the incident were inserted. 

The following are some of the associations obtained 
from the patient: 

Stimulus Word 




4. To suppose 




5. Pain 




6. Lazy 




7. Moon 




12. To frighten 




14. Tired 




15. Intention 




16. To dance 




17. Eye 




19. To aim 




Ass. 4, "to suppose — freedom" refers to his complex of 
confinement. He supposes that he will soon be dis- 
charged from the hospital. Ass. 5, "pain — bad" explains 
that he had much pain over this love affair, but, as shown 
by the reaction time, it provoked no emotion whatever. 
Ass. 6, "lazy— early" refers to his being lazy. He 
never likes to rise mornings. It also recalls that he was 
too lazy to commit suicide in the morning and waited 
until noon. Ass. 7, "moon — sun" was explained as 
follows: While walking one day with Mina (his beloved), 
they stopped to look at a photograph representing a man 
and woman riding on a crescent (moon). At that time 
the position of the two young persons on the crescent 
rather pleased him, and he remarked to her that he would 
like to ride with her on the moon. He then recalled some 


things which he did not wish to explain — probably some 
erotic thoughts. Ass. 12, "to frighten — epilepsy" refer- 
red to an incident in the ward. An epileptic had a fit 
which frightened him as it was the first time he ever saw 
such thing. Ass. 14, "tired — rest" referred to his state 
before admission to the hospital. Ass. 16, "to dance — 
Polish" was explained as follows: "On Saturday evening, 
December 7, 1 went to the Polish dance where I met my 
three lady acquaintances, Heda, Mina and Dina. My 
main object in going there was to gather some material 
for an article on the life of the Russian and Polish students 
in Zurich." He stated that when he got there he saw 
Miss Dina, whom he had known for some time, in the 
company of some gentlemen. He was not indifferent to 
her. He always found "something pleasant in her." 
She impressed him differently from the others because 
she was somewhat outspoken. On a number of occasions 
she did not hesitate to tell him that he was only a poseur, 
etc., a thing which rather wounded his vanity. Yet, 
he did not know why, she continued to be of more interest 
to him than the others. For some reason when he noticed 
her at the dance he purposely turned to another direction, 
but did not lose sight of her. On that evening he felt 
some change coming over him. Of a usually cynical 
and taciturn disposition he suddenly became very cheerful 
and loquacious. The music exerted an unusual influence 
on him. He said and did things which are still enigmatical 
to him. The women especially pleased him and, realizing 
this, the words of Mephistopheles recurred to him: "Du 
siehst mit diesem Trank im Leibe, Bald Helenen in jedem 
Weibe." Many women seemed to make advances to him. 


They sent him all kinds of notes and made nattering 
remarks about him. One elderly woman made such 
remarks as " Just see this handsome boy," etc. Another 
woman, totally unknown to him, sent him a senseless note 
about "loving, human and erring." Another sent him a 
gillyflower. On later losing his necktie he stuck this 
flower into his collar and wore it for the remainder of the 
evening. Another peculiar action was this: Everybody 
was requested to wear numbers which were distributed 
to everyone present. The gentleman and lady drawing 
the same numbers were supposed to exchange souvenir 
cards. When he received his number he scratched it out 
and wrote on the card a big "I" and this he wore the 
entire evening. He further recalled that he was very 
restless for a few days previous. He spent money use- 
lessly, went to many concerts, felt freer than usual, and 
thought of traveling. Ass. 17 "eye — eye" refers to his 
own eye. He thought that his left eye was somewhat 
smaller than his right and this he considered a sign of 
paresis. This gave rise to a number of hypochondriacal 
and depressive ideas. In a letter written to his father 
long before this suicide episode took place he signed him- 
self "Candidate for Paresis." Ass. 19, "to aim — I — 
candle" he explained as follows: "At the moment that 
I grasped the revolver I felt some fear, but aimed at my 
breast. The discharge confounded me. I was convinced 
that I had struck myself and dropped the revolver, but 
I immediately grasped it again and fired four times. I 
seemed to look for something to aim at. I remember 
distinctly aiming at the candle standing not far from the 



window and at a picture of a bust of Ibsen on the opposite 
wall." More of this later. 

Stimulus Word 




22. Modest 




23. Ground 




27. Death 




30. Bad 




34. Pretty 




40. To crack 




47. Weapon 




48. Forget 




51. To dare 

To win 



Ass. 22, " modest — violet" was explained as follows: 
"The violet is a symbol of modesty. Miss Dina always 
repeated that I was not modest. Many people reproached 
me for the same thing, but I always sought refuge in 
Goethe who says 'only scamps are modest.'" Ass 23, 
"ground — seed — onanism." By way of explanation he 
quoted the Bible "He (Onan) spilled it on the ground 
lest that he should give seed." When asked whether he 
masturbated he at first denied it, but when told that the 
associations gave distinct evidence of it, he said: "Well, 
since you know it, I may as well tell you. I began to 
masturbate when I was fourteen and continued it up to 
about a year ago. I then knew what harm it did me 
and I stopped it." When asked in what way it affected 
him he said that he read or was told that one is liable to 
get paresis and many other diseases from it. Ass. 27, 
"death — accidentally" referred to his attempted suicide. 
He fitly remarked "I could have died through accident." 
Ass. 30, "bad — very — night" referred to the night of 
January 15, which he claimed to have passed very rest- 


lessly. He was frequently terrified by his rocking chair, 
the coverings on which made him think of the dying 
Bajazzo. On the 12th, Mina and the others went to 
see Baj azzo. He was to have gone, but at the last moment 
he changed his mind and remained at home. This also 
recalled a conversation with Dina. She told him that 
his mania for originality, etc., was simply a desire to pose. 
He retorted by saying: "but don't you think that there is 
something tragic even in the poser, in the comedy-playing 
Bajazzos. If they really perceive the real feeling, such 
apparent comedies may sometimes lead to tragedies/' 
Ass. 34, "pretty — fairly" referred to Mina. Ass. 40, 
"to crack — arms" means the revolver with which he 
attempted suicide. This recalled his friend, R., concern- 
ing whom he had read that he had attempted suicide by 
shooting himself in the head. This happened some time 
before the Polish dance, and on the day of the dance he 
received a letter from his friend describing the attempted 
suicide and stating that it had concerned a woman, and 
that he was well. Ass. 47, "weapon — unskilled" refers 
to himself. He said "I never in my life used any firearms 
and when I made up my mind to kill myself I selected a 
pretty little revolver. ' 9 Ass. 48, " forget — love. ' ' He said : 
"I am trying to forget my love." Ass. 51, "to dare — to 
win" was not explained. He began to speak about 
courage and daring and he suddenly stopped, not wishing 
to continue. 






54. Quick 

To press 



55. Child 




56. Enjoy 




61. Stone 

To cast 





Stimulus Word 




80. To understand 




83. Sofa 

To sit 



87. Snake 




94. To write 




95. Horse 




Ass. 54, "quick — to press" referred to his suicide. He 
was frightened when he grasped the revolver so that he 
quickly pulled the trigger. Ass. 55, "child — big." Mina 
often called him a child, which greatly offended him as 
he considered himself a man " in every sense of the word." 
Ass. 56, "enjoy — life." He said "I was tired of living 
and wanted to die, but now I would like to be discharged 
so as to enjoy life. Ass. 61, "stone — to cast" recalled the 
sentence: "He that is without sin among you, let him 
cast the first stone." He always condemned persons 
who committed suicide. He never liked a play or a book 
where the heroes ended their lives. He thought of writing 
a different ending to Ibsen's Rosmersholm. Ass. 80, "to 
understand — saying" — the saying is, '"To understand 
all is to forgive all ' — that is what she said to me when she 
rejected my proposal. Her friend told me afterward that 
she was abnormal and was unable to love any man." 
Ass. 83, "sofa — to sit — girls" referred to a dream which he 
had while in the hospital in which the three girls were 
sitting on a sofa, etc. Ass. 87, "snake — Eve." "A 
snake was the cause of Eve's fall," he said. "A cat and 
a snake are symbols of falsehood." Snake made him 
think of penis. Ass. 94, "to write — feuilleton — spirit" 
he explained thus: "When I decided to commit suicide 
I immediately thought of writing a number of articles, 
one a dialogue, a witty interview between A. St., the 


collaborator of the Pesti Naplo and his spirit. I also 
intended to write to Dina that just at Tshepurnoy (the 
reference is to Gorky's ' Children of the Sun') saved the 
honor of the veterinary surgeons by committing suicide, 
I saved the honor of the ' posers/ " Ass. 95, "horse — 
ghost — Rosmersholm" referred to the white horses which 
play such a part in Ibsen's Rosmersholm. 

A brief examination of these associations shows that 
most of them belong to the erotic complexes. We are 
also struck by the slight emotivity manifested in the 
associations directly concerned with the love episode. 
This is especially striking when all the 100 associations 
are examined. Indeed, whereas the associations evoked 
very interesting and valuable points they gave us very 
little information about the principal episode, the supposed 
cause of this whole drama. The widest emotional 
excursions were connected with the complexes extraneous 
to this episode. From the twenty-nine associations given, 
twelve (7, 16, 19, 27, 34, 40, 47, 48, 54, 56, 80 and 83) 
bear directly on the drama, and on examination we find 
that the arithmetical average of the reaction time is 
2.8 seconds, a very minimal increase over the normal, and, 
furthermore, there is only one failure of reproduction 
and that in association 19. This last, however, does not 
sensu stricto, belong to the episode, as we shall see later, 
so that this reduces still more the average. Translating 
this into association language we say that the so-called 
complex-indicators are entirely absent where you would 
most expect them. Indeed, when I reviewed the 100 
associations originally taken I found that the twenty-nine 
selected are the only associations that in any way concern 


the case, the other seventy-one belonging to entirely 
different complexes. This simply indicates that there 
are, perhaps, other more forceful factors than the mere 
love affair, that some invisible psychic undercurrent may 
play a greater part than the supposed cause — love. 

If we orient ourselves on the incidents appertaining to 
this love affair we find that long before the patient became 
infatuated with Mina he was acquainted with Dina. In 
his katamnestic account the patient says: " I was attracted 
to her — Dina — by more than mere sympathy. She 
was outspoken and called me a poseur, but I always liked 
to be in her company." Some time after he met Mina 
and Heda, who did not make any particular impression on 
him and it was not until the Polish dance that he really 
became acquainted with them. The first part of the 
evening he had no predilection, but as the night advanced 
Mina attracted him more than her friend. On going 
home the next morning he walked with Mina and he still 
was in the "Hellenic state," very cheerful and frolicsome, 
but nothing was said of love. There were, however, some 
allusions to "waltzing through life together," but that 
was said jocosely and in company. The "Hellenic state" 
he described as follows: "It seemed to me that I had no 
ponderance. I felt infinitely light, ethereal and contrary 
to my wonted cynicism. I then was infinitely good, well 
wishing to everything and everybody. I felt neither 
desire nor wishes. It was a drop of the blessed sea of 
eternal contentment." This apathetic euphoria continued 
until Sunday afternoon when he again met the ladies in the 
company of a gentleman. For some reason he immediately 
took a dislike to this man and his euphoria disappeared. 


On returning to his room he felt "confused and could 
not account for my actions of last night and today." 
He tried to repose for a few hours, as he had an appoint- 
ment with his friend to take the girls to the theater in the 
evening, but he was exceedingly restless and unable to 
remain in the room. That evening he went to the theater, 
but did not enjoy himself at all. The following days 
continued uneventful. He frequently saw Mina and 
her friend in the boarding house, but had no serious 
thoughts. On the contrary he recalled that on one 
occasion the thought of love came to him and he immedi- 
ately suppressed it, saying to himself "Do not delude 
yourself. Be careful lest you lose your liberty. It 
would be like committing suicide.' ' It was not until a 
few days before she was to leave Zurich for her Christmas 
vacation that he was cognizant of the fact that he was in 
love. He, however, doubted it. She left on the 20th 
and it was then that it became clear to him that he loved 
her. He was distracted, indifferent to everything and 
suddenly conceived the idea of taking to his bed. Before 
doing so he wrote her a letter in which he told her all and 
asked for a categoric answer. He remained in bed for 
three days in succession, during which time he ate but 
little and slept less. He was sure that she would reject 
his proposal, wept much and was obsessed by anxious 
thoughts. He then got up and immediately visited Dina. 
She again accused him of being a poseur and he said, 
"I am really a thorough poseur, I can delude even myself. 
I could commit most terrible acts, such as marrying or 
committing suicide. ,, Following this visit he felt better. 
Mina's answer was rather equivocal. She "did not know 


what to say," etc. She returned on January 4, and 
" strange to say, when I saw her not only was I not 
surprised, but I even seemed to be indifferent.' ' He 
continued to see her regularly, but they never broached 
the subject. From the 10th he was very excited and 
had some fever and spent most of the time in bed. " On 
the 14th Mina visited me and during our conversa- 
tion she told me that she did not think she could be 
capable of loving anyone. She left me at 11 p.m. The 
rest of the night I slept fairly well, but dreamed of Dina." 
The following days he was very depressed and rest- 
less, took no interest in anything, ate and slept very 
little. On the 17th, while walking about aimlessly, he 
suddenly decided to commit suicide and at the same time 
he was speculating on the interesting and original letters 
that he would write before shooting himself. He did not 
know what he would write to Mina, but thought of writing 
to Dina, and also a dialogue, an interview between himself 
and his spirit. He decided to buy a revolver. "The 
money that I expected did not come," said he. "I then 
went to see Dina. I wanted to hear her repeat that I was 
nothing but a poseur, but she was not at home." A few 
hours later he again tried to visit her, but she was 
not at home. The following day — the 18th — he again 
called on her and again missed her. Sunday he passed 
restlessly, but was watched by a colleague who suspected 
him. On Monday, just about noon time he made the 
attempt. He waited until he saw Mina and Heda go into 
the dining room and then ran into his room, undressed, 
and went to bed. He did not lock the door and then 
attempted suicide as described above. 


Analysis. — Strange as it may seem the psychanalysis 
shows that the love affair played a very little, if any part, 
in this whole syndrome. No matter how a person may try 
to conceal things he cannot hide his emotions and uncon- 
scious actions. The associations, like dreams, never lie. 
The complex indicators never fail to show the complex, 
that is, the emotionally accentuated presentations which 
are usually split off from consciousness and repressed in 
the unconscious. On superficial examination it may seem 
that the psychosis was caused by the love affair, but as 
soon as we enter more deeply into the question we are 
struck with the marked disproportion between the exciting 
cause and the reaction and we ask ourselves why should 
an insignificant love episode produce a psychosis in a 
young man who has made his way in the world since his 
fifteenth year as a student and journalist and who, from 
his own account, has had similar experiences before this? 
To be sure there are those who maintain that just this 
incongruity between noopsyche and thymopsyche is 
characteristic of dementia prsecox, but one of the greatest 
achievements of psychanalysis is the fact that it conclu- 
sively shows that in neither the psychoneuroses nor the 
psychoses proper is there such a thing as incongruity 
between noopsyche and thymopsyche. Wherever a 
thorough examination is possible it is always found that 
the reaction is quite adequate and that it simply appears 
incongruous to us because we cannot or do not enter into 
the patient's psyche. Moreover, when we examine our 
patient's past we find that long before this last experience 
he was depressed and listless, remaining in bed for days at 
a time and that he evinced many peculiar actions. All 


this distinctly shows that the love episode was only one of 
many contributing exciting factors. 

On reviewing the 100 associations we find that they 
refer to four principal complexes, namely, love, vanity, 
death and masturbation. Of these thirty-five belong to* 
the death complex, twenty to the complex of masturba- 
tion, twelve to the vanity complex, and twelve to the love 
episode. In other words, death and masturbation are 
of paramount importance while the love episode plays 
only a subordinate part. 

The love complex we have already discussed, and of his. 

vanity both he himself and his father stated that he was 

always very vain and of an independent nature. He 

stated "I am not of an emotional nature. My parents 

reproached me for being heartless, vain and cold, saying 

that my blood was as cold as that of an Englishman and 

that I was too independent." The wounding of his vanity 

was always associated with his suicide. In his katamnestic 
account he stated: " I was suddenly struck with the idea of 

committing suicide and I immediately tried to find Dina 

so as to evoke from her the oft-repeated statement that I 

was a 'thorough irremediable poseur.' " He was also 

chagrined by Mina because she called him "child." He 

insisted that he was a man in the fullest sense of the word. 

Psychanalysis of the complexes of death showed that 

for some inexplicable reason the patient had for some time 

both consciously and unconsciously, occupied himself 

with the problem of death. When asked to associate 

freely to the word " death " he gave the following reactions : 

"When we dead awaken" — he recalled his friend the 

actor, who was supposed to have blown out his brains — 


Rosmersholm. On further analysis we found that " when 
we dead awaken" refers to Ibsen's drama of that title 
He stated that for some time this play strongly appealed 
to him, but since reading Rosmersholm the latter had 
exerted a greater influence over him. He, however, did 
not like the last act, and thought seriously of rewriting the 
play, giving it another ending. He despised persons like 
Rosmer and Rebecca for committing suicide. " They are 
not people of this world," he said, "they belong to the 
morbid, fanatic and romantic nations." While in the 
hospital he wrote to the author: "Do I perhaps suffer 
from neurasthenia or am I in the first stage of paresis? 
If so I will see that it will not progress." In a letter which 
he sent to his father long before this love episode occurred 
he signed himself " Candidate for Paresis." Moreover, for 
the previous year or so he signed his feuilletons with the 
following pseudonyms "Schakal," "Sansdieu," "Enfant 
Terrible" and "Sansculotte." Those who are unfamiliar 
with Freud's "Psychopathology of Every Day Life" 11 may 
consider our patient's use of the pseudonyms as purely 
accidental, but we have it from Freud that nothing is 
adventitious or arbitrary. Just such trivialities show us 
the real unconscious activity. These pseudonyms are 
the equivalent for "I am a jackal, godless," etc. That 
is to say, they represent delusions of self-accusation. 

All that clearly shows that long before the love episode 
the patient was hypochondriacal and restless. He 
entertained a number of delusions of a depressive, soma- 
topsychic and self-accusatory nature. He made a num- 
ber of unsuccessful attempts to stop masturbating, for 
he thought that it would produce paresis, and when he 


finally noticed a slight difference in the size of his eyes 
he became firmly convinced that he was a paretic. He 
also heard and read much about paresis and, as we have 
shown, he soon began to occupy himself with the problem of 
death. Therefore, anything referring to it interested 
him. It was while in that state of mind that he fell in 
love with Mina and for a brief period there was a reaction, 
the "Hellenic state." This, however, soon disappeared 
and long before he knew that his love would not be 
reciprocated he again became depressed. This love 
episode was simply the "last straw to break the camePs 
back." That is, the conflict probably existed for years 
until finally a compromise formation took place and the 
result was the suicidal episode. 

The situation, in brief, was as follows: "I am suffering 
from an incurable disease — paresis — which I brought 
upon myself by masturbation and as I will become insane 
I had better commit suicide." Added to that there was 
the wounding of his vanity by both Dina and Mina. 
Against all this, however, there was the inherent desire 
to live. In the language of Jung, the long-existing con- 
flict in a personal predisposition finally produced a split- 
ting of consciousness, or Janet's abaissement du niveau 
mental, thus allowing the repressed complexes to rid 
themselves of the domination of the ego complex and 
manifest themselves in the different automatisms of the 
syndrom. 12 

Let us now examine the psychic constellations of the 
individual symptoms. In the first place, we may ask 
why the patient chose this method of suicide? This was 
directly suggested to him by the shooting episode in the 


life of his friend, the actor. He, himself, had never before 
handled any firearm and there was absolutely no reason 
why he should have deferred this affair as he did for the 
purpose of getting money to buy a revolver. He had 
numerous other means within his reach. He could at 
any time have resorted to hanging, drowning or poisoning, 
which would have been easier to accomplish. Still he 
selected a method which was entirely foreign to him. 
When he bought the revolver he had to ask the storekeeper 
for instructions as to its use. I have it from Dr. M. S. 
Gregory, who has devoted considerable time to the 
subject, that suicides invariably follow a definite proce- 
dure. Thus soldiers and others who are accustomed to 
firearms always select pistols or revolvers for suicidal 
purposes; physicians, druggists and chemists invariably 
use poison, while ordinary persons follow some method 
suggested by suicidal incidents read in the daily press or 
they imitate some relative or friend. The same day that 
he attended the Polish dance he received a letter from 
his friend, telling him that he was alive and well, though 
he had attempted to blow out his brains on account of a 

According to Freud all delusional formations and actions 
are the result of a compromise. There are two psychic 
streams opposing each other and finally each yields a part 
of its demand and a mutual accommodation results. Our 
patient's suicidal attempt was simply symbolic. He 
really did not wish to terminate his life, though he wished 
to die. He simply wished to annihilate that part of him- 
self which was most repugnant to him and which was 

responsible for his malady. 


Association 19 shows that the patient aimed directly at 
the candle. On being asked to associate to candle he 
gave the following: "It recalls to me a picture of a big 
candle, a big white candle on a dark background. Candles 
always make me feel disagreeable. I used to avoid passing 
a certain store where there was a show case filled with 
candles. The burning candles with the dripping tallow 
which I used to see in churches and temples nauseated me. 
That recalled a girl named 'Baby S.' whom I used to 
know — thats all." When asked about this girl he showed 
numerous blockings and then continued: " She was anaemic 
and they used to say that — that she candled herself." 
Again blockings, but after considerable urging he stated 
that a candle with the dripping tallow recalls the penis 
after masturbation, a thing which always filled him with 
disgust. The resistance was broken and he frankly added : 
"That has been the bane of my life. I have not done 
it for a year because I was told that it would cause 

The candle, as we see, is simply a symbolic representa- 
tion of the penis. This is a familiar and widespread sym- 
bol, both in this country and abroad. The general 
popular belief that a virgin can relight with her breath a 
candle recently extinguished probably owes its origin to 
the same symbolic expression 13 (relight with her breath 
a candle — reawaken lost sexual powers). 

Thus we see the reason for his aiming at the candle. In 
destroying the candle he killed that part of himself which 
is at the basis of all his trouble. 

Why did he aim at Ibsen's picture? In order to under- 
stand this it is necessary to cite a fragment of a long dream 


which the patient had while in the hospital. It was as 
follows: "I got a harp and played something melancholic 
and the doctor stood there watching me and then ex- 
claimed, 'Behold a lion's head arising on a feeble body', 
and then wishing to hide his feelings he turned away." 
According to Freud, whenever one hears some speech in the 
dream it generally signifies that the dreamer has heard at 
some time the exact or similar words. The words which 
he puts in the doctor's mouth he actually heard from the 
doctor. On seeing the patient for the first time, while he 
was still in the somnolent state, I was struck by the size 
of his head and I remarked to the supervisor "He looks 
ill and is underdeveloped. His head seems too big for his 
body." In the dream this is changed to a lion's head. 
On analyzing the expression "lion's head" we obtained 
the following: "Head of a lion — Max Lieberman, a 
German painter, made a picture of a sphinx with the head 
of Ibsen on it — it looks like a lion's head — thinks of his 
own head which he believes "perhaps resembles Ibsen's 
head." On further analysis he identified himself directly 
with the great poet and stated that he noticed the resem- 
blance between himself and Ibsen and that is why he bought 
the picture. We can now understand why he shot at the 
picture, for in doing so he again symbolically shot himself. 
We also know that for more than a year he took great 
interest in Ibsen's works, especially "When We Dead 
Awaken" and "Rosmersholm." This, too, as mentioned 
above, is a symbolic action. The title of the former play 
appealed to him because, believing that he was suffering 
from an incurable disease and that he would soon die, he 
naturally speculated on "When We Dead Awaken." 


Such symbolic actions are frequently observed in every- 
day life. Only within a few days the daily press reported 
the case of a New York embezzler who was discovered by 
detectives in a Philadelphia public library. The book 
which he was reading at the time of his arrest was entitled 
"Will I Ever Go Back?" Rosmersholm, too, appealed to 
him because he directly identified himself with Rosmer 
"the happy nobleman who goes to death/' but as the 
"will to live" always predominated in him he at first dis- 
liked the suicide of the lovers and even thought of re- 
writing the last act. 

What was the origin of the stereotype " Where are the 
white horses?" Those who have read Ibsen's drama will 
recall that whenever a death occurred in Rosmersholm 
the white horse was sure to make its appearance. As our 
patient identified himself with Rosmer and lived through 
the tragic end of the "happy nobleman" he looked for 
the white horse in his delirium and hence the stereotyped 
question, "Where are the white horses?" 

Thus we see that there was nothing mysterious or sense- 
less in our patient's actions. All these actions and utter- 
ances had a reason and followed the same course as that 
of any normal individual. Indeed, those who make use 
of the psychanalytic method are well aware of the fact 
that whenever the patient's mind can be entered he ceases 
to be an enigma and his " senseless actions and utterances" 
cease to appear senseless. On the contrary we are often 
struck with the purposeful, nay ingenious, construction of 
the whole scheme. Moreover, we are always sure to miss 
— that " garbage can" of mental diseases — the " dementia" 
which is supposed to be the main characteristic of the dis- 


ease. I have not seen a single analyzable case of dementia 
praecox that showed any dementia. Those cases whose 
minds we cannot penetrate merely because the patients 
refuse to cooperate with us we are hardly justified in 
calling "demented." Every careful observer will recall 
that now and then a "dement," who has been noted for 
years with the familiar formula " No change, dull, stupid, 
and demented," suddenly loses his dementia and acts in a 
perfectly rational manner. I can now recall three cases 
of dementia praecox that I observed in the Central Islip 
State Hospital which were "demented" two, three and 
five years, respectively, and then fully recovered, which 
led me to believe in the truth of the statement that demen- 
tia praecox is often "neither a dementia nor a praecox." 
The works of the Zurich school and of other investigators 
have amply demonstrated these facts and it is for these 
reasons that my former chief, Prof. Bleuler, to whom I 
am indebted for these cases, repudiates this meaningless 
term, dementia praecox, and uses Schizophrenia. 14 


1. Diagnostiche Assoziations Studien, Vol. I, Barth, Leipzig, 1906. 

2. Translated by A. A. Brill, American Journal of Psychology, 
April, 1910. 

3. Freud: Selected Papers on Hysteria, p. 194. 

4. Janet: Les Obsessions et la Psychasthenic, Paris, 1903. 

5. The Psychology of Dementia Praecox. Translated by Peterson 
and Brill. 

6. Freud: L. c, p. 165. 

7. Jung: L. c. 

8. Cf. Chap. III. 

9. Bewusstsein u. Assoziation, Diagnost. Assoziations Studien, 
Beitrag, V. and Jung L. c. 


10. The Interpretation of Dream, Translated by A. A. Brill, 
George Allen, London, and The MacMillan Co., New York. 

11. Cf. Chap. VII. 

12. Jung: L. c. 

13. Liebman: Christlichen Symbolic, p. 76, Leipzig, Reklam Ed. 

14. Bleuler: Schizophrenic, Deuticke, Wien, 1911. 

Its Relation to Homosexual Wish-phantasies » * 

The subject of paranoia has always been a puzzle for 
psychiatrists and much has been said and written about it, 
but as far as my knowledge of the literature goes no real 
attempt or progress has been made toward its solution. 
For those who are acquainted with the subject no further 
dilatation is necessary. The others will have to be con- 
tent with these statements, as it is not my purpose to 
enter here into an extensive discussion on the subject of 
paranoia in general. 

Before entering into the psychological elements of the 
subject I will cite the following case: 

E. R., thirty-six years old, married, school teacher by occupation, 
was admitted to my service at the Central Islip State Hospital, August 
31, 1906. He came by transfer from the Bloomingdale Hospital 
where he had been for some time. In brief the history of the case 
taken from commitment papers was as follows: In infancy the 
patient sustained a severe fall on the head, but without apparent 
injury. In childhood he was subject to violent fits of temper. He 
would strike his head against the wall when angry and is supposed to 
have had some fainting attacks when frightened. At an early age 
he was employed in a factory. He resented his vulgar surroundings 
and blamed his relatives for permitting him to work there. He 
entered college at sixteen and worked his way through. He stood 
well in his classes, but was not popular with his classmates. He 
often quarreled with them and assumed a high moral plane. He 



refused to accompany them on frolics because he would not visit 
common places. He graduated in 1898 and then took up school 
teaching. Here, too, he did not seem to get along well with his 
principal and other teachers. He was disappointed at not being 
promoted to teach a higher grade and suspected that there was a 
conspiracy against him. He imagined that the principal and other 
teachers were trying to work up a "badger game" on him to the 
effect that he had had some immoral relations with his girl pupils. 
As a result of these delusions he would not permit his girl pupils to 
come near him in the school room. In 1903 he married, after a 
hasty courtship, and soon thereafter he took a strong dislike to his 
brother-in-law and sister and accused them of immorality. He also 
accused his wife of illicit relations with his brother and his brother-in- 
law, Mr. S. These erotic delusions, in conjunction with many other 
delusions of self -reference and persecution, became very active. The 
patient threatened to shoot his imaginary persecutors, so that it 
became necessary to commit him to Bloomingdale Hospital. There 
he remained from March, 1906, to June, 1906, when he was taken 
home on a trial visit, but as he soon began to react to his delusions 
and became excited and threatening, he was returned to the hospital 
after two days. One of his peculiar delusions at that time was that 
Dr. D., the physician in charge, was his wife in disguise. 

When he was brought to the Central Islip State Hospital he was 
quite calm and natural in his conversation. As we had been class- 
mates at college we were both pleased and sorry to meet under the 
circumstances. He spoke freely about his condition, but he denied, 
or tried to explain away his many delusions. Without entering into 
the details of his behavior during the four months he was under 
my care, I will merely state that he presented a typical case of paran- 
oia. Mr. S., his brother-in-law, was the arch conspirator against him. 
He accused him of immoral relations with his wife and his mother 
and Mrs. S., i.e., patient's sister. He often imagined that I was his 
wife in disguise and on a number of occasions he also accused his 
brother of being his wife in disguise. The following notes taken from 
the patient's history nicely illustrate that point: "On Sept. 6, 1906,. 
while speaking to me, he said: 'Suppose I should tell you that my 
brother who visited me last Saturday and Doctor Brill were both 

Mrs. R. (wife) in disguise Doctor may I ask you a 

frank question?' When told to do so he said, 'Did you really have 


an interview with me last Sunday or is it only another case of Doctor 
Jekyl and Mr. Hyde? You don't look to-day as you looked then. 
You had all the feminine traits of Mrs. R. ; to-day you are severe and 
look like yourself.'" 

He also imagined that some women made signs to him and were in 
the hospital for the purpose of liberating him. Whenever he heard 
anybody talking he immediately referred it to himself. He inter- 
preted every movement and expression as having some special mean- 
ing for himself. There was no impairment of his orientation or 
reasoning power. Contrary to the advice of the physicians he was 
discharged December 11, 1906. 

It will hardly be worth while to enter into the further 
particulars of the symptomatology of this case. I will 
simply relate the following facts: In the summer of 1908 
the patient was returned to Bellevue Hospital by his own 
family because he was very delusional and because they 
considered him dangerous. After having been there over 
three months and after a long trial before a jury in the 
Supreme court where five physicians, including myself, 
had testified that he was a dangerous paranoiac, he was 
declared sane and congratulated by the Supreme Court 
justice and the jury on his able management of his own 
case. He did not wait for his official discharge from the 
psychopathic ward of Bellevue Hospital, but escaped to 
Canada. His psychosis was apparently progressing for 
every now and then he would send mysterious letters to 
different persons in New York City. At that time one of 
his delusions was that he was a great statesman and that 
the United States government had appointed him am- 
bassador, but that the "gang" in New York City had 
someone without ability to impersonate him so that he 
lost his appointment. This led him to send many letters 
to the State Department at Washington. On one occa- 


sion he appeared there and made an unsuccessful attempt 
to see the President's daughter. He was arrested by the 
secret service men and returned to New York, but again a 
judge allowed him to remain at large. He immediately 
returned to Canada and continued to annoy the Canadian 
government with all kinds of crazy letters. The Canadian 
government was quicker than a New York Supreme Court 
jury to recognize a lunatic, for he was arrested, declared 
insane and deported to the United States as an undesirable 
alien. He was again brought to the psychopathic ward 
in Bellevue where I had occasion to examine him. He 
expressed his former delusions, but they were more 
systematized and complicated. He showed considerable 
mental deterioration, so that he was unable to hide his 
delusions. He thought that the daughter of the President 
of the United States came to visit him in the hospital and 
he spoke quite freely about it. Indeed, the psychosis was 
so apparent that he was soon adjudged insane and com- 
mitted to the Manhattan State Hospital. 

The characteristic development, the delusions of perse- 
cution, the erotomania (girl pupils, President's daughter, 
and many women who came to set him free from the 
Central Islip State Hospital) and the delusions of grandeur 
(statesman, ambassador) present a typical picture of a 
paranoid condition. 

■ I have not seen the patient for more than two years, but 
I am quite sure that very little new light has been thrown 
on the case since then. Now I do not expect to clear up 
all the obscure points in this case. All I hope to do is to 
demonstrate thereby certain mechanisms brought out by 
Freud in his psychanalytical remarks on a Case of Paranoia 1 


and at the same time to give a rather full review of Freud's 
paper in order to stimulate further interest in this subject. 

According to Freud the paranoiac character lies in the 
fact that as a reaction to a defense against a homosexual 
wish-phantasy there results a delusion of persecution. 
This conclusion has been reached not only by Freud, but 
also by Jung, Ferenczi, 2 and Maeder, 3 after having ob- 
served for years a number of cases of paranoia in men and 
women of different races, callings and social positions. 
This statement may seem strange on superficial considera- 
tion, as it is generally known that the etiological factors 
usually found in paranoia deal rather more with social 
injuries and depreciations than with matters sexual, but 
if we trace the social relations and at the same time bear 
in mind Freud's idea of sexuality we find that they invari- 
ably lead to unconscious homosexual wish-phantasies. 

Studies made by Freud 4 and Sadger 5 have called 
attention to a stage in the history of the development of 
the libido which is passed on the way from autoerotism to 
object love. This stage has been designated as narcism 
and consists in the fact that the developing individual, 
while collecting into a unit his active autoerotic sexual 
impulses in order to gain a love object, takes first himself, 
his own body, as the object love, before going over to the 
object selection of a strange person. This intermediate 
phase between autoerotism and object love is normally 
perhaps indispensable, and in a great many persons it lasts 
for a long time. The genitals may then be the chief thing 
in this self which is taken as the love object. The re- 
maining road may lead to the choice of an object with 
similar genitals and then from the homosexual object 


selection to the heterosexual. It is assumed that those 
who remained homosexual were unable to free themselves 
from the desire of requiring genitals similar to their own 
in the object love. This desire is also furthered by the 
infantile sexual theories which adjudge the penis to both 
sexes. In the normal course of development where the 
heterosexual object selection has been attained the homo- 
sexual feelings are not necessarily abrogated or suspended, 
but they are simply pushed away from the sexual aim and 
directed to new uses. They help in the formation of those 
components which constitute the social feelings and thus 
contribute to the maintenance of friendship, camaraderie 
and public spirit. This is the so-called process of subli- 
mation. All the manifest homosexuals who resist their 
sensual feeling take an unusual interest in human affairs. 
In his "Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory," 
Freud states that every stage of development of the psycho- 
sexuality offers a possibility for "fixation" which may 
thus result in a type of character. Persons who do not 
get away altogether from the stage of narcism, who are 
fixed there on some point which may act as a morbid dis- 
position, are exposed to the danger lest a high tide of 
libido, finding no other outlet, might subject their social 
feelings to a sexualization and thus cause a retrogression 
of their sublimation which was acquired during the 
development. Such a state may come about by anything 
that produces a backward coursing of the libido (regres- 
sion). It may be brought about by a collateral reinforce- 
ment through a disappointment in the woman, or through 
a failure in social relations to the man, or through a 
general increase in libido which becomes too violent to be 


discharged by the roads open to it and hence breaks the 
dam at the weakest portion of the structure. As analysis 
shows that paranoiacs endeavor to defend themselves 
against such a sexualization of their social feelings, the 
assumption forces itself that the weak part of their 
development is to be found in the parts between autoerot- 
ism, narcism and homosexuality. It is there that their 
morbid disposition lies. When we read the personal his- 
tory of E. R. we find the following passages: "At an early 
age he was employed in a factory. He resented the vulgar 
surroundings and blamed his relatives for permitting him 
to work there. At sixteen years of age he decided to 
enter college and he worked his way through. He worked 
hard and stood well in the class. He quarreled with 
classmates and assumed a high moral plane. He would 
not visit common places when friends went on a 
frolic, etc." 

In other words, there seems to have been some fixation 
at the phases of autoerotism and narcism, and a failure of 
sublimation of his homosexual component. I well remem- 
ber how shut in and seclusive he was while at college. 
During the noon recess when the students would chat 
together in small groups he could be seen standing alone 
near some wall. As far as I know he did not have a single 
friend. From his history we gather that the psychosis 
became manifest as soon as he began teaching school, i.e., 
as soon as an adjustment to environment was necessary. 
For adjustment to environments is nothing but a reaction 
to social stimuli. It is nothing but a give and take of 
libido. Here no transference was possible because his 
sublimation was made retrogressive and all his social 


feelings were sexualized. The reaction against his 
unconscious homosexual wish-phantasy caused him to 
think that he was slighted by his principal and the other 
teachers. In his own words — " they were trying to work 
up a badger game" on him. The normal relations be- 
tween teacher and pupil became impossible. He would 
not permit his girl pupils to come near him because he 
thought they had some designs on him. This simply 
means that he previously entertained some sexual ideas 
about them or they probably represented a fixation from 
an early age. 

In 1903 he married after a short courtship. He soon 
began to accuse his wife of infidelity with his brother and 
brother-in-law, Mr. S. He also accused Mr. S. of improper 
relations with his own wife (patient's sister) and a few 
years later he also accused him of improper relations with 
his mother. S. was the arch conspirator and his brother 
who was also one of the conspirators was under S.'s influ- 
ence. There was apparently a conflict between his con- 
scious heterosexuality and his unconscious homosexuality. 
For a time his heterosexuality triumphed and he married 
after a short courtship, but the unconscious homosexu- 
ality gained the upper hand and he then began to accuse 
his wife of infidelity with those men whom he himself 
unconsciously loved, i.e., he projected his homosexuality 
to his wife. 

But 6 when we accept the homosexual wish-phantasy to* 
love the man as the nucleus of the conflict in paranoia of 
men, we at once find that it is contradicted by all the 
familiar principal forms of paranoia. Thus the sentence 
"I love him" (the man) is contradicted by the delusion. 


of persecution which loudly proclaims "I do not love him 
— I rather hate him." However, the mechanism of the 
symptom formation in paranoia demands that the inner 
perception, the feeling, should be replaced by a perception 
from without. The sentence "I rather hate him" there- 
fore becomes transformed through projection into the 
sentence "he hates (persecutes) me which justifies my 
hating him." The active unconscious feeling thus 
appears as a result of an outer perception "I really do 
not love him — I hate him — because he persecutes me." 

Observation leaves no doubt that the persecutor was 
once loved and respected. One of my paranoid patients, 
D. S., talked about his arch conspirator Healy as follows: 
"I wanted him to take off all the influences, but he would 

not do it I had all sorts of pains around the 

heart and I thought I would die. I felt like dropping. I 
had lots of night losses. I was always drawn to him. I 
couldn't keep away from him." (Note the association 
between night losses and being drawn to him.) 

Another point of attack for the contradiction is the 
erotomania which maintains "I do not love him — I love 
them." (E. R. always maintained that many ladies came 
to help him and that the president's daughter was in love 
with him, etc.). But the same impulsion to projection 
changes the sentence into "I notice that they love me." 
We then have "I do not love him — I love her — because 
she loves me." Many cases of erotomania could give the 
impression of exaggerated or distorted heterosexual fixa- 
tion if we were not aware of the fact that all these loves 
do not start with inner perceptions of loving, but are feel- 
ings of being loved coming from without. Thus R., a stage 


hand who was committed to the Central Islip Hospital 
because he imagined that a certain well-known actress 
was in love with him and who annoyed her with his atten- 
tions, excused himself by saying that he was sure she loved 
him. Otherwise, he said, he would not have forced his 
attention on her. He was, however, unable to mention a 
single instance to justify his statement. 

The third contradiction would be the delusions of 
jealousy which were also present in our patient. 

In the delusions of jealousy of alcoholics we fully under- 
stand the part played by alcohol. It removes inhibitions 
and causes a regression of sublimation. In vino Veritas. 
The man is often driven to drink through disappointment 
in the woman, which usually means he goes to the saloon 
or club in the company of men who give him the emotional 
gratification which he misses at home. But as soon as the 
men become objects of a stronger libidinous occupation 
in his unconscious he defends himself through a third 
form of contradiction " Not I love the man — she loves him" 
and he then suspects his wife with all the men he attempted 
to love. In our patient, who is a total abstainer, the alcohol 
naturally played no part. 

One may now think that the three links of a sentence 
"I love him" would only admit three forms of contra- 
diction, viz., the delusions of jealousy contradict the sub- 
ject; the delusions of persecutions, the verb, and the 
erotomania, the object. However, there is still a fourth 
form of contradiction forming the total rejection of the 
whole sentence. The sentence reads: I do not love at all, 
and hence I love nobody, and as the libido must be some- 
where the sentence is psychologically equivalent to the 


sentence: "I only love myself." This form of contra- 
diction results in the delusion of grandeur which we conceive 
as a sexual overestimation of one's own ego and which can 
be put side by side with the familiar overestimation of 
the love object. 7 In our patient that manifests itself in 
his delusions of being an ambassador and many similar 

We can now understand some of the patient's delusions. 
Mr. S., his brother-in-law, was at first one of his best 
friends. The unconscious homosexual transference went 
too far and in his defense against it, the projection mechan- 
ism turns S. into a persecutor. What are the contents of 
the persecution? The patient answers this as follows: 
"He is trying to ruin my home and my own immediate 

family, that is my wife and sister he is not 

a good man I accuse him of improper relations 

with my sister (that is, his own wife). (Taken from hos- 
pital records.) 

I could not elicit from the patient what these improper 
relations were. Whenever I broached the subject he 
became excited, but uncommunicative. On a number of 
occasions, however, he directly accused Mr. S. of being a 
pervert and a degenerate. That points to the fact that 
the improper relations were of that nature, for what other 
relations between husband and wife could be considered 

I here call your attention to a very important psycho- 
logical mechanism, the mechanism of identification. 
Freuds tells us that the identification mechanism enables 
the patients to represent in their symptoms the experience 

of a great number of persons. They can suffer, as it were, 


for a whole mass of people and impersonate all the parts 
of a drama by means of their individual resources. It is 
not the simple hysterical imitation, but an unconscious 
mechanism. It is a sympathy based upon the same etologi- 
cal claims. It expresses an "as though" and refers to 
something common which has remained in the unconscious. 
In hysteria we know identification is most often used to 
express sexual community. Hysterics identify themselves 
most easily with persons with whom they -had real or 
imaginary sexual relations or with those who had sexual 
relations with the same person. 8 Bearing in mind this 
mechanism we must conclude that the three persons 
suspected of sexual relations with S. must have some 
community to the patient. This, of course, is not difficult 
to divine. We all know that mother, sister, and wife are 
often identified even in the normal. 9 He was once in love 
with all of them, but as they could not gratify him, he 
unconsciously turned to homosexuality, to S. However, 
as he had suppressed the unconscious homosexual wish 
feeling for S., he then consciously perceived that not he 
loves S, but they love him. In other words, an inner 
perception was suppressed and as a substitute its con- 
tent came to consciousness as an outer perception after it 
had been subjected to disfigurement. This is the mechan- 
ism of projection. This identification could also be found 
in his other delusions as the psychosis continued to prog- 
ress. While in the Bloomingdale Hospital he imagined 
that Dr. D. was his wife in disguise. In the Central Islip 
Hospital he imagined that I was his wife in disguise. One 
incident in particular illustrates this point. On one 
occasion I made my night rounds at 11.30 o'clock, rather 


later than usual. He detained me for some time with 
many irrelevant questions. The next morning the super- 
visor brought me a letter which he wrote to his wife in 
which there was the following passage, "I am very sorry 
for having been so rude last night, but it was not my fault. 
Why did you appear disguised as Dr. Brill in a strange 
uniform? Why can't you come to me in your own sweet 
form?" Why did he think that the doctors were his wife 
in disguise? This question is very simple when we think 
of the mechanism of transference in reference to doctor 
and patient, with which I hope all my readers are familiar. 10 
From my own experience with our patient I know that the 
transference first took the same course as in any neurosis, 
but as the patient defended himself against this homosex- 
ual wish-phantasy, he at first identified the doctor with 
his wife and then the idea was " I do not love him, but her. 
It is not Dr. D. or Dr. Brill. It is my wife." But as the 
psychosis progressed it was then transformed into the 
idea "I do not love him — I rather hate him because he 
persecutes me," which actually turned out to be the case. 
After the patient was recommitted to Bellevue Hospital 
he told me that I was one of the " gang." I was no longer 
his wife in disguise, but his enemy. The distortion that 
took place in the projection mechanism was an emotional 
transformation. What should have been perceived as 
love subjectively was perceived as hatred objectively. 

But as the mechanism of projection does not play 
the same part in all forms of paranoia and as it is also 
found in other psychic occurrences such as in the normal 
we cannot consider it the most essential and pathog- 
nomonic element of paranoia. Let us therefore tern- 


porarily leave the study of projection and with it the 
mechanism of the paranoic symptom formation and turn 
our attention to the form of repression which is more 
intimately connected with the development of the libido 
and its contained disposition than with the form of the 
symptom formation. 

A more thorough examination shows that the process 
of repression can be divided into three phases. The first 
phase consists in fixation which is the forerunner and the 
determination of every repression. The fact of fixation 
may be expressed by stating that an impulse or part 
thereof does not experience what may be regarded as nor- 
mal development andconsequently remains in an infantile 
stage. Its libidinous emanation behaves toward the later 
psychic formations as if it belonged to the system of the 
unconscious, or as if it were repressed. Such fixation of 
the impulses may already contain the disposition for the 
later disease and above all the determinations for the failure 
of the third phase of the repression. 

The second phase of the repression is the actual repres- 
sion which we have hitherto had in mind. It emanates 
from the more highly developed conscious systems of the 
ego and may be designated as an "after repression." It 
gives the impression of a real active process, whereas the 
fixation is represented as a passive backwardness. Re- 
pression affects either the psychic descendants of those 
primary impulses which have remained backward if by 
virtue of their enforcement they come into conflict with 
the ego (or with its proper impulses) or with such psychic 
feelings against which there is a strong antipathy for other 
reasons. This aversion, however, would not result in 


repression if there should not already exist some connection 
between the repugnant strivings to be repressed and those 
already repressed. 

The third phase is the failure of the repression, the break- 
ing through, or the return of the repression. This break- 
ing through results from the point of fixation and mani- 
fests a regression of the development of the libido up to 
this point. It stands to reason that there may be as many 
fixations as there are stages of development of the libido. 

It is impossible to demonstrate these minute mechan- 
isms in our patient. As I said above, I have not seen 
him for years, so that I am unable to tell what has taken 
place since then. In his profound analysis of the case of 
Schreber, Freud shows that even after the patient returned 
to society and found that he was mistaken in his idea that 
the world came to an end, he was nevertheless certain 
that the world had come to an end while he was sick and 
what he now saw before him was not really the same 
world. Such transformations of the world are quite 
common in paranoia. I know a number of paranoiacs 
who went through a stormy period lasting for years, but 
who now live contentedly, as if in another world. They 
do not care for anything, as nothing is real to them. They 
have withdrawn their sum of libido from the persons of 
their environment and the outer world. The end of the 
world is the projection of this internal catastrophe. 
Their subjective world came to an end since they withdrew 
their love from it. By a secondary rationalization the 
patients then explain whatever obtrudes itself upon them 
as something intangible and fit it in with their own 
system. Thus one of my paranoid patients who considers 


himself a sort of Messiah denies the reality of his own 
parents by saying that they are only shadows made by 
his enemy, the devil, whom he has not yet entirely sub- 
dued. Another paranoiac, in the Central Islip State 
Hospital, who represented himself a second Christ, 
spends most of his time sewing out on cloth crude 
scenes containing many buildings interspersed with 
pictures of the doctors. He explained all this very 
minutely as the new world system, and although he 
labeled the doctors with their proper names he neverthe- 
less maintained that they were other persons concerning 
whom he knew much that could not be told. Thus the 
paranoiac builds up again with his delusions a new world 
in which he can live. The delusional formations which 
we take up as the morbid productions are, in reality, a 
curative attempt, a reconstruction as it were. The 
patient usually succeeds in accomplishing this after the 
catastrophe, and in this way he regains his relations to 
the persons and things of this world. Hence the process 
of repression consists in a withdrawal of the libido from 
persons and things that were previously loved. This is 
brought about mutely and without our knowledge. 
What we perceive as the disturbance is really the curative 
process, which makes the repression retrogressive and 
reconducts the libido to the persons it originally left. It 
is brought about in paranoia by way of projection. It 
was therefore incorrect to say that the inner suppressed 
feelings are outwardly projected. It is better to say that 
what was inwardly suspended returns from without. 

However, 11 a withdrawal of libido is not an exclusive 
occurrence in paranoia, nor does its occurrence anywhere 


necessarily follow by disastrous consequences. Indeed, 
in normal life, there is a constant withdrawal of libido 
from persons and objects without resulting in paranoia or 
other neuroses. It merely causes a special psychic mood. 
The withdrawal of libido as such cannot therefore be 
considered as pathogenic of paranoia. It requires a 
special character to distinguish the paranoiac withdrawal 
of libido from other kinds of the same process. This is 
readily found when we follow the further utilization of the 
libido thus withdrawn. Normally we immediately seek 
a substitute for the suspended attachment and until one 
is found the libido floats freely in the psyche and causes 
tensions which influence our moods. In hysteria the 
freed sum of libido becomes transformed into bodily 
innervations or fear. Clinical indications teach us that 
in paranoia a special use is made of the libido which is 
withdrawn from the object. We know that most cases 
of paranoia evince delusions of grandeur and that the 
delusions of grandeur may themselves constitute a paran- 
oia. From this we conclude that the freed libido in 
paranoia is thrown back on the ego and serves to magnify 
it. Thus it again reaches to the familiar stage of narcism 
from the development of the libido in which one's own 
ego was the only sexual object. "It is this clinical fact 
that teaches us that paranoiacs have brought along a 
fixation in narcism and we therefore assert that the return 
from the sublimated homosexuality to narcism furnishes the 
sum of regression which is characteristic for paranoia." 12 
The near relations between paranoia and dementia 
prsecox are as follows: Paranoia is to be considered an 
independent clinical type notwithstanding the fact that 


it is complicated by schizophrenic features. Considered 
under the guise of the libido-theory it is distinguished 
from dementia praecox by another localization of the pre- 
disposed fixation and by another mechanism of the return 
(symptom formation). The principal character of the 
actual repression — the removal of the libido and regression 
to the ego — is common to both. Abraham has thoroughly 
demonstrated that the character of the withdrawal of 
the libido from the other world is especially clear. From 
this character we infer that the repression is brought 
about by the withdrawal of libido. The phase of active 
hallucinations is to be conceived as a struggle between the 
repression and the effort toward a cure which is to bring 
back the libido to its object. But this striving toward 
adjustment does not make use of the mechanism of 
projection as in paranoia, but of the (hysterical) hallucina- 
tory mechanism. This shows one of its marked differ- 
entiations from paranoia. The other differentiation is 
to be found in the termination of dementia prsecox. In 
general the outcome in the latter is more unfavorable 
than in paranoia. The victory does not remain in the 
reconstruction, as in paranoia, but in the repression. 
The regression not only goes as far as narcism and mani- 
fests itself as delusions of grandeur, but it proceeds to the 
complete abandonment of the object love and returns to 
the infantile autoerotism. The predisposed fixation 
therefore must lie further back than the one in paranoia. 
It must exist in the beginning of development, striving 
from autoerotism to object love. Like so many others 
Freud considers the term dementia prsecox awkward. He 
also objects to Bleuler's designation of Schizophrenia. 


He contends that the latter term appears right only when 
one does not think of its verbal significance and that it is 
too prejudicial inasmuch as it makes use of a theoretically 
postulated character which does not belong exclusively 
to the affection and, in the light of other views cannot be 
considered as the essential one. He proposes the name 
paraphrenia, the indefinite content of which expresses its 
relation to paranoia and hebephrenia. 


1. Jahrbuch fur Psychoanalytische u. Psychopathologische Forsch- 
ungen, Bleuler-Freud, Vol. III. 

2. Ueber die Rolle der Homosexualitat in der Pathogenese der 
Paranoia, I. c, p. 101; also, Reizung der Analen erogenen Zonen als 
auslosende Ursache der Paranoia, Zentralblatt fur Psychoanalyse, 
August, 1911. 

3. Psychologische Untersuchungen an Dementia Prsecox, I. c, 
Vol. II, 1910. Similar conclusions have been reached by K. Abraham, 
in reference to Dementia prsecox: Die psychosexuellen Differenzen 
der Hysterie und der Dementia Prsecox, Zentralblatt fur Nervenheil- 
kunde und Psychiatrie, July, 1908. 

4. Eine Kindheitserrinerung des Leonardo da Vinci. Schriften zur 
angewandten Seelenkunde, 1910, No. 7. 

5. Ein Fall von multipler Perversion mit hysterischen Obszenen, 
Jarbuch fur Psychoanalytische und Psychopathologische Forschungen, 
II, 1910. 

6. Paraphrased from Freud, I. c. 

7. Cf. Abraham and Maeder, I. c. 

8. The Interpretation of Dreams, p. 126. The Macmillan Co., 
New York. 

9. Cf. Chap. IX. 

10. Cf. Ferenczi: Introjection und Ubertragung, Jahrbuch fur 
Psychoanal. und Psychopatholog. Forschungen, 1910, Vol. I; also 
Jones: The Action of Suggestion in Psychotherapy, Journal of 
Abnormal Psychology, Dec, 1910. 

11. Paraphrased from Freud, I. c. 

12. Freud: L. c, p. 64. 



Freud's Conception of Consciousness, Unconscious and 


"Men's little ways are usually more interesting and] often more 
instructive than their grand manners. When they are off guard they 
frequently show to better advantage than when they are on parade." 
— Dr. Henry Van Dyke. 

In my discussion of the dream and the psychoneurotic 

mechanisms I have attempted to show that they are the 

result of psychic streams of contrary tendencies, each 

striving for expression, the ultimate outcome of which 

is a compromise between the two. Each has to make 

concessions, thus meeting each other half way and the 

result of this mutual accommodation is then a dream or 

a psychoneurotic symptom which represents the fulfilment 

of a wish. These mechanisms are not conscious, but 

rather unconscious processes. Unconscious, according to 

Freud, are all those psychic manifestations of which the 

person is unconscious. He actually does not discover 

them and they can only be brought to the surface by 

analysis. The unconscious is made up of the repressed 

material, that is, it consists of the sum total of those 

psychic processes which have been relegated to the depths 

of the unconscious from the very beginning of childhood. 

Thus all the primitive impulses that have been curbed and 



inhibited with the development of the individual are in 
a state of repression. They form points of crystalization 
for the later repressions which mainly consist of erotic 
material. The later experiences are naturally not sub- 
jected to the same amount of repression as the earlier 
and more primitive ones, hence some of them may remain 
in what Freud calls the foreconscious. As shown above 
the dream is the function of two separate systems. One 
subjects the activity of the other to a critique which 
results in an exclusion from consciousness. The criti- 
cizing system is in closer relation with consciousness than 
the one criticized. The former, the foreconscious, stands 
like a screen between the unconscious and consciousness. 
Both are unconscious in the psychological sense, but the 
unconscious is incapable of consciousness, while the 
foreconscious can reach consciousness after it fulfils 
certain conditions regarding censorship. It is the latter 
that directs our waking life and determines our voluntary 
conscious actions. Consciousness, as such, plays a very 
small part and is conceived by Freud as a sensory organ 
for the perception of psychic qualities. The repressed 
material or the unconscious consists of wishes which are 
always active and reach for expression whenever they have 
an opportunity to unite with an emotion from conscious 
life. They thus determine all our actions, and our 
character is mainly based on memory traces of those 
impressions that have influenced us most strongly — those 
of our early youth which almost never become conscious. 
As we pointed out above the later repressions are made 
up of thoughts that are painful and intolerable which are 
intentionally crowded out of consciousness. The individ- 


ual intentionally strives to forget them and he manifestly 
succeeds. This is a protective mechanism for the good 
of the organism, for what would happen to us if we were 
always confronted by the numberless painful and dis- 
agreeable incidents of life? However, what we imagine 
to be forgotten remains in the unconscious in a repressed 
state and forms a complex. The complex remains in an 
inert state until incited by some association. Thus, an 
elderly woman experiences a feeling of uneasiness when- 
ever she by chance sees a red-haired person. She is 
unable to account for it, and of late it has especially 
annoyed her because one of the members of her club 
happens to be of the Titian type. Analysis showed that 
forty-eight years ago she had a very unpleasant experience 
with a red-haired schoolmate. She was not at all cogni- 
zant of this incident each time she felt that "sense of 
uneasiness" and was wont to attribute it to the popular 
prejudice. But as she considers herself above such 
prejudice she could not understand her rude manners 
toward the woman of the Titian type. It was only after 
a lengthy analysis, after all the resistances were broken, 
that the original incident became conscious to her. 

These resistances are always active and only during 
sleep do they partially slacken. It is then that the 
repressed material comes to the surface in the form of 
dreams, but as the resistances never lose their full power, 
they distort everything that passes them to such an 
extent that the dreamer cannot recognize his repressed 
thoughts or his unattainable wishes. But it is not only in 
the abnormal states and in the dream that the repression 
fulfils wishes. We find that the same influences are 


also evinced in our waking states in psychopathological 
actions of every-day life. 

By psychopathological actions we understand those 
incorrect psychic activities which the individual daily 
performs, but of which he is not conscious at the time 
being. Among these different manifestations may be 
mentioned lapses of memory, of talking, writing, mis- 
takes, etc. 1 

Among the lapses of memory we may have the common 
occurrences of forgetting names, of forgetting words in 
poetry or foreign words. In all these cases we must first 
assume that the person in question does not suffer from 
any nervous or mental affection producing qualitative or 
quantitative memory disturbances and that the things 
forgotten have once been well known. Everyone is 
familiar with the feeling of being unable to recall a name 
or a word. We think of a person whose name we knew 
well, but try as hard as we may the name cannot be 
recalled. We see the person in our mind's eye. We 
think of hundreds of incidents and associations connected 
with him, but despite that his name cannot be recalled. 
Often other names occur to us which we immediately 
recognize as false, yet they persist in thrusting themselves 
into our minds. This may continue for hours or days 
until the correct name comes unexpectedly or we ask some- 
one for it. We never think of the cause of our forgetting 
because it is so self-evident nor do we try to find why we 
suddenly recalled this long-sought-for name or word. 

Freud tells us that the reason for this forgetting is, in 
many cases, due to its direct or indirect association with 
something repressed — that is, something disagreeable 


or painful. This has been fully confirmed by such observ- 
ers as Bleuler, Jung, Riklin, Maeder and Jones. Person- 
ally I can state that in every case amenable to analysis 
I could corroborate Freud's observation. The following 
examples will serve as illustrations: 


(a) A young newspaper man to whom I explained 
Freud's ideas concerning the forgetting of names insisted 
that this could not be true and to prove his assertion he 
related the following incident: 

"My friend Jack left the city recently and the other day I wrote 
him a letter. On addressing the envelope I failed to remember his 
surname. I began with 'Jack* and for the life of me I could not 
proceed. After at least five minutes thinking I finally recalled that 
his surname was Murphy. Now as he is my best friend I fail to see 
the disagreeable or painful connection." I then proceeded to analyze 
it by the "continuous association" method. I asked him to concen- 
trate his mind on the word Murphy and tell me all the associations it 
evoked. He produced the following: "Murphy recalls my friend 
Jack. We went to school together and have been friends since." 
He then continued to give a number of incidents connected with their 
School life, all of which were of a rather pleasant nature and added: 
"You see, I could talk about Jack and myself for hours." Asked 
whether he knew any other Murphy he was at first pretty sure that 
he did not, but he soon recalled his friend's brother for whom he 
entertained great regard. After awhile he recalled another Murphy, 
Mr. Murphy, of Tammany fame. He dislikes Tammany Hall and 
its leader " as every good Republican does, but that is no reason for 
forgetting Jack's name." He then continued to associate freely from 
one idea to another until he suddenly broke into laughter and then 
remarked: "It is funny that I did not think of it before. I now 
remember another Murphy, a newspaper man whom I know very 
well." Asked to tell something about him he said:" This is the 
only man I hate" and then delivered a long tirade against this Mr* 


We can now understand why he could not recall his 
friend's name. The name Murphy was under repression 
because it represented a person whom he hated. His 
own friend's name was also Murphy, but to him it was 
always Jack. He always called him Jack and in his mind 
it was Jack and not Murphy. He never corresponded 
with him before. This was the first time he was obliged 
to use Jack's surname. He could not recall it (1) because 
it was directly connected with something unpleasant to 
him and (2) he could not resign himself to give Jack the 
name of the man he hated. 

The last mechanism is often observed in such slips of 
the tongue as the following: While conversing Mrs. S., 
inquiring about a mutual friend, said: "How is Mrs. 
Brown?" She was immediately corrected by a "You 
mean Mrs. Blank" to which she replied "Yes, Mrs. 
Blank. I made a mistake." There was only one reason, 
I thought, why she called Mrs. Blank by her maiden name 
which was Brown and to test my theory I said: "What 
is wrong with Mr. Blank?" She thoughtlessly answered 
"Oh, I don't like him," and then becoming conscious of 
what she said she showed her embarrassment by blushing, 
but she added consciously "I never liked him; I am sorry 
she married him." 

Here the mistake showed her dislike for Mr. Blank. 
The repression fulfills her wish in not recognizing the 
marriage by continuing to use the maiden name. It is 
of quite different significance, however, if the lady herself 
continues to use her maiden name after marriage. Freud 
mentions the case of a lady who years before her divorce 
continued to use her maiden name in signing documents, etc. 


(6) While reading one day the text recalled to me a case 
which I had published years before. I desired to make a 
marginal note to that effect when I suddenly found that 
I could not recall the name of my patient. This patient 
was under my personal care for months and the features 
ot the case were such that I had daily spent hours with 
him, so that it was the more remarkable that I could not 
recall the name. As usual I made a great effort to recall 
it and it was only after some time that I thought of Freud's 
theories and decided to test them by analyzing this lapse 
of memory. The case had presented so many unusual 
and interesting aspects that I was advised to publish it. 
After a painstaking preparation I was ready to send it to 
the publisher when I was informed that my senior had 
decided to read a paper on this very subject before a 
medical society and that I was to have this paper ready for 
him on a certain date. My feelings on hearing this can 
readily be imagined. The thought of having labored for 
days and of some one else getting the credit for it caused me 
indignation and depression. My colleagues sympathized 
with me, but all they could do was to make merry over it. 
This continued until the day before the meeting when I 
was informed that owing to unforseen circumstances I 
was to attend this meeting myself and read the paper. 
I read this paper as directed, but very few of the members 
knew the true circumstances of the matter. Most of them 
thought that I was merely sent to read the paper. The 
reports of the meeting as given in the different medical 
journals gave the name of my senior as the reader of the 
paper. The reader will pardon my indulging in person- 
alities. It is indispensable in psychanalysis and here it 


serves to show the marked displeasure and pain which 
caused the repression. 

When one attempts to follow Freud's method of "free 
association" he soon finds himself in a maze. The longer 
he proceeds the more complicated the problem seems to 
become and to the inexperienced it appears like an endless 
confusion. Now and then our thoughts, as it were, stop. 
We call this an " obstruction" or a " blocking" and experi- 
ence teaches us that this phenomenon generally accom- 
panies or precedes some important complex. In analyz- 
ing psychoneurotic symptoms the patients often stop and 
say " That's all. I cannot think of anything else." After 
considerable urging they finally, perhaps after blushing, 
laughing or stammering, do think of something else. Fre- 
quently the mind makes use of symbolic expressions and 
ambiguous terms which the physician must always be 
alive to. All these are due to the inhibitions of the 
psychic censor against the painful and disagreeable 

On beginning to discover by analysis the name of my 
patient I soon found myself in a very complicated milieu. 
I distinctly saw his features in my mind. I reviewed all 
the circumstances connected with the case and noted all 
my associations. Page after page was filled and time 
flew faster than it seemed. I suddenly found that I had 
spent five hours of assiduous application and filled over 
two dozen pages, but was seemingly as far from getting 
the name as when I first started. Frequently my thoughts 
stopped only to start anew. I was most desirous not only 
of recalling the name, but of testing Freud's theory, as it 
was my first attempt. It would be useless and impossible 



to recall the different associations, but the following will 
suffice to explain the analysis: On seeing the patient in 
my mind's eye the name Appenzeller presented itself to 
me. Appenzeller was one of my patients in the psychiatri- 
cal clinic at Zurich where I was at the time of the analysis. 
There was no resemblance between the two patients except 
that my New York patient was a psychic epileptic and 
Appenzeller suffered from motor epilepsy, yet the latter 
name persistently emerged from the association mass. 
The scenes connected with my New York patient as well 
as numerous other hospital experiences continued to pass 
in a panoramic review. Some were especially persistent 
and vivid, recurring with greater frequency than the others. 
Thus, one scene, an actual occurrence, was especially vivid. 
It recalled a forest fire near the hospital. I stood watch- 
ing the fire with my senior, Dr. Z., who played such a great 
part in the episode, and Dr. X. joined me. Many rabbits 
driven out by the fire were shot. While thus standing 
Dr. Z. turned to a hospital attendant and asked him for 
his shotgun as a rabbit was seen running from the under- 
brush. He waited for the animal to come within range 
and then got ready to fire, remarking: " Let me see whether 
I can get this rabbit." A crack was heard, but the rabbit 
scampered away. Dr X. and I looked at each other 
smilingly, but quickly changed countenance when Dr. Z. 
turned to us and said "My finger slipped on account of 
the rain." This scene persistently recurred from time to 
time, but I attached no more weight to it than to the hun- 
dreds of others. Yet whenever my supply of associations 
seemed to be exhausted and I started over again, the name 
of Appenzeller and this scene continually reappeared. I 


finally tired of the whole process and thought of giving it 
up, but despite my willingness to do so I could not banish 
the numerous scenes from my mind. While thus con- 
templating I again saw the rabbit scene and heard Dr. Z. 
say, "Let me see whether I can get this rabbit," and just 
then the name of the patient suddenly came to me. It 
was "Lapin" which is the French for rabbit. 

It can readily be seen that had I been keen enough it 
would have saved me hours of labor for during the 
analysis this scene occurred twenty-eight times more than 
any other. But owing to my inexperience at the time 
and my intense desire to get the name I overlooked the 
very thing Freud lays so much stress upon — that is, the 
symbolic expressions, etc. This whole rabbit scene 
symbolizes the Lapin episode. Dr. Z. attempted to get 
the rabbit (Lapin) but missed it. To be sure, it must be 
remembered that although I am conversant with French, 
in my mind Lapin was always translated into rabbit 
because I think in English. In fact I distinctly recall 
that I had frequently translated mentally the name Lapin 
into rabbit. If we now bear in mind the French pronuncia- 
tion of Lapin we can understand why Appenzeller con- 
tinued to substitute itself. The first part — Appen — 
phonetically resembles Lapin — Appen, Lapen. Further- 
more, both patients suffered from epilepsy. The case 
clearly shows how a name may be repressed on account 
of a disagreeable experience. 

(c) A colleague who was acquainted with Freud's 
theories asked me to help him recall the name of one of 
his patients whom he treated almost daily for three months 
up to five weeks before he spoke to me. He was thinking 


of him on his way to see me and was surprised to have 
forgotten the name. Analysis gave the following associa- 
tions: "He is a broker who was once well to do. For 
three months he was under my care. I cured him of a 
grave illness. He has not paid me for treatment, though 
he promised long ago to do so. The last time he came 
to see me he wanted me to sign some papers for him which 
I refused to do as I did not care to make any false state- 
ments. Since then I have not heard from him. It now 
occurs to me that the name ends with 'son.'" He then 
gave a number of names ending with "son" all of which 
he recognized as incorrect. Again the patient's ingrati- 
tude. "When I cured him he was grateful. He kept on 
saying that he would never forget what I had done for him 
and that as soon as he returned to business he would pay 
me what he owed me" — sudden blocking — then recalled 
his own ingratitude. He, too, is under obligations to a 
distant relative whom he dislikes, but to whom he owes 
much. He received a letter six weeks before, requesting 
the loan of a sum of money, but after reading it he mislaid 
it and never thought of it again. His relative's name is 
Brown — suddenly recalls his former patient's name 
" Bronson." 

Here the forgetfulness was determined not so much by 
his patient's action as by the disagreeable feeling con- 
nected with his own affair. He was under obligations to 
Mr. Brown. He really should have sent him the money 
requested but "times are bad" and, strange to say, he 
mislaid the letter and never thought of it. In this connec- 
tion it may be mentioned that this is the usual mechanism of 
mislaying. Things which we really value we never mislay. 


(d) A man was urged by his wife to attend a social 
function in which he not only took no interest, but which 
he was sure would actually bore him. Yielding to his 
wife's entreaties he began to take his dress suit from the 
trunk when he suddenly thought of shaving. After 
accomplishing this he returned to the trunk and found 
it locked. Despite a long, earnest search, the key could 
not be found. A locksmith could not be found on Sunday 
evening so that the couple had to send their regrets. On 
having the trunk opened the next morning the lost 
key was found within. The husband had absentmindedly 
dropped the key into the trunk and sprung the lock. He 
assured me that this was wholly unintentional and 
unconscious. It must, however, be borne in mind that 
he did not wish to go. There was a motive, as we see, in 
the mislaying. A lover never misplaces a letter from his 
sweetheart nor does he ever mislay or forget to mail a 
letter written to her. We only mislay what we do not 
want. We are more apt to mislay letters containing 
bills than checks. 

(e) The same mechanism comes into play in the 
missending of letters. One of my patients was corre- 
sponding with a woman to whom he was favorably dis- 
posed. One day he received a letter from her which, on 
opening, he found was meant for another man who was 
also one of her admirers. In this letter she refused a 
proposal made by the latter. The mistake served to 
show my patient that he was not her only admirer and 
thus stirred him to greater activities. At the same time 
it showed the other fellow why he was rejected as the 


letter which he received and which was meant for my 
patient was a very amorous epistle. 


(a) While absorbed in reading S. interrupted himself, 
opened a box containing numerous books, pamphlets and 
papers and began to rummage through them. He soon 
stopped, however, not knowing what he was looking for. 
He was sure that he wanted something from the box, 
but he could not recall what it was. He looked over 
many things, but did not recognize what he wanted. On 
trying to recall the motive for opening the box he was 
attracted by the open book which he left on the table 
and then thought that there must have been something 
in what he was just reading which caused him to open the 
box. With this in view he began to re-read the page and 
plainly recalled its contents as far as he had read, the last 
sentence being, "We feel more than we know." It was 
while thinking of this sentence that he stopped and 
opened the box. On freely associating to this last sen- 
tence he obtained the following: "We feel more than we 
can ever know. I feel that I ought to marry, but I do 
not know whether I really should. I used to feel that my 
fiancee did not really love me, but, as a matter of fact, I 
was not sure of it. I worried much over it, but it was 
merely a lover's doubt. I am now sure of her love. She 
wants to marry as soon as I return and wishes to have an 
elaborate church wedding which I dislike. But perhaps 
that will not come to pass. Something might happen. I 
have recently read of the stormy seas. An accident 
might happen to me while crossing the ocean," (feeling of 


fear and jealousy) and the thought "after all I may 
also be a specter bridegroom" suddenly recalled that 
he had been looking for Washington Irving's "Sketch 

This incident occurred while S. was abroad and his 
fiancee was in the United States. While abroad he was 
asked to translate for a foreign periodical a short story 
from English literature and he selected the Specter 
Bridegroom from Washington Irving' s "Sketch Book." 
The day before the incident recounted above he had 
received a letter from the editor of the Revue telling him 
that under separate cover he was sending the proof sheets 
of the translation for correction. He thought of looking 
for the " Sketch Book" which he had in the box, but failed 
to do so just then. It was while unconsciously ruminat- 
ing over the above cited sentence that the Specter Bride- 
groom came to his mind and he set out to find it, but as 
he unconsciously identified himself with Count von Alten- 
berg, the unfortunate hero of Irving's sketch, who was 
killed while on his way to his bride, the painful thought 
was quickly repressed, taking with it all the concomitant 

(6) A confrere tells me the following experience: He 
started to make a call on a patient in a certain street, but 
instead of going there he called upon another patient. The 
reason for this was very simple. Patient number one 
paid his bill every January, while patient number two 
paid for each visit. That morning the doctor was in 
need of money, hence he would have preferred to go to 
patient number two. 

(c) One of my patients, a music teacher, told me a 


similar experience. On going to see a pupil in New York 
City he unexpectedly landed in Brooklyn. The music 
teacher carried on a secret love affair with his pupil's sister, 
and was accustomed to see her every evening after the 
lesson. He usually gave the lesson in the evening, but 
this time he was told to come in the morning. He knew 
well that he would not see her in the morning because she 
would be at work, but de did not like to refuse lest it might 
arouse suspicion. On going to give the lesson he simply 
rode too far, "having been absorbed in his newspaper." 
As it was too late to return from Brooklyn and give the 
lesson in the morning he was forced to postpone it till the 
evening. He assured me that he really intended to go to 
his pupil's house. 

(d) Another patient invited two ladies to spend an 
evening at the theater. It was decided by the ladies to 
see the play "Alias Jimmy Valentine." On getting into 
the cab he unconsciously ordered the driver to take them 
to another theater and did not notice his mistake until 
they arrived at the wrong theater. Then it was too late 
to rectify it. Here it was the case of a homosexual person 
who was in constant fear of the law and who disliked to 
see a play dealing with convicts and prisons. The theater 
to which he ordered the driver to take him presented the 
play "The Three Daughters of Mons. Dupont," which 
deals with a selfish father who was finally brought to 
reason by his own children. He disliked his own father 
and was constantly trying to show him how to live prop- 
erly. His mistakes served to exchange a disagreeable 
for an enjoyable evening. 

These examples show that forgetting a resolution is 


exactly the same as forgetting to recall a name or word 
—that is, it is always determined by a painful motive. 


Mistakes in speaking show a similar mechanism. The 
disturbing influence is either a single unconsciously re- 
maining thought which manifests itself through the mis- 
take and can often be discovered only after detailed analy- 
sis, or it is a general psychic motive directed against the 
whole thing spoken. 

(a) At a private theatrical rehearsal the hero, instead 
of saying "I love you, Emma," said "I love you, Helen." 
The latter was the name of the girl with whom he was 
really in love. 

(6) Recently an acquaintance asked me to introduce him 
to one of my friends who was about to leave for Europe. I 
did not like to do it, but I could not possibly refuse. 
After hesitating for awhile I said "Come around next 
Sunday and I'll take you to his office." My wife, who was 
near, interposed with "Why, he sails Saturday." I 
immediately corrected myself, saying "I meant Friday." 
Here the mistake was the answer to the thought, "I 
wonder how I can avoid this." Fortunately my acquaint- 
ance knew nothing of Freud's mechanisms. 

(c) A lady, talking about her husband with whom she 
lived a very unhappy life because he was addicted to 
drink, said among other things, " I can never discuss with 
him any intelligent topic because he is so full," meaning 

(d) A friend described to me a nervous patient and 
wished me to know whether I could benefit him. I re- 


marked "I believe that in time I could remove all his 
symptoms by psychanalysis because it is a durable case," 
wishing to say "curable." It was not merely the; sound 
association between the two words which caused the mis- 
take. From the description I diagnosed the case as chronic 
hysteria and experience teaches that such cases generally 
require a very protracted treatment, hence durable. 

(e) A young man, talking about an old woman who was 
foolishly in love with him, said "I am thinking seriously 
of burying her" instead of marrying. Here the lapsus 
linguae betrays his inner feelings in the matter. He would 
marry this old and wealthy woman if he should know that 
she would soon die and leave him her money. 

(/) While walking one night with a friend we acci- 
dentally met a colleague, Dr. P. whom I had not seen for 
years and of whose private life I knew nothing. We were 
naturally very pleased to meet again and on my invitation 
he accompanied us to a cafe where we spent about two 
hours in pleasant conversation. To my question as to 
whether he was married he gave a negative answer and 
added, "Why should a man like me marry?" 

On leaving the caf 6 he suddenly turned to me and said : 
"I should like to know what you would do in a case like 
this. I know a nurse who was named as co-respondent 
in a divorce case. The wife sued the husband for divorce 
and named her as co-respondent and he got the divorce." 
I interrupted him saying "You mean she got the divorce." 
He immediately corrected himself, saying, "Yes, she got 
the divorce" and continued to tell how the excitement of 
the trial had affected this nurse to such an extent that she 


became nervous and took to drink. He wanted me to ad- 
vise him how to treat her, etc. 

As soon as I corrected his mistake I asked him to explain 
it, but, as is usually the case, he was surprised at my ques- 
tion. He wanted to know whether a person had no right 
to make mistakes in talking. I explained to him that 
there is a reason for every mistake and that if he had not 
told me that he was unmarried I would say that he was the 
hero of the divorce case in question and that the mistake 
showed that he wished he had obtained the divorce 
instead of his wife; so as not to be obliged to pay the 
alimony and to be permitted to marry again in New 
York City. He stoutly denied my interpretation, but 
his emotional agitation, followed by loud laughter, only 
strengthened my suspicions. To my appeal that he 
should tell the truth for science sake, he said "Unless 
you wish me to lie you must believe that I was never 
married and hence your psychanalytic interpretation is 
all wrong.' ' He, however, added that it was dangerous 
to be with a person who paid attention to such little 
things. Then he suddenly remembered that he had 
another appointment and left us. 

Both my friend and I were convinced that my inter- 
pretation of his lapsus linguae was correct and I decided 
to corroborate or disprove it by further investigation. 
The next day I found a neighbor, an old friend of Dr. P., 
who confirmed my interpretation in every particular. 
The divorce was granted to Dr. P.'s wife a few weeks 
before and a nurse was named as co-respondent. A 
few weeks later I met Dr. P. and he told me that he was 
thoroughly convinced of the Freudian mechanisms. 


(g) A homosexual whom I treated for some time and 
who considered himself cured made this mistake on 
leaving my office: instead of saying "I shall now go to 
the Hotel Robespierre" he said, "I shall now go to the 
Hotel St. Pierre." I noticed his mistake and asked him 
whether he knew of a hotel in New York City by the name 
of St. Pierre. He stated that he had never heard of a 
hotel named the St. Pierre and that he meant to say the 
Hotel Robespierre. 

The analysis furnished the following associations: 
"St. Pierre — St. Peter — Rome — adoration," — he recalled 
having seen the devout kiss the toe of St. Peter while he 
was in the Cathedral at Rome — from Rome he went to 
Pompei where he saw some remnants of the old phallic 
worship — the big toe recalled one of his phallic symbols 
(as a child he was a toe sucker) — he then thought of fellatio 
which, he said, no longer had any attraction for him as 
he was now heterosexual and very pleased over it — he 
then stopped and again thought of St. Peter and Rome and 
said: "They stand for the old order of things, strict adher- 
ence to the old orthodox religion — they are against all 
reforms — Robespierre reminds me of revolution, complete 
change of the order of things, including religion — they 
stopped worshipping Christ and worshipped instead the 
Goddess of Reason, a woman of questionable reputation/ ' 

His stock of associations was exhausted and I did not 
urge him to continue as I could now interpret his mistake 
in speaking. When he was about to leave my office he 
intended to visit his mistress who lived in the Hotel 
Robspierre. His mistake showed his unconscious resist- 
ance against heterosexuality. He would still prefer to 


cling to the "old order of things/' of worshipping the 
man rather than the woman. 

(h) My traveling companion, who for some reason, took 
particular pleasure in railing at the medical profession, 
remarked once, "The most appropriate name for a doctor 
I ever heard of I read in this morning's Sun. It was Dr. 
Slayers, etc." I became interested and asked him to 
show me the article and to his surprise the name was not 
Slayers, but Salyers. Here his unconscious thought 
"Doctors are butchers" took advantage of the close 
similarity of the words and caused this metathesis. 

(i) A young bride who was obliged to remain at home 
on Sunday morning and transcribe her husband's manu- 
script instead of attending church, as was her custom, 
wrote Bridle March instead of Bridal March and parson 
instead of person. 

(j) On re-reading an abstract which I made from a 
foreign journal I was surprised to find that instead of 
writing "Markuse even went so far as to recommend 
sexual intercourse as a therapeutic agent for unmarried 
women" I wrote "the great Markuse, etc." I then re- 
called that while reading about Markuse's very bold 
recommendation I was most surprised and said to myself 
"Such courage could only be evinced by either a very 
great or an eccentric man" and knowing the scientific 
attainments of Markuse I readily eliminated the second 
part of the postulate. Having decided that he was a 
great man my unconscious thought found it easy to pro- 
duce by metathesis from Markuse the Greek word 
Makros (long, big, great). 

Mistakes in printing are of a similar nature. As a 


classical example of this type may be cited the "Wicked 
Bible" so-called from the fact that the negative was left 
out of the Seventh Commandment. This authorized 
edition of the Bible was published in London in 1631 
and it is said that the printer had to pay a fine of two 
thousand pounds for the ommission. 


Symbolic actions, according to Freud, are those per- 
formances which a person does unconsciously and auto- 
matically and which he considers as meaningless, indiffer- 
ent and accidental when his attention is called to them. 
Such actions, depending on their determinations, are 
either simple or complicated and manifest themselves in 
either such insignificant acts as scribbling aimlessly 
with one's lead pencil, jingling the coins in one's pocket, 
kneading of soft substances, etc., or in more complicated 
acts. All such performances generally conceal sense and 
meaning for which any other outlet is closed. 

Symbolic or accidental actions can be observed both 
among normal and abnormal persons. They are of 
special interest to the doctor who finds many valuable 
hints for the interpretation of symptoms and to the 
student of human nature to whom they tell volumes. 
The popular saying "actions speak louder than words" 
is especially true of the manifestly insignificant and 
accidental ones. Such actions often refer to a person's 
complexes — that is, to a complex of ideas of strong feeling 
tone which show a tendency to become split off from 
consciousness and repressed into the unconscious. We 
are wont to look at everything under the guise of a par- 


ticular complex. Thus the misreading of Slayer for 
Salyer is an example of complex constellation. This 
gentleman had some unpleasant experiences with a 
doctor, hence the misreading is merely a symbolic expres- 
sion of his repressed complex. Such complex symbols 
are expressed in peculiar complicated acts. Jung cites 
the case of a young lady who " when promenading wished 
to take along a baby carriage. The reason for this, as 
she blushingly admitted, was because she desired to be 
looked upon as married. I know an old maid who 
wears a wedding ring, especially when traveling. Her 
reason for wearing it is " because it was my grandmother's. 
Other examples of symbolic actions are the following : 

(a) A woman song writer and poet who led a very 
unhappy life continued to write on the happiness of matri- 
mony and just before she obtained a divorce she gave out 
a song entitled "How to Keep a Husband." Another 
writer on "The Home Beautiful" recently asked the court 
to divorce her from her husband. 

(6) A noted artist and writer of sonnets on the happiness 
of perfect marriage forsook his first wife for an affinity, 
maltreated his second wife, for which he was arrested and 
punished, and now that he is finally divorced, he is going 
through similar experiences with a third wife. 

(c) The patient mentioned before, while despairing of 
his life because he imagined himself afflicted with an 
incurable disease, continued to occupy himself with 
Ibsen's "When We Dead Awaken." 

(d) A New York embezzler who was discovered by 
detectives in a Philadelphia public library was found 
reading a book entitled "Will I ever go Back?" 


(e) The selection of Washington Irving's Spectre 
Bridegroom for translation in the aforementioned ex- 
ample is another symbolic action of this kind. Selections 
of certain professions are usually symbolic actions. Thus 
I know an actress and a lawyer who are very bad stutterers. 
Here the professions serve to conceal the real defect, 
for no one would ever think that an actress or a lawyer 
could lack the most essential requirement of their callings. 

When I became interested in this question I asked some 
of my confreres how they came to study medicine and I 
received very interesting answers of which I will mention 
two. Dr. W. stated that since his early youth he thought 
of studying medicine. As an infant, he became afflicted 
with infantile paralysis, the effects of which he still shows, 
and as the doctors could not help him he thought of 
finding a cure himself. Dr. B. could give no definite 
reason, but finally recalled that when he was very young 
he overheard a conversation between his mother and 
another woman. The latter asked his mother in what 
month he was born and on being told that it was October 
she dryly remarked " He will be either a doctor, a butcher 
or a murderer. He will have to shed blood." As he 
did not care to adopt the last two professions he became a 
doctor. Some may think that the compromise includes 
them all. I can definitely assert that in this case it was 
an unconscious process. 

It is interesting to see what part such symbolic actions 
play in every-day life. 

(a) A young married woman asked her husband for 
money to make some purchases on their way home. 
While talking she suddenly threw away the ten dollar 


bill as though it were a valueless piece of paper. Her 
husband noticed it and picked it up without her perceiving 
it. Not until she reached the store did she notice that 
she had lost the bill. This woman was wont to con- 
tribute ten dollars monthly to a charitable society before 
her marriage. While promenading she spoke to her 
husband about it and he said that it would be best to 
stop it for the time being, to which she had to acquiesce. 
It was after this conversation that she threw away the 
bill. This action was the equivalent of the thought 
"You do not allow me to give it to charity so I throw it 
away so that some poor person may find it." That is, 
it was meant as a sacrifice. 

(b) A woman continued to oversalt everything she 
cooked for her husband. At the same time she persis- 
tently forgot to place salt on the table. By this she 
meant to express "I am in love, but you are not." For 
it is said that when a woman is in love she oversalts the 
food. In fact she always talked of her husband's indiffer- 
ences and her ardent love. 

Some symbolic actions continue to manifest themselves 
for long periods, sometimes for life, and are considered 
personal characteristics of the individual evincing them. 
Such activities are very often only reactions of some re- 
pressed impulses and are either the symbolic expressions 
of the repressed wishes or represent contrasts of the same. 
A good example of the last type is the woman mentioned 
before who insisted upon paying cash for everything. 
Another example of this kind was a young man of twenty- 
eight years who was very religious and over-scrupulous in 
everything. In fact his relatives and intimate friends con- 



sidered him "a bit too religious and over-conscientious." 
Examination showed that his outward expression of 
piety and conscientiousness was a contrast manifestation 
of his unconscious. For years he had been struggling 
with sexual temptations. He saw sex where no one else 
did. He went through the usual conflicts of the mastur- 
bator, the struggles against illicit sex and finally thought 
he was victorious. For two years before he came to me, 
he led what he called "a pure life." He shunned the 
society of women and his moral sensitiveness verged on 
eccentricity. A few examples obtained from himself 
will show his personality. When a woman addressed 
him and asked to be directed to a certain street he turned 
his head away from her fearing that she might arouse 
sex fancies. He was once present at a social gathering 
at which a dispute arose between a young man and a 
young woman as to who was the taller of the two. To 
settle this they stood back to back and asked the others 
to express judgment. He became excited over this and 
left the room. He thought that their action was immoral. 
Yet while he was an ardent member of the church and 
was held up as a model young man he spent hours in 
disreputable neighborhoods. In fact his time was divided 
between the church and the slums. To be sure his object 
in frequenting these places was "to do good." He 
wished "to eradicate the canker that eats its way into 
innocent minds." To effect this he would allow himself 
to be accosted by prostitutes and then have them arrested. 
On a few occasions he really yielded to temptation which 
naturally increased his zeal for "eradicating the canker." 
In reality, however, he did all these things because he 


unconsciously desired them and his every-day piety was 
a symbolic contrast expression. 

Symbolic actions of long duration which are the direct 
results of repressed wishes furnish a wide field for collect- 
ing-manias or peculiar hobbies. I do not refer to those 
who confine their activities to the collection of valuable 
or scientific objects such as books, paintings, etc., but 
I mean those persons who collect things without any 
definite aim, who can give no reason for their activity 
and whose collections as such are of no scientific value. 
I can best explain what I mean by giving the following 

(a) An unmarried woman of thirty-six years took a 
great interest in mushrooms. She not only took her 
vacation during the mushroom season so as to be able 
to study and gather them, but she also collected many 
works on the subject, especially those containing colored 
charts. She had no scientific interest in the subject and 
could give no reason for her action. She only knew 
that mushrooms fascinated her. Analysis showed that 
she began to take an interest in mushrooms a few years 
before while she was on her vacation. She passed a 
restless night, having been troubled by many nightmares. 
While taking a walk early in the morning she found some 
mushrooms. This was the beginning of her interest in 
mushrooms. Further investigation showed that at the 
time she resisted many sexual temptations which would 
also account for her insomnia and nightmares. 2 The 
interest for mushrooms was aroused by their resemblance 
to the penis. Phallus is the scientific name for some 
species of mushrooms. 


(6) Some years ago while traveling in Europe I hap- 
pened to be in the same railroad compartment with a 
western gentleman. He was a hail-fellow-well-met so 
we soon became acquainted. He was a man of means 
who was traveling for his health and discovering that 
I was a physician he soon became confidential. He told 
me that he was suffering from a nervous disease and 
asked me to recommend him some professor in Paris. 
We were together for about twelve hours and as we had 
to pass two boundary lines I noticed that he carried with 
him a small suit case which he guarded very carefully. 
It was filled with stick-pins of all descriptions which he 
bought as souvenirs in every European city of importance. 
To my remark that he must have a great many very good 
friends to buy for them so many stickpins he replied 
that they were not meant to be given away. He stated 
that he would not be foolish enough to give away so 
many valuable presents, but that he collected them for 
his pleasure. "Some people," he said, "when they 
travel collect pictures. I made up my mind to collect 
stickpins." He did not know just why he collected them. 
"I bought a few for myself," he said "and then I just 
kept it up." 

As I said before the man came to Europe to seek relief 
from a nervous trouble. When he asked me to recom- 
mend him some professor I was compelled to ask him to 
explain his ailment as I could not see anything organic- 
ally wrong with him. He then told me that he has been 
suffering for years from psychic impotence and that he 
had consulted many specialists in the United States 
without obtaining any relief and that he met with no 


better success in Europe. He described his malady in 
the following words: "I have the desire and I have erec- 
tions when I am alone, and sometimes I can even have 
an erection when I am with a woman, but I can't stick it 
in. When I try this the erection fades. " May we not 
assume that his collection of stickpins was an unconscious 
activity to get that which he most desired in reality? 

Music, too, is used to give expression to one's complexes. 
While doing some experimental work in the same labora- 
tory with Dr. L. he continued to whistle for hours an 
old melody. It was the refrain from the old song " Don't 
Be Angry, that Cannot be." Having been acquainted 
with the contents of this song I wondered whether his 
mechanical whistling expressed the feeling of a rejected 
love. On asking him why he whistled so much he char- 
acteristically replied "I don't know myself." I then 
asked him whether he knew what he was whistling, but 
be assured me that he did not. "It is some street song," 
he said. "I have a habit of whistling while I work." 
I then told him the words and jokingly asked him whether 
he had been rejected by the girl he loved. He emphatic- 
ally denied it, but his emotional reactions only strength- 
ened my suspicion so that I continued my investiga- 
tions. That evening we met at a cafe and after I had 
gained his confidence, he disburdened his heart. Only 
the evening before he had proposed and had been 

These examples show that there is nothing arbitrary or 
fortuitous in our actions. No matter how trivial or 
voluntary, analysis always shows that this action is fully 
determined by unconscious motives. Those who believe 


in a free will naturally dispute this theory, but it is 
always possible to demonstrate to their own satisfaction 
that whatever they consider a voluntary act done with 
a free will is nevertheless unconsciously determined by 
definite motives. One of my unbelieving patients 
forgot his umbrella in my office and then asked me to 
explain this forgetting. "Surely," he said, "I did not 
wish to lose a new umbrella." I fully agreed with him 
for if he wanted to lose it he would have left it elsewhere. 
He came to see me daily and as the rain ceased during 
his visit he could leave it until his next visit. Moreover, 
every psychanalyst knows that patients who are pleased 
with the treatment often forget things at the doctor's 
office. This simply means that they expect and wish to 
return. We never forget anything valuable where we 
do not wish to return. The same holds true for losing 
things. We never lose what we value highly and, every- 
thing being equal, whatever we lose we usually don't 
want. A distant relative of Prof. Freud, who on account 
of family jealousy, disputed his theories, spoke one day 
very disparagingly about his theory of wit. I observed 
that he had no conception of the subject in question and 
did not hesitate to tell him this. His excuse was that he 
could not read the whole book because he lost it. Here, 
of course, the losing was intentional. An excellent 
example of definite determinism is related by Dr. Ernest 
Jones. One of his unbelieving acquaintances produced 
the number 986 and defied him to connect it with any- 
thing of special interest in the mind. Jones made use of 
the free-association method and the acquaintance recalled 
the following associations: Six years before on a very 


hot day he had seen a joke in an evening newspaper 
which stated that the thermometer had stood 986° Fahren- 
heit, evidently an exaggeration of 98.6° Fahrenheit. 
Jones was curious to know why this memory had per- 
sisted with such vividness as to be so readily brought 
out, for with most persons it surely would have been 
forgotten beyond recall unless it became associated with 
some other mental experience of more significance. 
The next thought was the general reflection that the 
conception of heat had always greatly impressed him, 
that heat was the most important thing in the universe, 
the source of life and so on. Jones thought that the 
young man's prosaic attitude needed some explanation 
and he therefore pressed him for more associations. The 
next thought was of a factory stack which he could see 
from his bedroom window. He often stood watching 
the flame and smoke issuing out of it in the evening and 
reflecting on the deplorable waste of energy. "Heat, 
flame, the source of life, the waste of vital energy issuing 
from an upright hollow tube — it was not hard to divine 
from such associations that the ideas of heat and fire 
were unconsciously linked in his mind with the idea of 
love, as is so frequent in symbolic thinking, and that 
there was a strong masturbation complex present, a 
conclusion that he presently confirmed. His choice 
of a number was therefore far from being a free one, 
being in fact related to a very significant personal 
constellation." 3 

As an example of how one takes up innocent associations 
for the purpose of giving vent to one's complexes I will 
relate the following episode: 


A husband read a joke in some periodical which struck 
him as being particularly funny so that he laughed 
heartily at it and then repeated it to his wife. The joke 
was something like this: Teacher (to class of boys): 
" Having more than one wife is polygamy. Now, Johnny, 
if a man has only one wife what would you call that?" 
Johnny: "Monotony." To the surprise of the husband 
his wife was not at all affected by the joke. Indeed she 
couldn't see why he laughed so much over it. A few 
days later while visiting a friend the conversation turned 
to the general topic of man's fickleness and so on. The 
wife wistfully remarked: "I know exactly in what 
channels Frank's (husband) mind runs" and to explain 
herself she repeated the aforementioned joke, but when 
she came to Johnny's answer she said "Monopoly" 
instead of " monotony." 

The mistake here corrects the tendency of the joke. 
She disliked to hear her husband laugh over a joke the 
underlying thought of which was to the effect that one 
wife means monotony. She realized that his hearty 
laughter signified his agreement with the thought under- 
lying the joke. It pained her to think that her husband 
should find her monotonous and laugh at a joke that 
suggested polygamy. Her mistake cleverly expressed 
her disapproval of the idea implied by the joke and at the 
same time shows in what she believed. She wanted a 
monopoly on her husband. 

Such complex indicators expressed in every-day con- 
versations and actions are not rare. The careful observer 
finds them everywhere. For nothing can be concealed. 
Repressed thoughts forever strive to come to the surface 


and just as the insane realize their ideals in their insani- 
ties, we realize our wishes through our dreams and in the 
" little ways" of every-day life. 


1. Freud: Psychopathologie des Alltagsleben, 3d Ed., Karger, 
Berlin. English translation in preparation. 

2. Jones: On the Nightmare, Am. Jour, of Insanity, Jan., 1910. 

3. Jones: The Psychopathology of Every-day Life, Am. Jour, of 
Psychology, Vol. XXII. 



When we enter into the deeper mental processes, espe- 
cially into those of hysteria, we invariably come across the 
quaint yet familiar psychic mechanisms of fancies or 
day dreams. Freud tells us that fancy formation is 
common to both sexes and that the fancies represent wish 
gratifications emanating from privation and longing. 
Like dreams they serve to relieve the overburdened mind 
and to secure comfort not to be obtained in reality. 
They are called "day dreams" because they furnish the 
key for the understanding of night dreams. 1 The hyster- 
ical fancies are jealously hidden as they belong to the 
most intimate estates of personality. They are found 
in both normal and neurotic individuals, but it is in the 
latter that they obtain prominence in the formation of 
symptoms. I fully agree with Freud that all analyzable 
hysterical attacks prove to be involuntary incursions of 
day dreams. Such fancies may remain conscious or 
merge into the unconscious. In the latter case they may 
become pathogenic and express themselves in symptoms 
and attacks. Under favorable conditions it is possible 
for consciousness to grasp and bring to light such uncon- 
scious fancies. Freud relates that one of his patients 
whose attention was called to these fancies later narrated 
the following occurrence: While in the street she suddenly 
found herself in tears and reflecting over the cause of her 



weeping the fancy became clear to her. She fancied 
herself in delicate relationship with a musician famous 
in the city whom she did not know. In her fancy she 
bore him a child (she was childless) ; later he deserted her 
leaving her with the child in misery. At this stage of the 
romance she burst into tears. 

Such unconscious fancies have either been unconscious 
from the first, having been formed in the unconscious, or, 
what is more usual, they were once conscious and then 
intentionally forgotten and repressed into the uncon- 
scious. Their content usually undergoes many trans- 
formations and the resultant symptom or attack is often 
a very distorted mechanism. Analysis shows that the 
unconscious fancies are intimately connected with the 
person's sexual life. They are identical with the fancy 
which led to sexual gratification during the period of 
masturbation. The masturbating act originally consists 
of two parts, the provocation of the fancy and the active 
performance of self gratification at its height. It is first 
autoerotic and undertaken for the pleasure obtained 
from an erogenous zone, but later it becomes blended 
with a wish presentation referring to the love object and 
serves for a partial realization of the situation in which 
this fancy culminates. If this masturbo-fantastic grati- 
fication remains undone, the fancy changes from a con- 
scious to an unconscious one. If no other manner of 
sexual gratification occurs, that is, if the person remains 
an abstainer and does not succeed in fully sublimating 
his libido, the unconscious fancies become refreshed. 
They grow exuberantly and at least a fragment of their 
content forms into symptoms or attacks. 


The hysterical symptoms are merely unconscious 
fancies brought to light by "conversion" and inasmuch 
as they are somatic expressions they are often taken from 
the spheres of the sexual feelings and motor innervation 
which originally accompanied the former still conscious 
fancy. The disuse of onanism is thus made retrogressive 
and the final aim of the whole morbid process, the restora- 
tion of the primary sexual gratification, though never 
attaining perfection, always comes near to it. When we 
analyze these unconscious fancies of hysterics we find 

that they contently correspond to the situations of grati- 
fication enacted by perverts consciously. Thus an hyster- 
ical woman of thirty years went through strange episodes 
lasting from a few hours to days and weeks. One of these 
attacks which recurred quite often manifested itself by 
extreme anxiety during which the patient was very 
restless and anxious. She acted as though she was 
terrified. She moaned and cried, uttering the words 
"virtue, doctor, heroine," and made continuous attempts 
to get out of the room. The attack was always followed 
by an hysterical paralysis and excruciating pain in her 
legs which lasted for a few days. At times the attacks 
were characterized by some variations, ending with the 
arc de cercle, but they were essentially as described. 
Analysis showed that she identified herself with Maupas- 
sant's Clochette who broke her leg by jumping out of a 
second story window when surprised with her cowardly 
lover during a tryst in a loft. 2 

These attacks came on first after some gossip about her 
former love affair was repeated to her and meant to show 
that the statements were false, or in other words, that 


like Clochette "she was a martyr and a noble soul/' 
The words she muttered were those repeated by the 
doctor in the story who said of Clochette: "That was her 
only love affair and she died a virgin. " The identification 
was determined by the following facts: She had a love 
affair lasting for about a year which terminated with the 
sudden disappearance of her fiance. Some evil tongues 
had it that she was left in a delicate state and her mother 
thought seriously of asking the family physician to silence 
the gossip. When she became hysterical one of her 
symptoms was pain all over the body especially in her 
legs. It was during a rest cure that she read Maupas- 
sant's Clochette which readily took her fancy not because 
it showed a striking resemblance to her case, but because 
she wished to be like Clochette and be defended by her 
doctor. In the course of time this wish allied itself with 
other wishes and the whole thing was subjected to the 
influence of the psychic censor. That accounted for the 
different variations which as in dreams were produced 
by condensation, multiple identification and inversion of 
events, etc. 3 Thus the arc de cercle was simply an inver- 
sion of the position during coitus. 

Another patient, Miss M., thirty-six years old, an hys- 
teric with many degenerative trends, referred to me by 
Dr. Frederick Peterson, went through many minor and 
major attacks which were based on real and fancied 
experiences. Her main symptom was an astasia abasia 
which lasted for years. She could neither walk nor 
sit up for any length of time and was forced to remain in 
bed in a peculiar constrained attitude, her body forming 
an angle, her head and legs being raised high by many 


pillows. Analysis brought out the following facts: As a 
child she masturbated herself and other children and 
resorted to many coprophilic activities such as playing 
with urine and feces. This was followed by a marked 
repression which gave rise to extreme feelings of disgust 
and morality. This stage was followed by a failure in 
the repression and a return of the things repressed. She 
then evinced a polymorphous perverse sexuality and 
practised many coprophilic activities. She refused to 
empty her bowels for days and sometimes for over a week 
in spite of all medications. While taking a rest cure in 
a well-known sanatorium she made believe that she 
could not attend to her natural wants, causing thereby 
much worriment and alarm to the doctors and nurses. 
While they exerted all their efforts to alleviate her appar- 
ent distress she was stealing towels and used them as- 
receptacles for her excretions. She secretly threw these 
out of the window or hid them in her room. Her fancies 
were very prolific and the material for them was furnished 
by both fiction and reality. She was an ardent reader 
and whatever appealed to her fancy was immediately 
taken up and elaborated into her complexes. Her im- 
aginative but rather defective mind made no distinction 
between fact and fancy so that whatever was once a 
fancy based on something read or heard soon became to 
her an actual experience. 

She often recalled the typical pseudologia phantastica. 
It was due to this that she accused every physician coming 
in professional contact with her of having sexual designs 
upon her. It was really comical to hear the accusations 
she brought against at least a dozen of our most reputable 


men in the medical profession. She stated that everyone 
of them wanted to make her his mistress. She had abso- 
lutely no reason to give for her belief and psychanalysis 
showed that they were merely suppressed wish-phan- 
tasies which came to the surface as outer perceptions. 
This is the usual mechanism of all hysterical accusations 
against doctors. 

The more deeply I penetrated into the patient's uncon- 
scious the more I became convinced that almost every 
one of her symptoms and attacks was determined by some 
former fancy. She read some erotic story and identified 
herself with one of the characters, and then lived through 
the whole situation over and over again. As she was 
bisexual she often identified herself with the male char- 
acter of the story and then lived through, as it were, his 
part. A recurrent episode of this nature was the follow- 
ing: She began with a period of exaltation during which 
she would be very talkative and vivacious. She would 
play the piano and act some part (she was once an actress), 
usually the part of a man. This would continue from 
an hour to a few days and would suddenly be interrupted 
by severe headaches, nausea with occasional vomiting 
and a marked aggravation of the pains in her groin, 
abdomen and legs which she called "the three-cornered 
stone pains." The analysis brought out the following 
facts: At a very early age her father, wishing to stop her 
from crying, once put his hand under her dress and 
pinched her bare buttock and legs. This was often 
repeated on similar occasions and always had its effect. 
She then became very sensitive in these regions. She 
could not tolerate the slightest pressure there and was 


always complaining of her shoes and stockings. On 
one of these occasions when her father impatiently asked 
her what ailed her she lied and said that the skin was 
rubbed off her foot. He forced her to remove her shoe 
in the presence of many strangers and as no abrasion was 
found she was very much humiliated. About the same 
time her mother once forced her to sleep with a young 
man because there were many guests in the house. She 
again received a psychic trauma in the same region. 
Added to this she has a rather high instep which serves to 
accentuate her sensitiveness in her legs and feet. All 
these traumas took place before the age of five years. 
At the age of puberty she attended a private school and 
one night she witnessed by chance a homosexual act 
between a teacher and a favorite pupil. Years later she 
was abnormally fond of X., a girl of her own age. It was 
about this time that she read Balzac's Droll Stories and 
was very much affected by one of them. It dealt with 
a gay cavalier who seduced an innocent girl. This story 
produced many erotic feelings and fancies which con- 
tinued for months until one day she dressed in male 
attire and called on X. She made believe that she was 
doing this just for fun and was demonstrating to X. how 
well she could play the part of a gay cavalier. The demon- 
stration ended with a gross homosexual episode between 
herself and X., and as the latter was at the time engaged 
to be married she became very remorseful and blamed 
M. for leading her into temptation, adding "How can 
I look John (fiance*) in the face?" This, in turn, caused 
reproach and self -accusation in M., who brooded over 
it for some time and gradually repressed it. The attack 


mentioned above appeared shortly thereafter. It repre- 
sented a fragment of sexual activity which becomes quite 
transparent when we think of the episode with X. 

Some fancies are pure fabrications constructed of the 
patient's wishes. Thus, an intelligent young woman of 
thirty years sent to me for treatment by Dr. Israel Strauss 
had one fancy which she lived through from time to time. 
She imagined herself married to a tall, handsome and 
very wealthy man. She had three children, the like of 
whom did not exist. She lived on a beautiful yacht and 
entertained only such people as she and her husband 
really liked. This state of blissful happiness existed 
for a few days during which she was happy and contented. 
Then the whole structure crumbled. Her husband and 
children died and she was left alone in terrible depression 
lasting for days. She assured me that her reactions 
were very vivid and real, being mindful, however, that it 
was only a fancy. 

Besides these fancies we come across other strange 
psychic processes which are designated as hysterical 
dreamy states. They are not the protracted crepuscular 
episodes followed by partial or complete amnesia which 
were described by Ganser and others and often taken as 
psychic equivalents of motor epilepsy, but they represent 
these peculiar conditions so often observed in psycho- 
neurotics which were first described by Lowenfeld 4 and 
later submitted to a thorough psychanalytic study by 
Abraham. 5 The characteristics of these states will be 
best described by recalling to you the familiar old fable 
which is said to have originated in India and passed from 
the Sanskrit versions with many variations into many 



languages. The story selected by me tells how an oriental 
glass vender sat cross legged with his basket of glassware 
in front of him. While wishing for purchasers he merged 
into the following reverie: "If I sell this whole basket 
of glass I shall have ten dinars. I will then buy glass- 
ware for the whole sum and when that is sold I shall have 
twenty dinars. I will then buy glass for twenty dinars 
and sell it for forty dinars. For this sum I shall again 
buy glassware and when that will be sold I shall be worth 
eighty dinars," etc. In his reverie he kept doubling his 
fortune until he was immensely rich. He bought en- 
chanted palaces, lived in luxury and lavished fortunes. 
His fancies became more and more extravagant. He was 
very happy and elated when a slight movement suddenly 
reminded him of his basket and the thought flashed 
through his mind "What's the use of bothering with 
such worthless stuff?" And with that he kicked the 
basket over. The clanging of the broken glass interrupted 
his day dream and brought him back to himself. 

Let us for a moment think of this story which, si non e 
vero, e ben trovato, and examine the different mental 
operations which enter into its formation. It shows the 
following fairly well defined stages: There is a first stage 
of fantastic exaltation, the content of which deals with 
the individual's hopes and aspirations. The glass vender 
is in a state of euphoria. From a poor man he is sud- 
denly transformed into a man of wealth and his fortune 
is rapidly increasing. This is followed by a stage of 
dream-like withdrawal from reality. He is no longer 
controlled by logical judgment and reasoning. His 
fancies, therefore, run riot as it were. Everything is 


changed. It is like a dream where time, space and natural 
obstacles are absent. He amasses an enormous fortune 
and owns palaces, etc. In brief, he is no longer himself. 
This is followed by a very rapid third stage which is dis- 
tinguished by a suspension of consciousness, an absent- 
mindedness during which there are no thoughts so to 
speak, and the whole episode is followed by depression 
characterized by anxiety with its concomitant manifes- 
tations. 6 I need hardly say that our hero must have 
been depressed on emerging from his revery. 

In almost all the cases observed by me these three 
stages, which were originally described by Abraham, 7 
could readily be distinguished, but I should like to add 
that the first stage is always preceded by a period of 

Without going into detailed histories I shall cite some 
of my own observations. 

Case I. — I. C. was seen by me in the neurological department of 
the Vanderbilt Clinic in November, 1908. Among other things he 
complained of strange thoughts which interfered with his work. He 
stated that he was a weaver by trade and that for months he was 
hardly able to attend to his work. He explained that weaving re- 
quired concentration of attention, as a great deal of counting had 
to be done and that a single mistake spoiled the work. His 
u foolish" thoughts would come in spite of all effort to keep them away. 
They absorbed his mind to an extent that he forgot his work and 
unconsciously stopped weaving and continued dreaming until aroused. 
As examples he gave a few experiences of the previous day, which, 
in his own words, read as follows: "I am working and unconsciously 
I begin to think what I should do if I had two thousand dollars. I 
start a shop and soon earn a lot of money because I oppress my 
employees. With the money thus gained I open a big factory and 
employ a lot of greenhorns whom I force to work long hours for very 
little pay. I enlarge my business. I have hundreds of people 


working for me. I become greater and greater when I 

suddenly find myself crying because I have lost all my money in 
Wall Street." 

" I marry a very nice girl. She is very much in love with me, but 
she is afraid of me. I am very tyrannical and brutal. She has to do 
what I tell her, otherwise I beat her. She cries and begs me not to 
kill her, but I pay no attention to her. I become more and more 
excited. I hardly know what I do when I suddenly wake up wringing 
my hands because she is dead." 

He recited many more day dreams, but they were all of the same 
nature. They all dealt with wealth and murder. 

Recalling Freud's saying that the contented individual 
does not indulge in fantasies I assumed that these 

dreamy states must represent some of the patient's 
wishes, and viewed superficially one may think that 
the first dreamy state corroborates this assumption. 
The patient is a poor weaver who believes himself op- 
pressed by his employer and therefore dreams of changing 
places with his oppressor. His day dream is simply a 
realization of his wishes. But a number of questions 
arise as soon as we take a closer view of the subject. In 
the first place it cannot be said that it is really a wish 
realization as the money thus rapidly gained is as rapidly 
lost, leaving the patient unhappier than he was. It may 
also be asked why the patient is not satisfied with the 
everyday conscious day dreaming. Why do these dreamy 
states come in attacks? Why are they accompanied by 
complete oblivion to external impressions, especially at 
their height, and why does the patient perceive them as 
unreal and strange? Moreover, when we recall the 
second dream, we can no longer think of any wish realiza- 
tion, for the patient is single and is very much in love 
with his fiancee whom he wishes to marry. 


From the study of dreams we have learned that no 
matter how absurd a dream may seem it nevertheless 
contains sense and meaning if we find its latent content, 
and that every dream, and for that matter every psy- 
chotic symptom, contains the hidden fulfilment of a 
repressed wish 8 which usually refers to the two great 
impulses, hunger and love. Freud has also shown that 
certain episodic manifestations of hysteria are simply 
substitutive gratifications for the abandoned mastur- 
bation, 9 and Abraham maintains that the same is true 
for the hysterical dreamy state. Let us see whether 
this is true in our patient. 

I regret that I was unable to make a complete analysis 
of his case. The patient was a clinic one and, as often 
happens in such cases, the analysis had to be given up. 
Still the facts that I have obtained are sufficient to con- 
firm the assumption that his dreamy states were sub- 
stitutions for his masturbation. His history was, briefly, 
as follows: 

I. C. was twenty-two years old and had masturbated on and off 
since the age of twelve. From a very early age he had been suffering 
from a mixed neurosis (anxiety hysteria and compulsion neurosis) 
which was due to many conflicts and repressions. At the age of 
seventeen years he consorted with women and masturbated exces- 
sively besides. He came to New York at twenty years of age and after 
that tried very hard to abstain from sexual indulgence, but often 
failed. At twenty-two years he fell in love and decided to lead a life 
of sexual abstinence until his marriage which was to take place in 
March, 1909. The sadistic day dreams described above came on 
after a few weeks of hard struggle. He was always given to day 
dreaming, but he himself sharply distinguished between his former 
air castles and his present day dreams, by saying that the latter were 
beyond his control because they were always accompanied by a 


"short fainting spell." We are therefore justified in saying that 
there was a direct relationship between the suppressed sexual activi- 
ties and his fantastic day dreams. 

If we bear in mind the different stages described above 
and follow the act of masturbation we can at once see a 
distinct analogy. Here as there there is a preliminary 
craving followed by a pleasurable stage, and the second 
and third stages of the day dream, the withdrawal from 
reality and absent mindedness fully correspond to the 
increasing sexual excitement and its acme at the moment 
of ejaculation. It is well known that coitus was com- 
pared by many writers to a minor epileptic attack. Also 
the terminal depression corresponds to the same stage of 
coitus or its inadequate outlet, masturbation. Post 
coitum animal triste is an old saying equally true of mas- 
turbation which is always followed by self-reproach. 

To illustrate the psychological significance of dreamy 
states the following case will serve: 

Case II. — A., referred to me for treatment by Dr. Frederick 
Peterson, was a rising journalist of twenty-six years. He was 
addicted to dreamy states most of which showed the three stages cited 
above. A few examples recited by himself will give us an idea of 
their nature: "I am running a race and I feel fine because I am sure 
of winning. I am accidentally struck in the thigh with the spiked 
shoe of one of my competitors. I am bleeding, but I don't seem to 
feel it. I am very excited because I am getting ahead of the others. 
Some trainers try to stop me because they imagine I am hurt, but 
I punch them and run on. I win the race, but collapse from exhaus- 
tion. I am carried out amidst the applause of the crowd." 

" I am taking a walk with a party of young men and women. We 
are held up by a highwayman. We all submit to it. I stand with 
my hands up, but taking advantage of the highwayman's momentary 
inattention I throw myself upon him, take away his pistol and strike 
him on the head with it. I beat him into submission and then lead 


him by the collar to the police station amidst the great applause of 
my companions, who, being Jews, are astonished at my bravery. 

"I escape from home and make my way to China. I insinuate 
myself into court and become a favorite of the Dowager Empress. I 
am put in charge of the army which I train to great efficiency. A 
rebellion breaks out. I lead the army. The emperor, who is on the 
other side is killed or dies (vague). As a reward for my services I 
marry the Dowager Empress who looks like my mother. This 
happiness does not last very long, for I am deposed and returned to 
New York an exile." 

The patient stated that these day dreams usually came when he 
was writing and that they were entirely beyond his control. He 
himself referred to them "as a sort of absent-mindedness during 
which I am like a somnambulist." 

It is interesting to note that in both patients the dreams 
appeared during mental concentration. This fully cor- 
roborates what Freud states in his Three Contributions 
to the Sexual Theory, viz., that mental application to an 
intellectual accomplishment will often result, especially 
in youthful persons, in a simultaneous sexual excitement. 
Another striking point in all these dreamy states is the 
emotional lability in the different stages. The dreamer 
distinctly realizes that the first two stages are of a pleasur- 
able nature, while the last stage is of a depressive painful 

I shall not go into long analytical explanations. I will 
content myself by stating that here, too, the day dreams 
were substitutes for the abandoned masturbation and 
will proceed with the analysis of day dreams proper. 

We have said above that the psychosexual constitution 
of the individual is made up of many components and 
partial impulses which run through a definite evolution. 
These impulses are active in infancy, but normally they 


are gradually repressed, leaving only slight traces of their 
former existence. As we discussed this question above 
I shall briefly refer to the impulses of exhibitionism and 
cruelty only. 

It is well known that unlike adults, children like to 
show themselves naked, that is they like to exhibit. It 
is not at all unusual to see children of both sexes exposing 
themselves coram publico. Shame is a matter of train- 
ing. I know a little girl of six years, who at the age of 
three or four used to invite her grown-up acquaintances 
to be present while she took her bath and who now 
blushes at any allusion to it. That the Golden Rule is 
not inherent in the human being is also well known. 
Cruelty in our sense is common to childhood. I believe 
it is La Fontaine who calls childhood "an age without 
pity." That cruelty and exhibitionism are intimately 
connected with sex is hardly necessary to mention. 
Naturalists and anthropologists have repeatedly called 
attention to it. Freud, who has perhaps penetrated 
deeper then any one else, shows 10 that when these inpulses 
are repressed by a process of training and education they 
form certain reactions like modesty and sympathy which 
go to make up the character of the individual. But as 
no impulse is entirely suspended, one can always find 
some traces of it in the individual's character. Thus 
persons inclined to obscene joking usually conceal a desire 
to exhibit and persons having a strong sadistic or cruel 
component in their sexuality, which is more or less 
inhibited, are most successful with the tendency wit of 
aggression. 11 If for some reason these impulses cannot 
be repressed or when later in life there is a failure of 


repression, the individual remains a sexual exhibitionist 
or sadist, or he suffers from a neurosis in which these 
impulses come to the surface in some negative form. 
One of the distressing symptoms for which A. sought 
relief was an irresistible impulse to pinch women. His 
fancies simply reflected his symptoms. The first two 
day dreams nicely illustrate, in a rather hidden form, 
his exhibitionism as well as his sadism. The third one, 
referring to his marrying the dowager empress who 
looked like his mother, shows a very nice unconscious 
mechanism, the so-called Oedipus complex. 12 His neu- 
rosis is the result of a conflict between his conscious resist- 
ances and his unconscious attachment to his mother. 
As with every little boy, his mother was the first woman 
he loved, but unlike the others his libido remained fixed 
on her. This is a very common mechanism and, as 
shown by Abraham, accounts for so many consanguineous 
marriages. Neurotics, who are unconsciously attached 
to their parents, either never marry because "no girl is 
like mother" or marry some member of the family who 
resembles the parent. As a little boy our patient often 
found home too small for him and his father. He was his 
rival, as it were, for his mother's affection and for that 
reason he often wished him dead. Now as a grown-up 
man he still finds life burdensome because he cannot 
tolerate his superiors who take the place of his father and 
he consequently entertains murderous thoughts toward 
them. The morning before this day dream he read about 
the war in China and that the army had been trained by 
foreign officers. This was the main determinant of the 
last dream, but the other elements that enter into its 


formation are part and parcel of his neurosis. In his day 
dreams he runs away from home and becomes a great 
man, because in reality he dislikes the idea of having to 
stay at home and be supported by his parents who lately 
referred to it rather unkindly. In this rebellion he either 
kills the emperor or he dies. Such vague statements 
occurring in day or night dreams indicate a marked 
repression. Here the emperor stands for his father. 13 
He thus kills his father and is united to his childhood 
ideal. But, as he is no longer a child, the dream shows 
the influence of the incest barriers which were formed 
during his development. He is therefore deposed and 
returned to New York an exile. This sudden fiasco is 
also constellated by the depressive emotional tone of the 
terminal stage of masturbation which invests, so to say, 
the last stage of the day dream and determines its char- 
acter. That A.'s first two day dreams lack the depress- 
ive thoughts which go to make up the terminal stage 
of masturbation is not without reason. 

I have purposely selected these examples because they 
demonstrate a rather interesting mechanism. They 
always appeared after the patient practised interrupted 
masturbation. As you know this is a common practice 
of masturbators, who imagine that loss of seminal fluid 
is loss of vitality. 

In conclusion it may be said that this type of day 
dreaming is simply a substitution for the abandoned 
masturbation. The unrequited libido seeking an outlet 
invests those thoughts which are in some way connected 
with the individual's hopes and strivings. Like the wolf 
in the lamb's skin they look quite innocent at first sight, 


but on closer investigation it becomes very evident that 
they represent repressed wishes of the person's psycho- 
sexual life and thus constitute a concealed form of mental 


1. Freud: Selected Papers on Hysteria, p. 195. 

2. For the Mechanism of Identification, see Chap. VI. 

3. Freud: Allgemeines tiber den hysterischen Anfall, Sammlung 
kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, Second series, Deuticke Wien. 

4. Zentralblatt fur Nervenheilkunde, August, 1909. 

5. Ueber hysterische Traumzustande, fahrbuch f ur Psychoanalyse 
Vol. II. 

6. Cf. Chap. III. 

7. L. c. 

8. Cf. Chap. II. 

9. L. c. 

10. Three contributions to the Sexual Theory, translated by A. A. 

11. Cf. Chap. XII. 

12. Cf. Chap. IX. 

13. This is a rather common identification, see Freud: The Inter- 
pretation of Dreams; also Chap. IX. 



The latent influence on normal persons; its negative 
manifestations in the psychoneuroses and psychoses. 

Of the many interesting and valuable discoveries 
furnished to us through psychanalysis none is as impor- 
tant as those facts which treat of the individual's relation 
to the family and society. In our psychanalytic work 
with patients we find that parents play the leading part 
in their infantile psychic life. This fact is so universal 
and important that we may say that unless it is thoroughly 
elaborated and discussed with the patient no analysis 
is complete or effective. Studies made on psychoneu- 
rotics amply demonstrate that contrary to the accepted 
opinions neurotics are only exaggerations of the normal 
and that the modes of reaction in both are about the 
same. The only difference lies in the fact that one can 
adjust himself to his environments while the other finds 
it difficult or impossible to do so. If one should ask 
wherein these difficulties lie the experienced psychan- 
alyst would readily point to the parents. Indeed the 
more we study the psychoneuroses and the psychoses the 
clearer it becomes that the most potent factor in their 
determination is the early parental influence. That our 
parents should play a leading part in our lives is so ob- 
vious that it hardly needs further dilatation. The strange 
part of it, however, is the fact that these relations are not 



as amicable or peaceful as seems at first sight. What I 
mean to say is that, contrary to general belief, there is 
usually not much love lost between parents and children 
and that especially little children do not always love 
their parents in a manner generally accepted. On the 
contrary they show a marked dislike for one of their 
parents. This statement may sound very bold and 
unfounded, but if you will stop to think for a moment 
you will soon feel that it contains a familiar note. Obser- 
vation teaches that our love for parents is not innate and 
spontaneous and that it follows the same laws as that 
among strangers. Although Freud gave us the true 
psychological explanation of this conception the principle 
of it must have keen known from time immemorial. 
History and every-day life demonstrate it. We all know 
the fifth commandment: Honor thy father and thy 
mother, that thy days may be long in the land which 
the Lord thy God giveth thee. Here we have a direct 
order to honor our parents and judging by the other 
commandments and by our modern laws, it must be 
concluded that to neglect parents was just as natural in 
the Biblical times as were those impulses against which 
commandments beginning with ' Thou shalt not" had to 
be imposed. For it is a fact that there is no necessity of 
commanding the individual to realize his impulses. Left 
to himself he would constantly try to realize them, and 
civilization, so called, simply consists of inhibitions 
imposed upon the individual by religion and society. 
The more one can inhibit his primitive impulses the more 
cultured he is, and savages and children must be taught 
inhibition to fit them for society. To cite Freud: "A 


progressive renouncement of constitutional impulses, 
the activity of which afford the ego primary pleasure, 
seems to be one of the basic principles of human culture." 1 

When we enter into the deeper mental mechanisms 
of our patients and investigate their love lives, we usually 
find that the little boy is more attached to his mother and 
the little girl to her father. In other words, the first 
woman a boy loves is his mother. The little boy there- 
fore finds his father in the way — he is his rival. When 
the father is not at home the little son has no one with 
whom to share his mother's affection. He is therefore 
angry and jealous of his father and often wishes him 
dead. One of my patients vividly recalls that at the age 
of four years he asked his mother whom she loved best 
him or his father, and when she said that she loved his 
father best he became furious and cried for hours. Such 
primitive feelings help to make up the fateful sum of 
material furnished by the psychic impulse which is formed 
during the infantile period and which is of great impor- 
tance for the symptoms appearing in the later neurosis. 
I could trace directly the symptoms of the cases that 
I have analyzed to such mechanisms. In normal persons 
we find the traces of this early love in the dreams of the 
death of near relatives especially the father. 2 

The sexual feeling for the mother and jealousy of the 
father is called by Freud the Oedipus complex because 
antiquity has furnished us with legendary material to 
confirm this fact. To put it in his words: "The deep 
and universal effectiveness of these legends can only be 
explained by granting a similar universal applicability to 
the above-mentioned assumption in infantile psychology." 3 


The legend referred to is the drama King Oedipus by 
Sophocles. Laius, the king of Thebes, married Jocasta. 
After years of childless marriage Laius visited the Del- 
phian Apollo and prayed for a child. The answer of 
the god was as follows: "Your prayer has been heard 
and a son will be given to you, but you will die at his 
hand for Zeus decided to fulfil the curse of Pelops whose 
son you have once kidnapped." In spite of the warning 
the son was born, but soon thereafter the child's feet 
were pierced and tied, and he was delivered to a faithful 
servant to be exposed in the desert. The servant, how- 
ever, gave the child to a Corinthian shepherd who took 
it to his master, King Polybus, who, being childless, 
adopted it and called it Oedipus, meaning swollen feet. 
When the boy grew up into manhood he became uncertain 
of his own origin and consulting the oracle received the 
following answer: "Beware that thou shouldst not 
murder thy father and marry thy mother." In order to 
avoid the fulfilment of this prophecy Oedipus at once 
left Corinth and accidentally wandered toward Thebes* 
On the way he met King Laius and struck him dead in a 
sudden quarrel. He then came to the gates of Thebes 
where he solved the riddle of the Sphinx who barred his 
way. As a reward for this he was elected king and pre- 
sented with the hand of Jocasta. He reigned in peace 
for many years and begot two sons and two daughters 
upon his unknown mother until a plague broke out which 
caused the Thebans to consult the oracle. The messen- 
gers returned with the advice that the plague would stop 
as soon as the murderer of King Laius would be driven 
from the country. Sophocles then develops the play in 


a psychanalytic manner until the true relations are 
discovered, namely, that Oedipus killed his father and 
married his own mother. The drama ends by Oedipus 
blinding himself and wandering away into voluntary 

In his characteristic penetrating way Freud draws 
many interesting conclusions some of which I shall 
mention. Oedipus Tyrannus is a tragedy of fate. Its 
tragic effect is said to be found in the opposition between 
the powerful will of the gods and the futile resistance of 
the human being who is threatened with destruction. 
The tragedy teaches resignation to the will of God and 
confession of one's own helplessness. This tragedy has 
lately been revived by Max Rheinhard and had a long 
and successful run in Berlin and London. From what 
we have read, it would seem that it moves modern men 
no less than it moved the contemporary Greek. In our 
own times one occasionally witnesses a play dealing with 
the incest problem which is as tremenduously effective 
as the Greek drama. I can recall only one such play, 
The City, by Clyde Fitch. This seems to indicate that 
the explanation of this fact cannot lie merely in the as- 
sumption that the effect of the Greek tragedy is based 
upon the opposition between human fate and human will, 
but is to be sought in the peculiar nature of the material 
by which the opposition is shown. There must be some- 
thing in us which is prepared to recognize the compelling 

power of fate in Oedipus while we justly condemn the 
situations occurring in tragedies of later date as arbi- 
trary inventions. Witness, e.g., the storm that has been 
produced in this country by Synge's Irish play "The 


Play-boy of the Western World," which is a veiled Oedipus 
complex. Freud states that there must be a factor 
corresponding to this inner voice in the story of king 
Oedipus. "His fate moves us only for the reason that 
it might have been ours, for the oracle has put the same 
curse upon us before our birth as upon him. Perhaps we 
are all destined to direct our first sexual impulses toward 
our mothers and our first hatred and violent wishes 
toward our father. Our dreams convince us of it. King 
Oedipus who killed his father and married his mother, 
is nothing but the realized wish of our childhood. But 
more fortunate than he we have since succeeded, unless 
we have become psychoneurotics, in withdrawing our 
sexual impulses from our mothers and in forgetting our 
jealousy of our fathers. We recoil from the person for 
whom this primitive wish has been fulfilled with all the 
force of the repression which these wishes have suffered 
within us. By his analysis showing us the guilt of 
Oedipus the poet urges us to recognize our own inner self, 
in which these impulses, even if suppressed, are still 
present." 4 

That the Oedipus legend originated in an extremely 
old dream material which consists of the painful disturb- 
ance of the relation toward one's own parents by means 
of the first impulses of sexuality, is unmistakably shown 
in the very text of Sophocles. Jocasta, comforting 
Oedipus, mentions to him the dream which is dreamed 
by so many people: "For it has already been the lot of 
many men in dreams to think themselves partners of 
their mother's bed. But he passes most easily through 
life to whom those circumstances are trifles." 5 The 



dream of having sexual intercourse with one's own mother 
occurred at that time as it does to-day to many persons 
who tell it with indignation and astonishment. As may 
be understood it is the key to the tragedy and the com- 
pliment to the dream of the death of the father. The 
story of Oedipus is the reaction of the imagination to 
these two typical dreams and, just as the dream when 
occurring to an adult is experienced with feelings of 
resistance, so the legend must contain terror and self 
chastisement. An uncomprehending secondary elabora- 
tion tries to make it serve theological purposes. 

From my own experience I can fully corroborate 
Freud's claims. I have on record thirty-eight dreams 
of sexual relation with one's own mother given to me by 
twenty-one patients. These dreams were quite plain 
and there was very little distortion to them. About half 
of these dreamers reported these dreams before they ever 
heard of any Oedipus complex, while the other half told 
about them after I had explained the mechanism. They 
all assured me that they were perfectly aware of these 
dreams and to my question why they had not told me 
before they invariably answered that it was too terrible 
and revolting a thing to tell, and that the only reason 
why they told them to me was because they were happy 
to know they were not the only ones having such dreams. 
I can say the same of nineteen women who dreamed that 
they had sexual relations with their fathers. I analyzed 
Oedipus dreams in which only the father or the mother 
was masked. Thus one of my female homosexuals told 
me that the only erotic dreams in which a man played a 
part was one of having had sexual intercourse with one 


of our Governors, but on associating to the dream, she 
told me that she was accustomed to refer to her father as 
the governor. As you know the president, governor and 
mayor in dreams usually means the father. 6 

Most of the Oedipus dreams, however, usually show a 
symbolization of the sexual act in which the parents may 
be quite plain. One of my patients dreamed that he 
climbed up a high water tower on a revolving staircase. 
On reaching midway he met his mother, who accompanied 
him to the top. The climbing became more and more 
difficult. He had to hold on very tightly to her for fear 
that they would both fall. They finally reached the top 
in a very exhausted state where they both laid down in 
bed together for a long rest. This patient slept with his 
mother until he was eighteen years old and, from his 
own admission, although he entertained no conscious 
sexual feelings toward her, he wished on at least a 
few occasions that he could marry her. To those ac- 
quainted with dream analysis this dream needs no further 
elucidation. 7 

A man of thirty-five years reported to me the following 
dream: "/ dreamt that I was in bed with my mother and 
as she was talking aloud I told her to be quiet as I was afraid 
that my father who was in the next room would hear us. 97 

This patient was treated for psychosexual impotence 
and this dream came after unsuccessfully attempting 
heterosexual intercourse. He was his mother's favorite 
and owing to the fact that his father was a psychopathic 
individual who abused and terrified his family he hated 
him and was much attached to his mother. Whenever 
his father went on a rampage his mother would lock herself 


in a room with him, and they often lived through in 
reality the experience described in the dream. This was 
also the reason for his sleeping with his mother up to the 
age of ten years. Disappointed in her husband she 
lavished all her affection on her son who supplied her 
with the love she craved. The patient stated that for 
years he was subject to nightmares showing almost the 
same content as the above-mentioned dream. 

To understand the full significance of this dream it will 
be necessary to review a few psychological facts. 

As stated above we are all destined to direct our first 
sexual impulses to our mothers. The first woman loved 
is one's own mother. It is the mother who impresses on 
the mind the woman-image which remains as a permanent 
standard for the female ideal. Normally a repression 
takes place and the boy gradually projects his love to 
strangers. Investigation shows that the love life of an 
individual begins at a very early age and as this progresses 
the love for one's mother gradually fades from conscious- 
ness. In the unconscious it remains forever and acts 
as a constant guide in the future selection of a woman. 8 
Every woman in compared to the mother-image and 
ceteris paribus, the closer the resemblance the stronger 
the woman attracts us. This may shade from the normal 
to the abnormal. As examples I can cite the following 

A very cultured man was attracted only by very stout 
servants. No other type of woman appealed to him 
Analysis showed that his first sexual impulses were aroused 
by a servant girl of that type who took the place of his 


A refined married woman of twenty-four years suffered 
from psychosexual frigidity, but was sexually excited 
whenever she saw a lame man. This was due to an identi- 
fication with her mother who had an illicit love affair with 
a man when she was three or four years old. Like a great 
many grown-ups her mother considered her little girl an 
unthinking being and took no pains to conceal anything 
from her. When her paramour sustained a fracture of his 
leg and she found it necessary to make frequent calls on 
him she took her little daughter with her so as to avoid 
gossip. Although what she witnessed apparently made no 
impression on her at the time it nevertheless acted as a 
sexual trauma and formed an association between sex 
and lameness. 9 This was also determined by the fact that 
at a later age this lame man took the place of her own 
father by marrying her widowed mother. 

A young married woman who is dominated by a verit- 
able prostitution complex carried on illicit relations with 
men while she lived with her husband. Psychanalysis 
showed that she was an only daughter and although her 
father's pet she saw very little of him during her early 
childhood as his affairs took him away from home. As 
far as her memory reached she recalled witnessing unholy 
loves between her mother and " strange men." She herself 
married a man who not only belongs to the same type as her 
father, but who even follows her father's vocation. She 
thus identified herself with her mother in every respect. 

I could quote many more cases, 10 but these will suffice 
to show the unconscious parental influence. Such in- 
fluences are found in every person and although they are 
usually quite harmless they sometimes act perniciously. 


This is particularly true of only or favorite children who 
are overburdened with love. They are not allowed to 
follow the different stages of the psychosexual evolution 
and their libido remains fixed on the mother. 11 The result 
of such a process may be psychosexual impotence. By 
preventing the boy from projecting his love to strangers 
there results an unconscious incestuous fixation on the 
mother which then acts as an inhibition to sexual relations 
with other women. 12 

Let us return to the above-mentioned dream. From 
what we know of dreams we may say that those which are 
accompanied by fear are of a sexual nature. The fear is 
the converted libido and takes the place of the distortion 
usually found in other dreams. In other words the dream 
represents a repressed wish to sleep with his mother and 
the converted libido is masked behind the fear for the 
father. His father was furious whenever he found him 
sleeping with his mother and our patient dreaded lest he 
should be detected by his father. The dream repeats the 
same state of mind and thus gives us the key to his neuro- 
sis. By sleeping with his mother to so late an age the 
incestuous feelings were kept alive and fixed on her, but 
as he grew older he energetically defended himself against 
them and finally succeeded in repressing them from con- 
sciousness. As a reaction to these unconscious desires 
he became extremely moral and religious and avoided 
anything sexual. At the age of twenty^eight he attempted 
coitus for the first time and failed. This failure was re- 
peated at every subsequent attempt. He could not accom- 
plish the sexual act because of the sexual fixation on the 
mother. Every woman unconsciously recalled his mother 


and, because of the marked repression coitus was naturally 
impossible. This was also constellated by his unconscious 
fear of his father. The patient was cured of his impotence 
as soon as these mechanisms were laid bare and explained 
to him. 

Conscious incestuous feelings and experiences in adult 
life are not as rare as one would imagine. This subject 
has been discussed by Krafft-Ebing, Bloch, Havelock 
Ellis and others. My own observations in this regard 
taught me that sexual feelings and fancies about one's 
parents, sisters and brothers are not only extremely 
common in early life, but that they also exist later. Nor 
must it be imagined that whenever it is found we deal 
with defective persons. The individual circumstances 
must always be considered. Havelock Ellis 13 explains 
the abhorence of incest on the basis of familiarity. He 
states that " The normal failure of the pairing instinct to 
manifest itself in the case of brothers and sisters or of 
boys and girls brought up together from infancy is a 
merely negative phenomenon due to the inevitable 
absence under those circumstances of the conditions which 
evoke the pairing impulse" (p. 205). "Passion between 
brothers and sisters is, indeed, by no means so rare as is 
sometimes supposed, and it may be very strong, but it is 
usually aroused by the aid of those conditions which are 
normally required for the appearance of passion, more 
especially by the unfamiliarity caused by long separation" 
(p. 206). I agree with Havelock Ellis as far as he goes, 
but it seems to me that unfamiliarity plays only a sub- 
ordinate part in the promotion of certain feelings between 
brothers and sisters. Unfamiliarity does not necessarily 


cause attraction between strangers of the opposite sexes, 
but long separation, especially when occurring since early- 
life, is sure to produce a strong fascination between 
brothers and sisters. This is due to the repressed Oedipus 
complex. As was said above, every woman that later 
comes into the individual's life is unconsciously compared 
to the mother image in our unconscious. It is quite 
obvious that the sister fits into this image much better 
than any other woman. Who resembles the mother 
more than the daughter? Besides, the daughter has 
the advantage over the mother of youth and beauty. In 
this connection I would like to give an incident related 
to me by a colleague: 

He came to this country from Germany at the age of 
fourteen years having left at home a sister one and a half 
years his junior. Years later he visited an exhibition 
in the Grand Central Palace in New York City and was 
strongly fascinated by a young lady he saw there. The 
attraction was so strong that he lost interest in the exhibits 
and followed her around until she left the place. Nor did 
this fascination end here. He told me that for months 
he acted like a man in love and for years he measured 
every woman by his "Grand Central Girl." He returned 
to his native city after having been eighteen years in 
America and as soon as he saw his younger sister the 
thought flashed through his mind, "Here is my Grand 
Central Girl. ,, There was, indeed, a remarkable resem- 
blance between his sister and the unknown young woman 
with whom he fell in love in America. His sister was 
the picture of his mother. 

Moreover in real life, daughters often take the place of 


their mothers. I know of a few cases where men first 
loved the mothers and then switched over to the daughters. 
The daily press sometimes reports such cases. 14 

It is in the psychoses, however, that one sees the marked 
influence of the Oedipus complex. Here the complex 
usually comes to the surface in the form of symptoms, 
usually hallucinations and delusions, and the analysis can 
generally trace these automatisms to early repressed 
feelings and experiences. The following cases will serve 
as paradigms: 

Case I. — V, twenty-nine years old, suffers from the paranoid form 
of dementia praecox. He hears voices accusing him of having had 
sexual relations with his mother. Analysis showed that as a boy he 
entertained sexual fancies about his mother. He often looked 
through the keyhole when she took her bath. 

Case II. — Mrs. F., a married woman of twenty-eight years, is a 
paranoid praecox. For more than a year she has been laughing and 
talking to herself uttering words like " clean, never, respectable, not 
at all, none." When questioned she states that she hears voices who 
accuse her of having been "too intimate with her father and brother" 
and the words uttered are only answers to her imaginary accusers. 
They read as follows: I am clean. I never did such terrible things. 
I am respectable. It is not at all true that I had sexual relations 
with my father and brother." 

Case III. — With Dr. H. Valentine Wildman I have recently com- 
mitted a young man to the River Crest Sanatorium. This patient 
was paranoid and his main delusions were fairly well systematized. 
They were directed against his mother. He called her vile names and 
accused her of having made sexual advances to him. The following 
remarks pointing to a retrospective falsification contain the nucleus 
of his delusions: "I remember when I was a kid, she (mother) looked 
at my eyes and then paced the floor as if to say 'you are for me' and 
since then she wanted to make me her lover." The history of the 
case shows the typical mechanisms of paranoia, that is, there was 
fixation in narcism and mother love (he was the mother's favorite),. 


defence against homosexual wish phantasies, then failure of repres- 
sion, as manifested in some homosexual experiences and delusions of 
persecution. 15 

Now it may be asked whether children show by their 
behavior any indication of the Oedipus complex and 
whether fathers realize consciously that their sons are 
their rivals. Anamneses taken from normal and abnormal 
persons answer these questions in the affirmative. Also 
the works of Freud, Bleuler, Jung, Putnam, Ferenczi, 
Stekel, Abraham, Rank, Jones, 16 and others, show beyond 
any doubt that this is the case. To quote Bleuler, " After 
our attention had been called to it we found this Oedipus 
complex more and more frequently. It is also an im- 
portant factor in the selection of lovers among normal and 
abnormal persons." 17 I have collected many, many facts. 
Some I have personally observed and some were given to 
me by reliable colleagues and friends, showing that beyond 
any doubt small children often wish to replace the parent 
of their own sex. A brilliant little boy of three years, 
hearing that he will sleep with his mother because his 
father was going to stay away for the night, expressed his 
great pleasure to his mother and added " Let us play that 
we are married. I'll call you Mary and you call me John" 
(names of parents). Later when he entered his mother's 
sleeping room he said "Here comes your husband." A 
little girl of three and one-half years on being punished by 
her mother exclaimed in her childish way, "Go away to 
Susie (her dead sister), I can be papa's Mama (meaning 
his wife, as her father calls her mother 'mama')." Another 
little girl of about four years kissed her father and kept on 
repeating "I love you so much, papa. Let's go to the 


Bronx and never come home to mama." And on being 
questioned she admitted that she did not love her mother. 

It is not uncommon for parents to be jealous of the love 
shown by the other parent for the child. A glaring ex- 
ample of this kind was reported to me by a patient re- 
ferred to me by Dr. Coriat of Boston. Her husband was 
a very prominent business man, but somewhat psycho- 
pathic. She was very much attached to her only son and 
the more she loved him the more he was hated by the 
father. The latter openly expressed his jealousy and ha- 
tred for his son and treated him most cruelly whenever he 
<jould do so. This feeling continued for more than thirty 
years until the father died, and was the cause of much 

In his study on incest among savages 18 Freud showed 
that the incest shyness is an infantile trait and in striking 
accord with the psychic life of the neurotic. Psych- 
analysis teaches that the first sexual object of the boy is of 
an incestuous prohibitive nature directed against the 
mother or sister; it also shows us how the developing in- 
dividual frees himself from these feelings. The neurotic 
individual, however, regularly represents a fragment of 
psychic infantilism. He is either unable to free himself 
from the infantile relations of psychosexuality, or he 
returned to them. It is for that reason that the incestuous 
fixations of the libido continue to play a great part in his 
unconscious psychic life. 


1. Sammlung kleine Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, Zweite Fogel. 

2. Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams. The Macmillan Co. 


New York., and George Allen Co., London. 

3. Freud: L. c, p. 221. 

4. L. c, p. 223. 

5. Act IV, Sc. 3, translated by Clark. 

6. Freud: L. c. p. 246 

7. Freud: L. c. p. 246. On Stairway Dreams. 

8. Cf. Chap. X. 

9. For the mechanism of such traumas see Freud: Selected papers 
on Hysteria, p. 159. 

10. Most of the cases described by Mantegazza as Idiogamists 
probably belong to this category: Zeitschrift f. Sexualwissenschaft, 
p. 223. 

11. Cf. Chap. X. 

12. Ferenzi: Analytische Deutung und Behandlung der psycho- 
sexuellen Impotenz beim Manne. Psychistrisch-neurologish© 
Wochenschrift, 1908, No. 35. See also the works of Stekel and 

13. Sexual Selection in Man, p. 204. 

14. Those who are interested in the problem may read an excellent 
paper on the subject by Freud: Die Inzestscheu der Wilden; Imago, 
Heft 1. 

15. For full particulars of these mechanisms, see Chap. VI. 

16. See especially, "The Oedipus Complex as an explanation of 
Hamlet's Mystery, Amer. Jour, of Psychology, Jan., 1910. 

17. Dementia Prsecox oder Gruppe der Schizophrenien, p. 344. 
Deuticke Leipzig u. Wien, 1911. 

18. Freud: L. c. 


Fixation on early parental images; the psychology of 

the mother-in-law. 

Very little attention has been given to the problem of 
the only child, and the little literature we have at our 
disposal deals mainly with the superficial and general 
aspects of the question. Neter, who has written an excel- 
lent pamphlet on the subject/ gives a very good descrip- 
tion of the only child's attributes, but he does not enter 
into the deeper psychological elements. Moreover, no 
attempt has been made outside of the Freudian school 2 
to follow those children into adult life and to trace the 
individual influence at play in their adjustment to environ- 
ments. This can be readily understood when we remem- 
ber that very little has been done in child psychology in 
general and that only few psychologists are at present 
occupying themselves with the subject. 

Stimulated by the works of Freud 3 and Jung 4 I have 
investigated the subject from the psychanalytical side 
and shall endeavor to present some of the results. But 
before proceeding to do so it will be necessary to orient 
ourselves on some of the psychological principles that 
form a part of the discussion. 

In his famous essay Concerning Human Understanding, 
Locke tells us that the child's mind is essentially a 



tabula rasa, a tablet upon which nothing is written, and 
that all knowledge rests on experience. Psychanalysis 
fully demonstrates Lock's empiricism, and confining 
ourselves to the question of parental influences and rela- 
tionships we may say that every individual's mind pos- 
sesses certain stereotype plates or models, as it were, 
which are the result of mental impressions produced by 
the parents during childhood. Thus a father image 5 and 
a mother image remain permanently engraved in the 
mind and act as standards for estimation of men and 
women that later enter into this person's life. It is not 
difficult to show that our behavior toward our fellow 
beings depends mostly on our relations to our parents. In 
other words we unconsciously endeavor to fit every 
stranger into one of our latent parental images and our 
likes and dislikes depend in a great measure on the success 
or failure of such correlation. Further investigation 
shows that children do not always love their parents as is 
commonly supposed, but very often hate one of them. 
The first woman the little boy loves is her mother, and 
the first man the little girl loves is her father. The little 
boy idolizes his mother and supplies her with that part of 
poetic love which she no longer gets from her husband. 
The mother calls her little boy sweetheart and tries to 
realize in him her ideal of the man. The same thing takes 
place between the little girl and her father. Normally, 
however, these parental ideals vanish with the advancing 
age, when the growing child begins to project his love on 
strangers. The boy then no longer thinks that his 
mother is the prettiest and loveliest woman in the world, 
but he evinces an interest in other persons of the opposite 


sex. The deflection of love from the mother may also be 
furthered by the appearance of a little brother, who claims 
a part of his mother's love and attention. However, 
this absence of the mother ideal is only apparent. It is 
not eliminated, but repressed into the unconscious and 
there it continues to exert its influence throughout the 
whole life of the individual. Psychanalysis of normal 
persons shows beyond any doubt the enormous influence 
of unconscious parental complexes. It explains the 
important mechanism of transference 6 as well as many of 
the peculiarities of the love life. 7 

Recently I was consulted by a young girl of twenty-one 
years who was said to have become nervous as a result 
of a disagreement with her mother. She was in love with 
a man of forty-six years to whom her mother strongly 
objected, not only on account of the marked difference in 
their ages, but because the man was considered mentally 
abnormal. During our conversation she remarked that 
her mother had always been in her way and by way of 
explanation she stated that her mother was jealous of her 
and that when she was younger she hated to have her 
mother go along when she went out with her father. "I 
always looked upon her as a stranger/' she said. She 
idolized her father who is her ideal in every respect, 
although he is a paranoiac and has been for years in an 
insane asylum. She surprised me when she told me that 
there is as marked a difference in the ages of her father 
and mother as there is in her own and her fiances ages. 
Indeed, all the features of the case unmistakably pointed 
to an identification with her mother and an unconscious 
desire to get her father ideal. Such cases are not at all 


uncommon; I have given some in the preceding chapter 
and could cite many more. 

From what has just been said it can be readily under- 
stood that such parental influences may often be strong 
enough to inhibit materially the individual's relations to 
the other sex. Thus, too much and prolonged affection on 
the part of the mother is apt to cause an undue conscious 
or unconscious attachment to the parents, and thus pre- 
vent the child from going through the various stages of 
its psychosexual development. We know that the sexual 
impulse of childhood is autoerotic or objectless. 8 The 
child knows no other sexual object than himself and gets 
his gratification through the erogenous zones of his own 
body. As it grows older we have the so-called latency 
period, during which the greater part of the sexual excita- 
tion is utilized for aims other than sexual, viz., for the 
formation of social feelings and the future sexual barriers. 
Between autoerotism and the object love there is an inter- 
mediate stage which has been designated as narcism. 
Freud tells us that every stage of development of the 
psychosexual life offers a possibility for " fixation' ' which 
may result in a type of character. Thus we know that 
fixation in narcism may cause paranoia 9 or homosexuality, 
and that fixation in autoerotism may lay the foundation 
for dementia precox. By giving the child too much love, 
mothers often prolong or cause a fixation in the various 
stages mentioned. This naturally occurs very often in 
only children, who, having no one with whom to share their 
parents' affection, are overburdened with love. The same 
takes place in favorite children who are subjected to the 
same conditions as only children during the impressionable 


period of their existence. Since the fall of 1908 I have 
examined 400 only or favorite children, and my findings 
may be divided into (a) general and (b) specific. 

(a) Whether burdened by heredity or not the adult only 
child usually shows one prominent feature, namely, he is a 
very poor competitor in the struggle for existence. Hav- 
ing been carefully reared and constantly watched by his 
loving mother, he remains forever "mama's boy." He is 
devoid of those qualities which characterize the real boy. 
He lacks independence, self-confidence and the practical 
skill which the average boy acquires through competition 
with other boys. 

Owing to the fact that the only boy constantly asso- 
ciates with grown-ups he is usually precocious even in 
childhood, and as he grows older he finds it very hard to 
associate with persons of his own age. I know an only 
boy of nineteen years who has not a single friend. He is 
practically asocial. He wishes only to associate with per- 
sons much older than himself and cannot adapt himself to 
the society of young people because they "bore" him. 
Some time ago I was consulted about another only boy, 
seven years old, because, as his mother put it, he did not 
get along with other children and was real blase. He 
was not interested in anything. Toys, pets, books, etc., 
that would have been sufficient to delight the hearts of a 
dozen children had absolutely no charm for him. He was 
in constant need of new excitements and as they could not 
be supplied quickly enough he was unhappy and morose. 

The only child is usually spoiled and coddled because 
the parents gratify all his whims and have not the heart 
to be severe with or punish him when necessary. This 



has its evil consequences in adult life, for the slightest de- 
preciation, hardly noticeable by the average person, is 
enough to throw him into a fit of depression and rage last- 
ing for days and even for weeks. An only daughter 
attempted suicide because her best friend received more 
attention than she at a social gathering. 

It is due to the undivided attention and abnormal love 
that the only child gets from his parents that he develops 
into a confirmed egotist. He is never neglected in favor 
of sisters and brothers. He is the sole ruler of the house- 
hold and his praises are constantly sung. It is, therefore, 
no wonder that the only child becomes vain and one-sided 
and develops an exaggerated opinion of himself. In later 
life he is extremely conceited, jealous and envious. He 
begrudges the happiness of friends and acquaintances and 
he is therefore shunned and disliked.* A favorite son, 
a bachelor of sixty-two years who was a wealthy retired 
merchant, told me that whenever there was a rise in the 
market he suffered from severe depression and fits of envy, 
simply because he knew that some of his friends would 
make money. He himself had no personal interest in the 
market. Such qualities are surely not conducive to 
happiness, and it is not at all surprising that almost all 
such children are selfish, unhappy and morose. 

(b) The specific findings are of still greater interest. 
Of the 400 cases observed there were 172 men and 22S 
women. Their ages ranged from eighteen to sixty-eight 
years. The morbid manifestations were as follows: 

* A typical example is Joseph of the Bible, having been his mother's 
only son (Rachel died during the birth of Benjamin) and his father's 
favorite, he was despised and hated by his half-brothers. 


The predominant feature in about 36 per cent, of my 
cases was the abnormal sex life. Most of them sought 
treatment for homosexuality, psychic impotence (men) and 
sexual anesthesia (women) ; there were also some exhibition- 
ists, voyeurs, sadists and masochists. About 18 per cent, 
suffered from the various types of dementiaprsecox. The 
rest represented the different forms of the psychoneuroses. 

No statistical conclusions should be drawn from these 
figures as most of these patients came or were sent to me 
for treatment because they suffered from psychoneuroses 
or from the other maladies enumerated above. They 
show, however, the marked prevalence of only or favorite 
children in these classes. Bearing in mind our psych- 
analytic knowledge of sex this is not at all surprising. 
The child is born with the germs of sexuality and during 
the first years of its life is polymorphous perverse. That 
is, if an adult should manifest any of the sexual activities 
that we see in the child he would be considered perverse. 
But as the child grows older most of these perversions 
undergo repression and the rest are subjugated to the 
primacy of the genitals which serve the purpose of pro- 
creation. 10 It is quite obvious that abnormal love in 
early life hinders the normal sexual evolution. It either 
keeps alive or later revives some of the early sexual 
activities. The boy cannot transfer his libido on other 
women because his mother stands in his way. As a rule 
this is accomplished quite innocently under the guise of 
maternal care. Such mothers discourage social inter- 
course with the opposite sex because they wish to preserve 
their son's purity, etc. A number of my homosexual 
patients told me that their mothers were actually jealous 


of every woman with whom they chanced to come in 
contact and behaved exactly as if they were confronted 
with a rival. No one is good enough for such children. 
At least that is what the parents think. This, by the way, 
is one of the secrets of mothers-in-law. They uncon- 
sciously want their sons for themselves and are jealous 
of every other woman. It is a sex jealousy pure and 
simple.* The majority of only children do not marry at 

* The deeper reasons, however, lying at the basis of the hostility 
between the proverbial mother-in-law and her son-in-law are explained 
by Freud. (Imago Heft I.) He first shows that among savages the 
world over there exist very stringent laws against any familiarity with 
one's mother-in-law. The son-in-law and mother-in-law are forced by 
the tribal laws to shun each other. They must run away or hide when 
they meet by chance. In civilized communities where, to the regret 
of many, there are no such laws, it is extremely common to find very 
strained, not to say hostile feelings between mother-in-law and son- 
in-law. Freud uses a term coined by Bleuler to describe the feeling 
between mother-in-law and son. He thinks that the relation between 
them may be designated as "ambivalent," i.e., it is made up of both 
affectionate and hostile feelings. Some of these feelings are quite 
clear. Thus the mother-in-law dislikes to relinquish her daughter 
to a stranger whom she suspects, and shows a tendency to assume a 
domineering attitude which she became accustomed to in her own 
home. The son-in-law, on the other hand, is determined to resent 
any subordination to the will of a stranger. He is jealous of all 
persons who once possessed his wife's love and, what is more, he 
dislikes to have his illusion of sexual overestimation disturbed. 
Such disturbance mostly emanates from the mother-in-law who 
reminds him of his wife because of many common features between 
them, but who lacks all the attractions of youth, beauty and psychic 
freshness which give value to his wife. 

Added to that there are unconscious motives. Whenever the 
psychosexual needs of the woman are to be gratified in marriage or 
in family life she is always threatened by the danger of lack of grati- 
fication through a premature cessation of the marital relations or 


all or they marry some near relative whom they uncon- 
sciously identify with their parent image. The probable 
average of my patients' ages was thirty-four years, but 
only ninety-three out of the 400 had been married. 
Most of them remained old maids and bachelors. 

through the uneventfulness of her emotional life. The ageing mother 
protects herself against it by living, as it were, in her children. It is 
said that one remains young with one's children. This is really the 
most valuable psychic gain accruing to the parents from their children. 
This living through the daughter proceeds in the mother to an extent 
that she falls in love with the man her daughter loves, which, in 
pronounced cases, leads to severe forms of neurotic disturbance 
brought on by the violent psychic conflicts. A tendency to love her 
son-in-law is frequently observed in the mother-in-law and either 
this feeling alone or its contrary emotion allies itself to the tumultuous 
struggling forces in her psyche. Quite often the son-in-law faces the 
hostile, sadistic components of the emotions of love which only serve 
to better repress the prohibited affectionate feelings. 

The relations of the man to his mother-in-law are complicated by 
similar feelings which flow, however, from another source. As a rule 
the road of object selection leading to the love object is followed by 
the man over the images of his mother or perhaps his sister. The 
deflection of his first love from these beloved persons of his childhood 
is effected by the incest barriers in order that he should attain in a 
stranger this prototype. In place of his mother or the mother of his 
sister he is now confronted by the mother-in-law. This gives rise to 
a tendency to return to the prehistoric selection which is rapidly 
repressed. His incest shyness demands that he should not be 
reminded of the geneology of his love selection. The rejection is 
facilitated by the actuality of the mother-in-law whom he did not 
know from the beginning of his existence and hence, unlike his 
mother's, her image does not remain unchanged in his unconscious. 
A special addition of attractiveness and repulsion to the emotional 
mixture allows the conjecture that the mother-in-law really repre- 
sents an incestuous temptation for the son-in-law. On the other hand, 
it is not rare for a man to fall in love first with his future mother- 
in-law before turning his affection to her daughter. 


With the brief space at my disposal I am unable to 
enter into any psychological explanation of these different 
perversions and I must therefore presuppose a knowledge 
of the Freudian literature on the part of my readers. I 
merely repeat that parental influences play a great part 
in both the normal and neurotic individual, but whereas 
the normal person gets away at least consciously from 
these dominations the neurotic remains anchored and 
succeeds only partially in freeing himself from them. 
This fixation is mainly responsible for psychic impotence, 
frigidity and homosexuality, 12 and its general influences 
can always be found in every psychoneurotic. 13 I know 
an old bachelor of forty-five years, an only son, who slept 
with his mother until she died four years ago. He is a 
good business man and is said to be normal in every other 
respect. I have treated an old maid, a favorite daughter, 
who lost her father three years ago. She still wears black 
and cries bitterly at any allusion to her father. She 
answered as follows my question as to why she still wore 
mourning: "Why shouldn't I? No one ever had such a 
kind, generous and self-sacrificing father. There is not 
another man like him in this world. 0! how I love this 
man, etc." This may sound like pure filial love, but 
having analyzed her, I have definitely ascertained that 
she loved her father as any woman loves a stranger. We 
can readily see why such persons cannot marry. This 
patient characteristically expressed it when she said: 
1 If I could find a man like my father I would marry." 

Just a few words on prophylaxis. Of course it would 
be best for the individual as well as the race that there 
should be no only children. However, when this cannot 


be avoided by virtue of ill health or death of one of the 
parents the child need not necessarily become a neurotic 
and belong to any of the categories mentioned above. It 
all depends upon its subsequent bringing up. 

When we read the history of only children we find that 
only those who have been brought up wrongly develop into 
abnormal beings, those who are not pampered and coddled 
have the same chances as other children. As classical 
examples we may mention Nero and Confucius, the former 
was a spoiled only child, while the latter was a well-bred 
only child. An only child should be made to associate 
with other children who will soon teach him that he is not 
the only one in the world. This should begin at a very 
early age. I have seen many "nervous and wild" only 
children who were completely changed after a few weeks' 
attendance in a kindergarten or public school. But what 
is still more important is that only children should not be 
gorged with parental love. Parents should take care that 
such children should not develop an exaggerated idea of 
their own personality and think that they are superior to 
everybody. For individuals imbued with such paranoid 
ideas are bound to come into conflict with their fellow- 
men. What is] true of the individual may also be true 
of a race, and history furnishes us with a very nice 

I refer to the only and favorite child of Jehovah, the 
Jewish race. The Bible tells us that the Jews are the 
"chosen people," "the only son," and even "the first- 
born." That the Jews have displayed all the attributes 
of the only or favorite child need hardly be mentioned. 
From the Bible we learn that they were stiff-necked, spoiled 


and overbearing, and considered themselves superior 
to every other nation. Characteristics of such nature 
have been attributed to them by almost all writers of 
ancient and modern times, and although some are gross 
exaggerations it must nevertheless be admitted that they 
are essentially correct in reference to the Hebrews of [an- 
tiquity and the modern orthodox European Jews. Still 
it is gratifying to note that this no longer holds true of the 
great bulk of western Jews who have enjoyed a couple of 
generations of freedom. The explanation of this change 
is given by Dr. M. Fishberg u in his very interesting book. 
He plainly shows that "Judaism has been preserved 
throughout the long years of Israel's dispersion by two 
factors: its separative ritualism, which prevented close 
and intimate contact with non-Jews, and the iron laws of 
Christian theocracies of Europe which encouraged and 
enforced isolation." In other words, as long as the Jew 
has been imbued with the racial pride of belonging to the 
"chosen people" and has been offering daily prayers to 
Jehovah because he was not created a gentile, he per- 
force remained exclusive and therefore was suspected and 
disliked by his non-Jewish neighbors. When we study 
the history of the Jews we find that their enforced isolation 
was the result of an early, voluntary clannish exclusive- 
ness. This shows the striking analogy to the only boy 
who at first refuses to associate with others because he 
believes himself superior to everybody else, and who is 
later excluded from social relations because he is misunder- 
stood and disliked. Dr. Fishberg also tells us that as soon 
as the barriers are removed the Jews readily assimilate 
and all former prejudices disappear. The only boy, too, 


loses his identity as soon as he realizes that he is no better 
than his fellow beings. 

The problem is more complicated when we come to 
prophylaxis in relation to psychosexuality and I regret 
that I am unable to enter here into a long discussion. I 
shall merely say that parents should remember that proper 
sex regulation does not necessarily imply repression and 
extermination of all sex feelings, and that the requisite 
for perfect manhood and womanhood are all the impulses 
and desires that are normally common to men and women. 

In conclusion I wish to say that the only child is a mor- 
bid product of our present social economic system. He 
is usually an offspring of wealthy parents who, having been 
themselves brought up in luxury and anxious that their 
children should share their fate, refuse to have more than 
one or two children. By their abnormal love they not 
only unfit the child for life's battle but prevent him from 
developing into normal manhood, thus producing sexual 
perverts and neurotics of all descriptions. 


1. Das einzige Kind. Gmelin, Munchen. 

2. A paper was read on this subject by Drs. Sadger and Friedjung 
before the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, October 5, 1910. 

3. Analyse der Phobie eines 5 jahrigen Knaben. Jahrbuch f. 
Psychoanalyse, Vol. I. 

4. Experiences Concerning the Psychic Life of the Child. Trans- 
lated by A. A. Brill, Am. Jour, of Psychology, April, 1910. 

5. Jung: Symbole und Wandlungen der Libido. Jahrbuch f. 
Psychoanalyse, Vol. II. 

6. Freud: Zur Dynamik der Uebertragung. Zentralblatt f. Psycho- 
analyse, II; and Brill: A Few Remarks on the Technique of Psych- 
analysis, Medical Review of Reviews, April, 1912. 


7. Jung: Die Bedeutung des Vaters fur das Schicksal des Einzelnen. * 
Jahrbuch fur Psychoanalyse, Vol. I. 

8. Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory. Translated by 
A. A. Brill. 

9. C/. Chap. VI. 

10. Freud: L. c. 

11. Abraham: Die Stellung der Verwandtenehe in der Psychologie 
der Neurosen. Jahrbuch f iir Psychoanalyse, Vol. I. 

12. Freud: L. c; also Ferenczi: Analytische Deutung der psycho- 
sexuellen Impotenz beim Manne. Psychiatr. Neurolog. Wochen- 
schrift, 1908, and the works of Stekel and Sadger. 

13. Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams, p. 224. 

14. The Jews, A Study of Race and Environment. Scribner's 
Pub. Co. 


In his Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory Freud 
shows that the sexual impulse in man consists of many 
components and partial impulses. Many essential con- 
tributions to the sexual excitement are furnished by the 
peripheral excitement of certain parts of the body, such as 
the genitals, mouth, anus and bladder outlets which we 
call erogenous zones. All these zones are active in infancy 
and only some of them go to make up the sexual life. The 
others are deflected from the sexual aims and utilized for 
other purposes. This is the process of sublimation. 
During the sexual latency period — four to beginning of 
puberty, eleven — reaction formations like shame, loathing * 
and morality, are formed in the psychic life of the indi- 
vidual at the cost of the excitements furnished by these 
erogenous zones, which act as dams for the later sexual 
activity. The anal zone is one of the components of the 
sexual impulse which, though active in infancy, falls into 
desuetude in the course of development, for our present 
cultural life does not use it for sexual purposes. It is the 
reaction formation of this zone that I shall here discuss. 

In the course of psychanalysis we come across patients 
who tell us that it took them a long time to learn to con- 
trol their bowels. These patients recall that even in the 
later years of childhood they occasionally met with an 



accident. When we investigate still further we find that 
they belonged to those infants who refused to empty their 
bowels when placed on the chamber because defecation 
caused them pleasure. A number of my patients clearly 
recalled that even in later years they obtained pleasure 
by withholding their movements, and that they took an 
unusual interest in their fecal excretions. This usually 
shows that their sexual constitution brought along an 
enhanced erogenous significance of the anal zone. As they 
grew older all these activities disappeared, and instead 
they manifested a triad of qualities which were described 
by Freud in his article on Character and Anal Eroticism. 1 
To illustrate this character I shall cite the following case. 

X., forty-four years old, divorced, a very successful merchant, was 
referred to me for treatment by Dr. F. Peterson. The patient stated 
that his present illness dated back to his twentieth year. On exami- 
nation it was found that he presented a typical compulsion neurosis, 2 
and that some of the compulsive ideas were as follows. When eating 
soup he would think it urine; when eating sausage he would have to 
think of feces. The noise of an auto horn made him think of a 
flatus or horse's flatus, on account of which he gave up automobile 
riding. On going to sleep he became obsessed by visions of people 
having movements of the bowels. A woman's mouth made him think 
of the rectum, her eyes recalled the anus. Shaking hands with a 
person recalled a man using toilet paper. Looking at big fat persons 
would obsess him with thoughts of their fecal excrements, the size, 
consistency, etc. A person with protruding teeth would recall feces 
protruding from the anus. The moon constantly recalled the rectum. 

These are only a few of the many dozens of similar com- 
pulsive ideas which forever obsessed him. Besides the 
obsessions he suffered from chronic constipation and from 
many other somatic disturbances. 

On hearing this voluminous skatological story I natu- 


rally thought of the anal eroticism, and the more I became 
acquainted with my patient the completer the picture 

Now Freud describes the persons showing the anal 
eroticism as being especially orderly, economical, and 
obstinate. Every one of these terms embraces a small 
group or series of allied characteristic features. Thus 
orderly includes physical cleanliness as well as scrupulosity 
in little things; its opposite would be disorder and negli- 
gence. Econ my may shade into avariciousness; obsti- 
nacy may lead to spite and to a tendency for violence and 
revengeful acts. It is the last two — economy and obsti- 
nacy — that hang most firmly together, and are most con- 
stantly encountered, though the third is often found in 
the same person. 

X. dressed and looked very neat and gentlemanly. He 
was very conventional, moved in very nice circles, and 
tried to make the impression that he was very particular 
about society matters. Thus he often referred to his 
friend as not a gentleman because he would not always 
put on evening dress for theater. The slightest infarction 
of the general rule offended him. He lived in the best 
hotels and belonged to some very fine clubs. From his 
history I found that he was extremely self willed and 
obstinate. He hated all his brothers because they claimed 
that he thought he knew it all, and he would give me 
many instances to show that he really was superior to 
them. This characteristic was not only apparent in 
his dealings with his family, but with everyone else 
including doctors. He consulted physicians in almost 
every principal city of the U. S. and abroad and spoke 


disparagingly of all. He had also been a Christian Scien- 
tist and a New Thoughter, but as they did not benefit him 
he put them on the same level with the doctors. It was 
often very amusing to hear him speak of doctors I knew, 
and I have no doubt that I fare no better when he talks 
to others. His obstinacy and revenge led him to enter 
into commercial competition with his own brothers, and 
when his older brother implored his help and threatened 
to blow out his own brains because of financial ruin he 
not only refused to assist him, but said to him: "Not a 
cent! Shoot yourself; do you remember how you treated 
me?" (revenge and spite). 

As an illustration of his financial dealings I shall cite 
an experience I had with him. As I said above he was 
Dr. Peterson's patient, and I first saw him in Dr. P.'s 
office. He became unusually friendly, and as soon as an 
opportunity presented itself he proposed that if I charge 
him less for the treatment he would leave Dr. P. and come 
to me. I told him nicely that I could not think of enter- 
taining such a proposition, and that things would have to 
remain as they were. A few weeks later he saw P. 
unknown to me, and told him that he was poor and unable 
to continue with the treatment unless his fees were reduced. 
Dr. P., not knowing the true circumstances, reduced his 
fee 50 per cent. That same week he invested many 
thousands in a new business venture in New York City. 
More than this, when his bill was sent to him at the end 
of the month he sent a check for about one-tenth of the 
amount on account. It is now about two years since the 
treatment ceased and he still sends us small amounts from 
time to time. I may here mention that he is a very wealthy 


man and owns large interests in a number of big com- 
mercial houses. His dealings with other people were 
of a similar nature. Thus, I prescribed some medicine 
for him and he then complained that the druggist was a 
highway robber. He lost the friendship of many people 
because of his stinginess. I have this from his own 
account. In fine he was what people would call a miser, 
though to all appearances he looked like a generous 
gentleman. As a business man he was a great success 
because, as he said, " I knew how to manage things, and 
I could always be relied upon." 

The extreme neatness, orderliness, and reliability in 
our patient are nothing but reaction formations against 
the interest in the not neat or dirty which is not a part 
of the body. 

During the analysis I found that as a child the patient 
had a hard time to control his rectum. He was punished 
and jeered for regularly soiling himself up to his sixth 
year. At nine years he was sent home from school in 
disgrace because he broke wind in the class room. This 
was recalled under marked emotivity. He stated that 
it was a mixed class of boys and girls which made it still 
harder to bear. The following year he met with another 
accident while following a parade. He received a rather 
severe spanking for it because he had on a new white suit. 
The patient also recalled that as early as in his fifth year 
he had the habit of sticking his finger into his rectum, a 
habit which he continued for years. 

Whether he was one of these infants who held back his 
stools I could not discover, but as far as his memory 


reached there was an extreme interest for feces and for 
the gluteal region. 

It is not simple to connect the interest in defecation 
with obstinacy but we must remember that even infants 
can be self willed when put on the chamber, and that 
painful irritations of the skin connected with the anal 
zone (spanking) are utilized to break the child's obstinacy. 
We all know that when people wish to express spite or 
spiteful mocking they invite people to kiss their behind, 
which points to a repressed pleasure. As a child our 
patient was very often spanked not only by his parent- 
but by his older brother. One incident which he espes- 
cially remembered was a very brutal treatment by his 
older brother. 

The relation between defecation and money though 
seemingly remote still shows a definite connection. Some 
of you know that the most obstinate cases of constipation 
can be cured by psychanalysis. Of course they can also 
be cured by other means such as hypnotism, but by 
psychanalysis they can be cured only after the money 
complex of the patient has been thoroughly thrashed out 
and brought to consciousness. We know that misers are 
called filthy (filthy lucre), and that in mythology, fairy 
tales, superstitions, and dreams money is intimately 
connected with feces (goose that laid the golden egg). In 
the old Babylonian writings gold is the dung of hell. 3 
It is also probable that the contrast between the most 
valuable that man has learned to know and the least 
valuable which he ejects as refuse has formed the identi- 
fication. This identification is also strengthened by the 
fact that when the erotic interest in defecation ceases the 


interest in money begins which was lacking during child- 
hood. The yellow color which is common to gold and 
feces probably forms another association. 

It may also be mentioned that the triad of qualities are 
not found in those persons who retain the anus as an 
erogenous zone; e.g., homosexual pederasts. Those 
whom I know are all very generous indeed. The treat- 
ment of X. had to be stopped on account of his money 
complex at the end of about two months, although he 
admitted that he was much benefited by the analysis. 
When he first came for treatment he was so annoyed by 
the obsession caused by the noise of auto horns that he 
promised me 75 per cent, of his income if I rid him of it. 
After a few weeks analysis this and some other obsessions 
were removed, he was very pleased and surprised, he 
thought it was miraculous, but notwithstanding all this 
it was impossible for him to pay a moderate fee for his 
treatment. As far as I have gone the analysis showed 
an accentuation of the anal zone in infancy, a retarded 
repression with its reaction formation, as shown by his 
character, and then a failure of the repression at the age of 
20 years with a negative revival of the anal activity in the 
form of the skatological obsessions. 

Case II. — T., thirty years old, suffered for years from a compulsion 
neurosis which manifested itself in obsessions, doubts, and phobias. 
To save time I shall merely state that he soiled himself to the age of 
three years, and from his mother's account he was almost never free 
from bowel trouble until the age of five years. The neurosis mani- 
fested itself at fifteen years, and besides many obsessive thoughts he 
was also troubled by an obsessive act. He could not resist the impulse 
to rub his feces on walls, and at times on his body. T. stated that he 

had the habit of holding back his bowels because it gave him a 


distinct feeling of pleasure and stimulated his mental activity. When- 
ever he was confronted with a difficult task he " practised constipa- 
tion." As an example he gave the following episode. As a reporter 
for a newspaper he was sent to observe and report the manoeuvres of 
the National Guard. He was very anxious to write nice reports and 
to accomplish this he would hold back his movements for two to 
three days until it became almost unbearable, and he would then 
imagine himself on the battle field of Waterloo and describe what he 
saw. Here, too, the anal activities were the result of a failure in the 
repression of an enhanced zone. 

But it often happens that in addition to an erogenous 
zone there is also a revival of one or more of the partial 
impulses. Whenever this occurs the symptoms usually 
show a corresponding combination. The following will 
serve as an illustration. 

Case III. — B., thirty-nine years old, suffered from a compulsion 
neurosis. He was obsessed with doubts and phobias which referred 
to definite ideas about people being killed. It would be impossible 
to give here a description of this very interesting case which I hope to 
report in full at some future date. I simply wish to state that he 
too, showed an enhanced anal activity in infantile life, although no 
nearly as marked as in the other cases. But the most prominent 
factor in his infantile sexuality was the component of cruelty. B. 
was taught to use firearms at a very early age. His greatest pleasure 
up to the age of nine to ten years was shooting birds, squirrels and 
rabbits. At the age of puberty he became very sympathetic, and 
one day after shooting a squirrel he suddenly experienced feelings of 
compassion and remorse. Since then he found it very hard to go out 
shooting. When his neurosis developed at the age of eighteen years 
he also began to suffer from constipation which continued ever since 
for fifteen years. No medication would relieve him until he accidentally 
discovered that the following process gave him a movement of the 
bowels. He once played with a spool of cotton upon which was a 
picture of a child. He rolled it and when the child's picture came 
his way he stuck a pin into it. After five minutes of such play he 
would have a movement. He then resorted to this practice which 


he modified from time to time until he was cured. He carried a 
number of long pins which he sharpened from time to time, and every 
morning he drew a picture of a girl and thrust the pins into the region 
of the heart. When he was very busy he could simply draw a 
target on paper and throw his pen at it imagining that it was a girl. 
As the years went by he resorted to many other variations. Thus 
when he lived in the country he would shoulder his rifle and go out 
into the gadren, and by imagining that he was shooting Indians his 
bowels were soon stimulated to activity. Sometimes he imagined 
himself fighting, which gave the same result. On one occasion while 
throwing his pins at a picture one of them fell through the window 
into the garden, and as childern were wont to play there, he soon 
became obsessed with the idea that one of the children might swallow 
the pin and die. This was the first obsession of this kind and which 
continued in different forms. 

AH these patients showed a special interest in their anal 
activities in childhood and in adult life. Later when the 
infantile activities of the anal zone remained in a state of 
repression they belonged to that class of persons who pro- 
long the act of defecation by reading books and newspapers 
in the water-closet, thus X. referred to the water-closet as 
his library. With the onset of the neurosis which signified 
a failure of repression, the originally enhanced anal activi- 
ties came to the surface in the form of symptoms; i.e., the 
neurosis represented the negative of the perversion. 

The analyses of these as well as of a number of other 
cases fully corroborate Freud's formula; viz., that the 
permanent distinguishing traits of a person are either 
unchanged continuations of the original impulses, sub- 
liminations of the same, or reactions formed against them. 


1. Sammlung kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, 2d Series p. 132. 

2. Cf. Chap. IV. 

3. Freud: Anal Erotic, I. c. 



Its Relation to the Dream and Unconscious 

When we examine the literature on wit from Aristotle 
to our present time, we are struck by the fact that despite 
its universality comparatively little has been written on 
the subject, and that although many excellent theories 
have been advanced, notably by Jean Paul, Theodore 
Vischer, and Fischer, none of these authors has gone 
deeply enough into the subject. 

Without entering into detailed descriptions I shall simply 
state that the characteristic qualities of wit as given by 
the most prominent authors are the following: activity, 
the relation of the content of wit to our thoughts, the 
character of the playing judgment, the union of dissimilari- 
ties, contrasting ideas, sense in nonsense, the succession 
of confusion and clearness, the sudden emergence of the 
hidden, and the peculiar kind of brevity. 

On close examination it can be readily seen that these 
qualities though readily demonstrable by many examples 
of wit represent only isolated fragments, and give us little 
information about the deeper psychological mechanisms 
of wit. Indeed no author thoroughly explains the indi- 
vidual determinants of wit. Also the divisions of wit 
are based by some authors on the technical means, and 


freud's theory of wit 277 

by others on the usage of wit in speech. The reason for all 
these diversities and discrepencies is that, with the excep- 
tion of Freud, no author penetrated deeply enough into 
the subject. Here, as in some other branches of normal 
and abnormal psychology Freud pushed on when the others 
have stopped, and in this book, "Der Witz und sein 
Beziehung zum Unbewussten," 1 he solves the riddle of 
wit as he solved the riddle of the neuroses and psychoses. 
Following Freud I have divided this paper into the 
analytical, synthetical, and theoretical parts. 


DeQuincey once remarked that old persons are apt to 
fall into "anecdotage." The word anecdotage, though in 
itself incomprehensible, can be readily analysed to show 
its original full sense; and on analysis we find that it is 
made up of two words, anecdote and dotage. That is, 
instead of saying that old persons are apt to fall into 
dotage, and that old persons are fond of telling anecdotes, 
DeQuincey fuses the two words together forming a ne- 
ologism, anecdotage, and thus simultaneously expresses 
both ideas. The technique, therefore, lies in the fusion of 
the two words. Such a fusion of words is called condensa- 
tion. Condensation is not a simple composition formed 
by the joining of the two words; there is a substitutive 
formation, i.e., instead of anecdote and dotage we get 

In a short story that I have recently read, one of the 
characters, a "sport/' speaks of the Christmas season as 
the alchoholidays. By reduction it can be easily seen that 


we have here a compound word, a combination of alcohol 
and holidays which can be graphically represented as 



Here the condensation expresses the idea that holidays 
are conducive to alcoholic indulgence. In other words, 
we have here a fused word, which, though strange in 
appearance, can be easily understood in its proper con- 
text. This witticism may be described as a condensation 
with substitution. 

The same mechanism is found in the following: A 
dramatic critic summarizing three paragraphs to the 
effect that most plays produced in New York City 
are violent, emotional and hysterical, remarks, "Thespis 
has taken up his home in Dramatteawan." The substi- 
tution not only expresses the critic's idea that most of 
the plays at present produced in this city are violent, 
emotional, and hysterical, that is insane, but it also 
contains a clever allusion to the nature of the problems 
presented by most of these plays. Matteawan is a state 
hospital for criminal insane. Most of the plays are not 
only insane but also criminal, since they treat of murders, 
divorces, robberies, scandals, etc. 

A jest which not long ago went the rounds in Europe 
referred to the late King Leopold as Cleopold, on account 
of his attachment to an actress whose first name was Cleo. 
This scandalous allusion is here produced by the addition 
of a single letter. 2 


The examples thus far described come under the group 
of substitutive formation (Ersatzbildung). Brevity, 
which Shakespeare calls the soul of wit, 3 is common to 
them all; but brevity alone is not wit, else every laconism 
would be wit; it must be a special kind of brevity. In- 
vestigation shows that the brevity of the joke is often due 
to a special process which leaves its definite mark in the 
wording of the wit. This is the process of substitutive 
formation. If we apply the process of reduction to the 
wit, we find that wit depends solely on the verbal expres- 
sion produced by the process of condensation. As yet, 
however, we do not understand how the process of con- 
densation produces the most valuable part of wit, namely, 
the resultant mirth (Lustgewinn). 

Condensation not only plays a part in wit, but also in 
dreams. We know that the dream is divided into the 
manifest and the latent thoughts. 4 The latent thoughts 
are the actual thoughts underlying the dream, while the 
manifest thoughts, which are usually absurd and in appear- 
ance meaningless, are those which are recalled by the 
dreamer on awakening. The dream-work is the name 
given to the psychic processes which are responsible for 
the transformation of the latent into the manifest thoughts 
of the dream, and condensation may be named as one of 
these processes. Words, pictures, ideas, and events are 
all subject to the process of condensation. It may 
produce composite pictures resembling one object or 
person up to a certain ingredient or variation which is 
drawn from another source. Thus one of my patients 
saw in her dream a creature resembling a centaur. She 
soon recognized the head as that of a male acquaintance, 


but the body, which was that of a horse, presented here a 
sexual symbolism. 5 

From word condensation we shall now turn to thought 
condensation, and to illustrate this form the following 
witticism may be cited. A corporal shouts to his recruits 
during drill, "Keep it up, boys; courage and perseverance 
bring everything; the egg of Columbus was not laid in a 

This jest is formed by the condensation of two separate 
items — the saying, "Rome was not built in a day," and 
the anecdote of the egg of Columbus. What the corporal 
meant to say was, "All that you boys need is practice; it 
is as simple as it was for Columbus to stand the egg on end; 
don't be discouraged, Rome was not built in a day." He 
fused these two ideas, however, and thus produced the 
substitutive formation, "the egg of Columbus was not 
laid in a day," which on account of its absurdity and 
incongruity carries the wit of the jest. Similar mechan- 
isms are found in dreams, but before continuing with our 
investigation of the analogies between the mechanism 
of wit and of the dream, we will examine the other proc- 
esses producing wit. 

Hood once remarked that he had to be a lively Hood 
for a livelihood. As can be readily seen the technique 
of this witticism is no longer condensation with substitu- 
tive formation, as it shows neither an omission nor 
an abbreviation. The thought is fully expressed as the 
speaker intended it. "I have to be a lively Hood for a 
livelihood." What, then, is the technique of this witti- 
cism? If we apply our method of reduction we find that 
the wit remains intact as long as we preserve the name, 

freud's theory of wit 281 

but that as soon as we replace it by another name, let 
us say Brown, every trace of wit disappears. This 
points to the fact that the wit lies in a twofold application 
of the name, first by itself, and then as a suffix. I recall an 
excellent Italian jeu d f esprit of a like nature. At a court 
ball, in Italy, Napoleon Bonaparte brusquely remarked 
to a very brilliant lady, "Tutti gli Italiani danzano si 
male" (all Italians dance so badly), to which she quickly 
replied, "Non tutti ma buona parte" (Buonaparte). 
The lady's answer has a double meaning; it may mean, 
"Not all, but a great many" (buona parte); or the words 
" buona parte" may be read as one word and then her 
answer has a totally different significance. It becomes a 
sharp retort to Napoleon Buonaparte's insulting remark, 
"Not all Italians dance badly, but Buonaparte does." 
The wit here lies in the double application of the name, 
first as a whole and then divided in syllables like a charade, 

buona parte 

The twofold application of the same words, once as a 
whole and once divided into syllables, is not the only 
technique differing from the technique of condensation. 
There are a great many other ways in which the same word 
or words may be used in order to serve as a technical 
means of wit. A witty jest may be produced by using 
the same words a second time, only slightly changed in 
their order. The slighter the change the better the 
technique. The following will illustrate the point : 

At a ball in Washington a finished coquette gave Senator 


Chauncey M. Depew her fan to hold, and asked him if he 
could flirt a fan. "No," he replied, "but I can fan a 
flirt." (New York Times, March 13, 1910.) This witty 
jest was produced by merely changing the order of the 
words "flirt fan" to "fan flirt." It may also be taken 
as a good example of repartee. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Put not your trust in 
money, but put your money in trust." Here, too, the 
witticism depends mostly on the transposition of the 
same words. 

The manifold application of the same material can be 
greatly extended if the word or words carrying the wit are 
used first in one form and then slightly modified. Thus, 
the old classical saying, "Amantes Amentes" (lovers, 
lunatics) is an excellent example of this subgroup. The 
striking similarity between the two words serves to 
illustrate the close resemblance between love and 

Some words lose their full meaning when used in certain 
connections, as shown in the following examples. Some- 
body observed to the younger Charles Mathews that blind 
persons generally appear contented, and concluded by 
asking, "How can the blind be happy?" "I suppose," 
replied Mathews, " they see no reason why they shouldn't." 
This depends entirely on the word see in the last sentence, 
where it has no longer the full meaning of seeing, but an 
idiomatic significance equivalent to knowing. 

The technique of wit based on double meaning forms 
another subgroup of manifold application. Under this 
heading we have jests utilizing the double meaning of a 
name; for example, "No more, Pistol; I would not have 

freud's theory of wit 283 

you go off here. Discharge yourself of our company, 
Pistol." (Henry IV, 2.) 

Question: " Why have the French rejected Lohengrin?" 
Answer: "On Elsass's account." 6 

We all know that Cardinal Merry Del Val has been 
blamed for the awkward Roosevelt- Vatican episode, and 
the journals the world over have predicted his downfall 
as the Pope's Secretary of State. The following letter 
written to the New York Times, by Eva S. Rosseau, sums 
up this popular opinion. "All will be Merry when Del 
says Val (e) to the Vatican." 

The following may be cited as other examples of double 
meaning. "That Mighty Pen. The superiority of man 
to nature is continually illustrated. Nature needs an 
immense quantity of quills to make a goose with, but a 
man can make a goose of himself with one." (Christian 

Here the wit depends entirely on the double meaning 
of the words goose and quill, which are first used in their 
original literal sense and then metaphorically. Double 
meaning may also be produced by play upon words. 
Here no violence is done to the word, it is not torn into 
syllables, nor does the word undergo any modification. 

Example: Hostess to her guests: "Make yourselves 
at home; I always like my guests to be at home." The 
wit is here produced by the play upon the words at home. 

A physician, leaving the sick bed of a wife, remarked 
to the husband, "I don't like her looks." "I haven't 
liked her looks for some time," was the quick rejoinder 
of the husband. 7 The physician naturally referred to 
the condition of the wife, but he expressed his apprehen- 


sion in such words as to afford the husband the means 
of utilizing them to assert his conjugal aversion. 

There is one thing that strikes us when we examine the 
various groups described above; they all show a simple 
and distinct resemblance; they are all special forms of 
condensation. Thus the manifold application of the same 
material is nothing but a form of condensation, while the 
play upon words is merely a condensation without sub- 
stitutive formation. In other words, all the techniques 
mentioned above have one characteristic, namely, they 
all show a tendency toward economy of expression. But, 
as was said above, we must remember that not every tend- 
ency to economize expression is witty. It must possess a 
special form of economy, upon which the efficiency of the 
wit depends. But before discussing the question whether 
the economy mentioned is not counterbalanced by the 
expenditure of intellectual effort entailed in the formation 
of such expression, and the question who is the gainer by 
this economy, we will briefly consider puns. 

Puns belong to the lowest form of wit. They can be 
formed with very little effort. A mere similarity between 
two words is enough to recall the relationship between the 
two meanings. Puns may be formed by a similarity of 
structure, sound, or initial letters. Fischer defines the 
pun as a bad play on words, because it does not play with 
the word as a word, but merely as a sound. If we elimi- 
nate from the pun the manifold application of the same 
material, we find that the emphasis lies on the concurrence 
of the two words serving to make the pun; this is only a 
subgroup of play upon words. The following will serve 
as illustrations. 

freud's theory of wit 285 

The heading of a poetry column in a daily journal reads, 
" Verse and Worse." 

At a gathering someone spoke disparagingly of a certain 
drama, and wound up by saying, "It was so poor that the 
first act had to be rewritten." "And now it is re-rotten/' 
added the punster of the gathering. 

In both examples the play is upon the words, not as 
words, but as sounds. 

From the technique of witty words, which we have con- 
sidered exclusively so far, we will now turn to the technique 
of witty thoughts, and by way of introduction the follow- 
ing examples will be examined. 

Two Jews meet near a bathing establishment. " Have 
you taken a bath?" asked one. "How is that," answered 
the other, "is one missing?" 8 

At first sight it would seem that the technique lies in 
the double meaning of the word take. For in the first case 
the word is used in a colorless idiomatic sense, while in 
the second it is the verb in its full meaning. This would 
be a case where the same word is taken now in the empty 
and now in the full sense, for the wit disappears if instead 
of using "to take a bath" we should substitute the simple 
equivalent "to bathe." But on closer examination we 
find that the reduction has not been applied to the right 
place. For the jest does not lie in the question, but rather 
in the answer, that is, in the counter question, " How is 
that, is one missing?" Provided the sense is not destroyed 
this answer cannot be robbed of its wit by any dilatation 
or variation. It is to be noted that in the answer of the 
second Jew the overlooking of the bath is more significant 
than the misconception of the word take. 


In his distress a man borrowed money from a wealthy 
acquaintance. 9 The same day he was discovered by his 
creditor in a restaurant eating a dish of salmon with 
mayonnaise. The creditor reproached him in these words : 
"You borrow money of me and then order salmon with 
mayonnaise. Is that what you needed the money for?" 
"I don't quite understand you," responded the debtor* 
"When I have no tmoney I cannot eat salmon with 
mayonnaise, when I have money I am not allowed to 
eat it. Well, when can I ever eat salmon with 

Here we no longer discover any double meaning. The 
repetition of the words "salmon with mayonnaise" is not 
"a manifold application" of the same material, but an 
actual, identical repetition required by the content. It 
may be supposed that the striking thing about the answer 
is its logical character, but as a matter of fact the answer 
is illogical. The debtor endeavors to justify himself for 
spending the borrowed money on luxuries, and asks when 
he is to be allowed to eat salmon. But this is not a 
logical question; the creditor does not blame him for eating 
salmon on the day that he borrows the money, but 
reminds him that in his condition he has no right to think 
of such luxuries at all. The poor bon vivant disregards this 
only possible sense of the reproach, and answers about 
something else, and acts as though he did not under- 
stand the reproach. In other words, the answer is de- 
viated from the sense of the reproach. 

I could find no examples as good as these two taken 
from Professor Freud's book to illustrate a new technique 
of wit, namely, displacement. In both the examples men- 

freud's theory of wit 287 

tioned the technique lies in the displacement of the psychic 
accent. The deviation is especially marked in the bath 
jest. The first says, "Have you taken a bathf The 
emphasis lies on the bath element. The second answers as 
if the question were, " Have you taken a bath?" The 
displacement of the emphasis is made possible only by the 
wording "taken a bath." The displacement would have 
been impossible if the question had been, "Have you 
bathed?" The witless answer would have been, " Bathe? 
What do you mean? I don't know what that means." 
The technique of this wit depends on the displacement of 
the emphasis, from "to bathe" to "to take." 

Let us now examine in what relation the technique of 
displacement stands to the expression of the wit. As 
shown in the second example (salmon with mayonnaise) 
the displacement-wit is totally independent of the verbal 
expression. It does not depend upon words, but on 
streams of thought. The elimination of the wit cannot be 
effected by any substitution of words as long as the sense 
is retained. Reduction is only possible by changing the 
stream of thought. 

Another example of pure displacement is the following: 
A rather shabby-looking patient consulted a famous 
specialist about his malady. After the doctor examined 
him and gave his opinion he demanded ten dollars, his 
regular office fee. The patient thought that it was too 
much, and asked for a reduction. The doctor reduced 
his fee at first to five and then to three dollars, but the 
patient persisted that it was still too high a fee for him to 
pay. The doctor becoming impatient exclaimed, " If you 
are so poor why did you come to me? You should have 


gone to a free clinic !" "Nothing is too expensive for my 
health," responded the patient. 

This is certainly in general a proper attitude, but not for 
this patient. The answer would be proper from the stand- 
point of a wealthy man who pays his bills without 

The analysis of these examples shows a certain logical 
elaboration which serves to conceal a displacement of the 
stream of thought. There are, however, jokes which, 
instead of logic, display absurdity and nonsense, as the 
following joke. 

A servant girl having been dismissed demands a recom- 
mendation from her mistress. The latter refuses to give 
it, saying, "I cannot recommend you, because you have 
not kept the house clean. Look at the dust and filth in 
these corners." "Excuse me, madam," replied the 
servant, "that is not my fault; that dirt and filth was 
there when I came a year ago." 

The servant's answer is certainly absurd on its face; 
she attempts to excuse her negligence, but succeeds only 
in incriminating herself the more. Still, on closer con- 
sideration, we find that her answer is not as foolish as it 
appears; that this nonsense contains sense which turns the 
nonsense into wit. The servant in giving this answer 
makes herself appear foolish in order to show her mistress 
how foolish she herself is. The reduction is as follows: 
"You blame me for not keeping your house clean; you are 
no better housekeeper yourself. The dust and filth were in 
these corners when I came here; and, moreover, what 
kind of a mistress are you to allow dirt and filth to re- 
main in your house for over a year, and that, too, with 

freud's theory of wit 289 

a servant in the house! You are very foolish to blame 
me now." 

The technique of this joke consists in advancing some- 
thing apparently absurd and nonsensical, which, however, 
discloses a sense serving to illustrate and represent some 
further actual absurdity and nonsense. 

Besides the examples mentioned in the two groups, 
namely, of displacement and absurdity, we find other forms 
of wit showing faulty logic. A good example is the 

A friend who had stopped in the street to speak to 
Charles Lamb said to him carelessly as they were parting, 
" By the way, my dear fellow, you owe me half a crown." 
"On the contrary," replied Lamb, "it is you who owe me 
half a crown; for if you will remember, I asked you for five 
shillings, and you could only lend me two and six." The 
wit in this anecdote is due to false logic. What Lamb says 
may be true, but it is based on a false premise, as he 
wrongly assumes that the five shillings were his. 

More typical examples of wit based on faulty logic are 
shown in the three following jokes from the German. 

1. A marriage agent is defending the girl he has pro- 
posed against the attacks of the prospective fiance\ "I 
don't like the mother-in-law," the latter remarks; "she 
is a crabbed, foolish person." "That's true, however, 
you are not going to marry the mother-in-law, but the 
daughter." "Yes, but she is no longer young, and she 
isn't pretty, either." "That's nothing; if she isn't young 
and pretty you can trust her all the more." "But she 
hasn't much money." "Why talk of money? Are you 
marrying money? Don't you want a wife?" " But she's 



a hunchback !" "Well, what of that, do you expect her 
to have no blemishes at all?" 10 

2. On being introduced to his prospective bride, the 
young man is rather unpleasantly disappointed, and 
drawing aside the marriage agent, he reproachfully 
whispers to him, " Why have you brought me here? She 
is ugly and old, she squints, has bad teeth and bleary 

eyes! " You can talk louder," interposes the 

marriage agent, "She's deaf, too." 11 

3. The prospective bridegroom makes his first call on 
the future bride with the marriage agent, and while 
waiting in the parlor for the appearance of the family, 
the agent calls the young man's attention to a glass 
closet containing a handsome silver set. "Just look at 
these things, you see how wealthy they are." " But isn't 
it possible," asks the suspicious young man, "that these 
nice things were borrowed for the occasion in order to 
give an impression of wealth?" "What an idea," 
answered the agent, protestingly; "who do you think 
would lend them anything?" 12 

In joke (1) we have a girl of advanced age, ugly and 
deformed, who has little money and a repulsive mother, 
all of which is not very attractive to the young man. 
The marriage agent knows how to excuse each individual 
fault, except the inexcusable hunchback, which he 
must cope with. The girl apparently has many faults 
which can be overlooked, but one from which you cannot 
get away, and which is apt to hinder matrimony. The 
agent acts as if he had removed every individual fault by 
his excuses, forgetting that each leaves behind some 
depreciation which accumulates. He insists upon dealing 

freud's theory of wit 291 

with each factor individually, and refuses to connect them 
into a whole (sum). The entire joke shows a semblance of 
logic characteristic of sophism which serves here to 
conceal the false logic. 

The fallacy or sophism in (2) and (3) may be designated 
as automatic. The marriage agent reacts a number of 
times, one after another, in the same manner, and con- 
tinues in the same manner on the next occasion when it 
becomes unsuited and runs contrary to his intentions. 
Falling into the automatism of habit, he fails to adapt 
himself to the required situation. Thus the marriage 
agent in the second story is so fascinated by the failings 
and infirmities of the bride-to-be that he completes the 
list from his own knowledge, which it was neither his 
business nor his intention to do. In the third story he is 
so carried away by his zeal to convince the young man of 
the family's wealth, that he comes out with something 
which upsets all his efforts. In both examples the autom- 
atism triumphs over the appropriate variation of 
thought and expression. 

The examples given below take us to another form of 
the technique of wit. 

1. It is called college commencement because the 
students then commence to forget what they have 
hitherto learned. 

2. If the play is good and the star is rotten, 
The author's famous, but the star forgotten. 
If the star is good and the play is rotten, 

The author gets something, the star gets nothin' ! 

— Collier's Irrational Weakly. 


The second example may recall the group of " manifold 
application of the same material/ ' but in this case as can 
be readily seen, the double meaning plays no part. The 
important factors in these examples depend on the 
formation of new and unexpected identities, and on the 
production of ideas and definitions related to each other 
and to a common third. It is a unification. Unification 
is also a basis of the quick repartee in wit, for ready 
repartee consists in using the defense for aggression, and 
in " turning the tables," or "in paying with the same coin;" 
that is, the repartee consists in establishing an unexpected 
identity between the attack and counter attack. This 
is well illustrated in the following examples. 

A lawyer of small stature came into court to look after 
his client's interests. His opponent, not knowing him, 
asked him what he wanted, and on being told who he 
was, jokingly remarked, "What? Such a little lawyer? 
Why I could put you into my pocket!" "You could," 
tranquilly responded the former, "but then you would 
have more brains in your pocket than in your head." 

On returning to Paris after crossing Niagara Falls, 
Blondin was the hero of the hour. Alexander Dumas, 
who was one of his many visitors, permitted himself to 
doubt the feat, upon which Blondin angrily exclaimed, 
"Well, M. Dumas, if you like, come and walk with me 
over the Falls." " With pleasure," retorted the celebrated 
author, "but only on condition that I be allowed to carry 

The excellent repartee in the last anecdote which meets 
an impossible demand with just as impossible a condition, 
contains another technical moment which would be absent 

freud's theory of wit 293 

if the answer had been, "No, I fear you will not be able 
to carry me." To illustrate this point I will again quote 
an example from Freud. 

Frederick the Great heard of a clergyman who had the 
reputation of communicating with spirits. He sent for 
him and received him with the following question, "Can 
you call up ghosts?" The answer was, " At your pleasure, 
your Majesty, but they won't come." Here it is quite 
obvious that the wit lies in the substitution for the only 
answer possible, "No," its opposite. To complete this 
substitution, "but" had to be added to "yes" which gives 
the equivalent for "No." 

Such representation through the opposite is another form 
of technique of wit. A very pure example of this form 
is the following: 

"This woman resembles the Venus de Milo in many 
points; like her she is extraordinarily old, and has no 
teeth, and like her she has white spots on the yellow 
surface of her body" (Heine). Heine thus depicts 
ugliness by making it agree with the most beautiful. 

The following anecdote will serve as another illustration 
of this group. The great orator, Cicero, once remarked to 
a man who told him that his wife was thirty years old, 
"That is undoubtedly true, since I have heard it for the 
last ten years." What Cicero really meant was, "This 
cannot be true, as I heard you say the same thing ten 
years ago." He said just the opposite however, "that is 
undoubtedly true," and if the next sentence had read, 
"for I have heard you say this before," it would have 
merely reinforced the first. Instead it reads, "For I 
have heard you say this for the last ten years;" that is, 


he carries the reinforcement too far and thus indicated 
the opposite of what is expressed in the first part. Cicero 
thus succeeds in making himself plain by saying the 
opposite of what he thinks. But this opposite is nothing 
but a very striking outdoing, which forms another group 
in the technique of wit. 

Mrs. A.: "Can you recommend your former servant? 
Does she understand everything well?" Mrs. B.: "Oh, 
yes, she understands everything even better." 

This is a very simple example of "outdoing" wit. In- 
stead of saying, "No," Mrs. B. says "Yes," and reinforces 
it with a still stronger affirmative, which, however, thus 
gives the equivalent for "No." 

Besides the technique of expression through the oppo- 
site, wit is also produced by expression through the similar 
and cognate, or rather through the homogeneous and coher- 
ent. The following story illustrates this group. 

An Irishman who was expected to die was visited at the 
same time by his priest and physician. After they had 
both performed their functions the dying man turned to 
the doctor and asked, "Doctor, how much will you charge 
my wife for your services after I'll be gone?" The doctor 
was somewhat reluctant to answer, but on being urged he 
said, "I will ask her for $100." Turning to the priest the 
Irishman asked the same question, and as he was very 
insistent the priest answered that he, too, would charge 
$100 for his services. The Irishman paused for awhile 
and said, "Doctor, will you please take hold of my right 
arm, and Father, will you please take hold of my left arm." 
When they complied with his request he lay back and 
said, "Now, I can die like the Lord." 

freud's theory of wit 295 

The Irishman's remark is quite plain; we deal with a 
statement which could not be directly expressed. The 
indirect expression in this story was produced in the 
following manner. The remark, "Now I can die like 
the Lord," suggested that being between the priest and 
the doctor recalls the Saviour dying between the two 
thieves. This involves the suggestion that the speaker, 
too, is between two thieves. What he really wished to 
say was, "You are two robbers to charge my wife $100 
each." This thought is expressed indirectly by means of 
association and in a manner designated as allusion. This 
witticism is also an excellent example of the so-called 
grim humor (Galgenhumor). 

There are other forms of the technique of wit, but we 
have described, if only briefly, the most common and 
most important technical means. These will help us 
to judge the psychic mechanism and indicate the way 
for the future solutions of the problem. As mentioned 
above, the interesting process of condensation with sub- 
stitution, which we have recognized as the nucleus of the 
technique of the wit of words, evinces the same mechanism 
in the formation of dreams. The technique of the wit of 
thoughts — such as displacement, false logic, absurdity, 
indirect representation, and expression through the 
opposite — all these are found also in the technique of 
dreams. It is displacement that gives the dream its 
strange appearance and thus prevents us from recognizing 
in the dream only a continuation of our waking thoughts. 
The existence of the nonsensical and absurd in the dream 
is the reason for the belief that there is a deterioration of 
the psychic activities in the dream, and that the dream 


shows neither reason nor logic. The popular saying, 
"Dreams go by contraries/ ' shows well that the idea of 
expression through the opposite is well known even to the 
laity. We also find in the dream indirect expressions and 
the other mechanisms found in wit. All of this shows 
the close resemblance between the techniques of the dream 
and of wit, and as will be shown later this resemblance 
is not at all accidental. 


Following the reaction it produces, we divide wit into 
purposeful, or that which shows definite aims, and harm- 
less, or that which shows no particular aim. It is only 
the former that is apt to be met with resistances from 
hearers or persons concerned. There is no relation what- 
soever between these classifications and those mentioned 
above. A harmless joke may be produced by witty words 
or witty thoughts, and any of the techniques described 
may serve to produce a purposeful witticism. Following 
our theoretical explanation of the nature of wit we may 
say that the harmless wit is for our purposes of greater 
value than the purposeful, and that the shallow wit is of 
greater value than the profound. For the harmless and 
shallow play upon words presents to us the problem of wit 
in its purest forms, without danger of confusion through 
the introduction of the tendency factor and consequent 
false judgment. We often laugh on hearing the most 
ingenuous and harmless joke where the pleasure experi- 
enced cannot have originated from the idea or tendency 
of the joke; we have then to conclude that the pleasurable 
feeling is derived from the technique of the wit alone. 

freud's theory of wit 297 

The technical means of wit, such as condensation, dis- 
placement, indirect expression, etc., have the power of 
producing in the hearer a feeling of pleasure. We cannot, 
however, as yet see how they come to possess that power. 
This gives us a new axiom for the explanation of wit, and 
brings out more sharply what has been shown above, 
namely that the character of wit depends on the mode of 
expression. For it will be recalled that whenever it was 
possible to reduce the wit by substituting another expres- 
sion, this not only abrogated the character of the wit, 
but the laughter-producing effect, that is, the pleasure 
of the wit. The pleasurable effect of the harmless wit is 
usually moderate; all that the hearer can expect to obtain 
from it is a sense of satisfaction and a passing smile; and 
even this is partially due to the idea. The sudden 
irresistible outburst of laughter that follows the tendency 
wit rarely follows the purposeless wit. As the technique 
is the same in both it may be assumed that by virtue of 
its tendencies the tendency wit has at its disposal sources 
of pleasure to which the harmless wit has no access. 

Wherever wit is not harmless it serves two tendencies: 
it is either a hostile joke serving as aggression, satire, 
or defense, or it is an obscene joke serving as an exhibition. 

To examine the way in which wit serves these tendencies 
we will first discuss the obscene or "smutty" joke. By 
a "smutty" joke we understand the bringing into promi- 
nence of sexual facts or relations through speech. How- 
ever, a lecture on the anatomy of the sexual organs or on 
the physiology of reproduction need not necessarily have 
anything in common with the smutty joke. The smutty 
joke must fulfil the following condition. It must be di- 


rected toward a certain person who excites one sexually, 
and who becomes cognizant of the speaker's excitement by 
listening to the smutty joke, and thereby in turn becomes 
sexually excited. Instead of becoming sexually excited 
the listener may react with shame and embarrassment, 
which, however, only shows a reaction against the excite- 
ment and thus signifies an admission of the same. The 
smutty joke was originally directed against the woman, 
and is comparable to an attempt at seduction. If a man 
tells or listens to smutty jokes in male society it is because 
the original situation cannot be realized on account of social 
inhibitions. The smutty joke is an exhibition directed 
against a person to whom one is not sexually indifferent. 
Through the utterance of obscene words the person attacked 
is incited to picture the parts of the body in question, and 
is shown that the aggressor pictures the same thing. 
There is no doubt that the original motive of the smutt y j oke 
was the pleasure of seeing the sexual displayed. As shown 
in the "Three Contributions to the Sexual Theories," 13 
one of the primitive components of our libido is therdesire 
to see the sexual exposed. It is probably only a substitu- 
tion for the desire to touch the sexual, which is assumed 
to be the primary pleasure. The libido for looking and 
touching is found in every person in two forms, active and 
passive, or masculine and feminine; and in accordance with 
the preponderance of the sex characteristics it develops 
preponderately in one or the other direction. At least a 
certain amount of touching is indispensable in order to 
attain the normal sexual aim. We all know that touch- 
ing the skin of the sexual object causes pleasure and excite- 
ment. The same holds true of looking, which is analogous 

freud's theory of wit 299 

to touching. Sexual excitement is frequently awakened 
by optical impressions, and selection taking account of 
this fact makes the sexual object a thing of beauty. The 
covering of the body, which is introduced by civilization, 
serves to arouse sexual curiosity, and constantly strives to 
supplement the sexual object by uncovering the hidden 
parts. This may be turned into the artistic ("sublima- 
tion") if the interest be turned from the genitals to the 
form of the body. The tendency to linger at the inter- 
mediary sexual aim by looking is found in most normals. 
It in a way gives them the capability of directing a certain 
amount of their libido to a higher artistic aim. But this 
fondness for looking may become overestimated and fixed, 
and then becomes a perversion. We then have the so- 
called voyeurs or "peepers." The desire to exhibit is 
readily observed in children, and where this desire does not 
experience the sexual repression it develops into a desire 
for exhibition, a common perversion in grown-up men. In 
women the passive desire to exhibit is almost regularly 
covered by the marked reaction of sexual modesty; de- 
spite this, however, remnants of the desire may also be 
seen in women's dress. 

In a man a great part of this striving to exhibit remains 
as a part of the libido, and serves to initiate the sexual act. 
If the striving asserts itself on first meeting the woman it 
manifests itself in speech, through which the man makes 
himself known to woman. By having aroused in her 
pictures, the woman herself merges into a corresponding 
excitement, and is thus forced to passive exhibition. 
The speech of courtship is not regularly the smutty joke, 
but may pass over into one. If the woman is yielding 


there is no need for the smutty wit; it is only resorted to 
when she is resistive and on the defense. As the sexual 
aggression is inhibited in its progress toward the act, the 
sexually inciting speech changes into the smutty wit; and 
the aggressor, lingering at the evocation of the excitement, 
takes pleasure in the effects his speech produces in the 
woman. The unyieldingness of the woman is therefore 
another condition for the determination of the smutty 
wit. The ideal case for such resistance on the part of the 
woman usually results from the presence of another man 
whose presence excludes the immediate yielding of the 

The tendency joke usually requires three persons — 
the first person who makes the wit, the second person 
who is taken as the object of the hostile or sexual aggres- 
sion, and the third person in whom the purpose of the 
wit to produce pleasure is fulfilled. The process may bo 
described as follows: As soon as the libidinous impulse 
of the first person meets with resistances to his gratifica- 
tion through the woman, he immediately develops a 
hostile attitude toward this second person and takes the 
originally intruding third person as his confederate. 
Through the obscene speech of the first person the woman 
is exposed before the third person, who as a listener is 
fascinated by the easy gratification of his own libido. 
We can now understand what wit performs by its tend- 
ency. It makes possible the gratification of a craving 
(lewd or hostile) despite the hindrance which stands in 
the way; it eludes the hindrance and draws pleasure from 
a pleasure source which has become inaccessible through 
the hindrance. The hindrance in the way is usually 

freud's theory of wit 301 

nothing but the higher degree of social cultivation which 
correspondingly increases the inability of the woman to 
tolerate the bare sexual. The power which renders it 
difficult or impossible for the woman, and in a lesser 
degree for the man, to enjoy unveiled obscenities we call 
"repression." It is the same psychic process which 
keeps from consciousness whole complexes of emotions 
and ideas, and has shown itself to be the principal factor 
in the causation of the psychoneuroses. Civilization 
and the higher education have helped in the development 
of this repression, and have produced many changes in 
our psychic organization. What was once perceived as 
pleasurable now appears as inacceptable, and is rejected 
by all the psychic forces. Owing to the repression brought 
about by civilization many primary pleasures are now 
disapproved by the censor and lost. But the human 
psyche finds renunciation difficult, and hence we find 
that tendency wit gives us the means to make the renun- 
ciation retrogressive, and thus regains what has been lost. 
When we laugh over a delicate obscene witticism we 
laugh at the same thing which causes laughter in the 
ill-bred man when he hears a coarse, obscene joke. The 
pleasure in both cases comes from the same source. The 
coarse, obscene joke could not, however, incite us to 
laughter, because it would cause us shame or appear to 
us disgusting; we can laugh only when wit comes to our 
aid. 14 

We have now demonstrated what was said at the out- 
set, namely, that the tendency wit has access to other 
sources of pleasure than the harmless wit, in which all 
pleasure depends on the technique. We are, however, 


in no position to distinguish in the tendency wit what 
part of the pleasure originates from the technique and 
what part from the tendency. Strictly speaking, we do 
not know over what we are laughing. 

When we examine the role of wit in the service of the 
hostile tendency we at once meet with similar conditions. 
Since our individual childhood and the childhood of 
human civilization our hostile impulses toward our fellow 
beings, like our sexual strivings, have been subjected 
to restrictions and repressions. Even to-day we are 
not yet ready to love our enemies and to extend to them 
our left cheek after we are smitten on the right. Never- 
theless, we have made some progress in controlling our 
hostile feelings. Higher civilization and culture trains 
us to suppress the hostile disposition; we are taught 
that it is undignified to use insulting language, and even 
the means of combat have been markedly restricted. 
Society as the third person in the combat, for the protec- 
tion of its own interest, prevents us from expressing our 
hostile feelings in action; and hence, as in the sexual 
aggression, there has developed a new technique of invec- 
tive, the aim of which is to enlist the third person against 
our enemy. By belittling and humbling our enemy, 
by scorning and ridiculing him, we indirectly obtain the 
pleasure of his defeat through the laughter of the third 
person, the passive spectator. 

The wit of hostile aggression gives us the means to 
make our enemy ridiculous, which, on account of the 
existing hindrances, could not be effected in any other 
way; in other words, wit affords us the means of sur- 
mounting the restrictions and of opening the otherwise 

freud's theory of wit 303 

inaccessible pleasure sources. Because of the gain in 
pleasure it fascinates the hearer to take our part, even if 
he is not convinced — just as we are wont to overestimate 
the substance of witty remarks when we are fascinated 
by their technique. By way of illustration the following 
example may be cited: Wendell Phillips, according to the 
recent biography by Dr. Lorenzo Sears, was, on one 
occasion, lecturing in Ohio, and while on a railroad journey 
going to keep one of his appointments, he met in the car 
a number of clergymen returning from some sort of 
convention. One of the ministers felt called upon to 
approach Mr. Phillips, and asked him, "Are you Mr. 
Phillips?" "I am, sir." "Are you trying to free the 
niggers?" "Yes, sir; I am an abolitionist." "Well, 
why do you preach your doctrines up here? Why don't 
you go over into Kentucky?" "Excuse me, are you a 
preacher?" "I am, sir." "Are you trying to save 
souls from hell?" " Yes, sir, that's my business." " Well, 
why don't you go there?" The assailant hurried into 
the smoker amid a roar of unsanctified laughter. This 
anecdote nicely illustrates the tendency wit in the service 
of hostile aggression. The minister's behavior was 
offensive and irritating, yet Wendell Phillips as a man of 
culture could not defend himself in the same manner as 
a common ill-bred person would have done, and as his 
inner feelings must have prompted him to do. The 
only alternative under the circumstances would have 
been to take the affront in silence, had not wit showed 
him the way, and enabled him by the technical means 
of unification to turn the tables on his assailant. He 
not only belittled him and turned him into ridicule, but 


by his clever retort, "Well, why don't you go there?" 
fascinated the other clergymen, and thus brought them 
to his side. The anecdote of the two lawyers mentioned 
above shows the same mechanism. 

We have now shown that the pleasure found in wit 
is produced on the one hand by the technique, and on the 
other hand by the tendency. We will next endeavor to 
discover the common source uniting both. 


In endeavoring to discover how the pleasure results 
from the technique and the tendency of wit, and the 
mechanism of this resulting pleasure, we find that the 
explanation sought for can be more readily discovered in 
the tendency than in the harmless wit. That the plea- 
sure in the tendency wit results from the gratification 
of a tendency, which gratification would not otherwise 
take place, is quite obvious. But the manner in which 
wit produces this gratification depends on special deter- 
minations. There are two different cases to be con- 
sidered. The simpler of the two is the case in which 
an outer hindrance stands in the way of the gratification 
of the tendency. This may be illustrated by the following 
example: "How many members are there in your 
council of ten?" Louis XIV once sarcastically asked 
the embassador of the republic of Venice. "Forty, your 
Majesty," retorted the polite Italian. The wit in this 
case serves to return one affront for another. The am- 
bassador could not answer as he would have liked, because 
Louis XIV could not be insulted, so he skilfully made use 
of the unification wit, and thus paid him in his own coin. 


The second class comprises cases in which internal 
hindrances stand in the way of the direct realization of 
the tendency. As examples we may cite the answer of 
the lawyer to his opponent, and Wendell Phillips's answer 
to the clergyman. Wendell Phillips was prevented from 
using invectives by a highly developed esthetic sense, 
but wit helped to overcome the inner resistances and to 
remove the inhibitions. The gratification of the tend- 
ency is made possible, and in this way the suppression 
and the "psychic damming" connected with it is evaded. 
The mechanism of the development of pleasure is the 
same in both cases. The only difference between the 
cases of outer and inner hindrances consists in the fact 
that in the one an already existing inhibition is removed, 
while in the other the formation of a new inhibition is 
evaded. We may add that the formation as well as the 
retention of a psychic inhibition necessitates a "psychic 
expenditure." If pleasure is obtained in the employ- 
ment of both kinds of the tendency wit, it may be 
readily assumed that such resultant 'pleasure corresponds to 
the economy of psychic expenditure. 

Again we are confronted with the principle of economy 

first noticed in the technique of the wit of words; but 

whereas the economy was there confined to the use of 

few or possibly the same words, it seems here to comprise 

the economy of psychic expenditure in general. The 

secret of the pleasure secured through tendency wit seems 

to be in the economy of the expenditure of inhibition or 

suppression. We shall now turn to the mechanism of 

the pleasure of the harmless wit. 

In examining appropriate examples of harmless wit we 


concluded that the source of pleasure lies solely in the tech- 
nique of the wit. Let us now see whether this pleasure 
can be traced to an economy of psychic expenditure. 

The technique of one group of this wit, the play upon 
words, consisted in directing the psychic focus on the 
sound instead of on the sense of the word, which greatly 
facilitated the psychic labor. It is known that in ab- 
normal mental states where the possibility of concen- 
trating psychic expenditure on one place is reduced, the 
word sounds are more prominent than their significance, 
and that such patients react with "outer" instead of 
"inner" associations. 15 Children who still treat the word 
as an object, show a tendency to seek the same sense under 
the same or similar wording. This provides no small 
amount of amusement for grown-ups. If wit gives us 
pleasure by employing the same or similar words in order 
to reach from one idea to another, we can justly say that 
this pleasure is due to the economy of psychic expenditure. 

A second group of technical means of wit — unification, 
accordance, allusions and citations — all these evince one 
common character; namely, one always discovers some- 
thing familiar when one expects instead something new. 
To discover the familiar is pleasurable. It is not difficult 
to recognize such pleasure as one of economy and to refer 
it to the economy of psychic expenditure. That recogni- 
tion of the familiar causes pleasure is universally admitted. 
We know also that the source of pleasure in rhyme, 
alliteration, refrain, and other forms of repetition of 
similar sounding words in poetry, is due merely to the 
discovery of the familiar. 

It may be thought at first sight that the third group in 

freud's theory of wit 307 

the technique, viz., wit of thought, which includes dis- 
placement, false logic, absurdity, representation through 
the opposite, etc., bears no relation to the technique of 
discovering the familiar, but it will not be difficult to 
demonstrate that this group, too, shows an economy or 
facilitation of psychic expenditure. It is quite obvious 
that it is easier to turn away from a definite trend of 
thought than to stick to it; it is easier to mix up different 
things than to distinguish them; and it is particularly 
easier to pass over illogical conclusions. Moreover, in 
connecting words or thoughts it is especially easy to 
overlook the fact that such connections should result in 
sense. These mechanisms are well known and are those 
especially used in the techniques of the wit mentioned 
above. It will sound strange, however, to assert that 
such processes in the work of wit may produce pleasure. 

Though "pleasure and nonsense" is almost absent in 
our serious existence it can still be demonstrated in two 
cases. It is visible in the learning child, and in the adult 
under toxic influences. When the child learns to have 
command over its mother tongue it takes pleasure in 
playing with words. It disregards the meaning of the 
words and connects them in order to obtain pleasure 
through rhythm and rhyme. An excellent example of 
this is the familiar " Mother Goose." As the child 
becomes older it is forced to abandon this pleasure and 
to employ the words in their senseful meaning. But 
even later in life there is a tendency to overstep the 
restrictions in the use of words, and adults often change 
words by adding suffixes and prefixes and reduplications. 
This is especially seen in the neologisms of the insane. 16 


The child makes use of play in order to withdraw from 
the pressure of critical reason which is imposed upon it in 
the course of development. The restrictions appear 
still greater when in the education of right thinking it 
becomes necessary to separate reality from fiction. As 
a persistent resistance against these restrictions we may 
mention the formation of fancies. The force of reason 
becomes so strong in later childhood and puberty that the 
child then rarely dares to utter nonsense. But men are 
untiring pleasure seekers, and find it extremely difficult 
to renounce pleasure once experienced. The tendency 
to skylarking in students is nothing but a demonstration 
against the tyranny of forced study and reality, which 
they tolerate only impatiently. No one can fail to recog- 
nize in our college cries and songs the nonsensical and 
infantile play with words. These feelings are especially 
enhanced by alcoholic indulgence under which influence 
the grown up again becomes a child. He derives pleas- 
ure from a free disposal of his mental stream which is 
now unencumbered by the restraint of logic. 

In reviewing the three groups of the technique of wit 
it has been shown that the technique of the absurd 
corresponds to a source of pleasure; and that this pleasure 
is produced by the economy of psychic expenditure, and 
by the relief from the restraint of reason. When we 
traced the psychogenesis of wit we found that the first step 
in wit is play. The child plays when it learns to use 
words and connect thoughts, and this playing is probably 
the result of an impulse which urges the child to exercise 
its capacities (Groos). Through the repetition of simi- 
larities, the rediscovering of the familiar, and sound 

freud's theory of wit 309 

associations, it obtains pleasure which may be explained 
as an unexpected economy of psychic expenditure. But 
this playing is later brought to an end by reason which 
rejects it as senseless or absurd. It is only accidentally 
that the grown up finds pleasure in the rediscovering of 
the familiar. This only occurs when he is in a playful 
mood, which, as in the child, removes the critical inhibi- 
tions. But as men do not like to wait for these propitious 
occasions, and also hate to forego this pleasure, they seek 
means to make themselves independent of these pleasant 
states. This effort to evade reason and find a substitute 
for the pleasant mood produces the second element of 
wit, the jest. 

The object of the jest is to bring about the resultant 
pleasure of playing, and at the same time appease the 
protesting reason which strives to suppress the pleasant 
feeling. The only way to accomplish this is to give 
sense and meaning to the senseless and absurd combina- 
tion of words or thoughts. The whole process of wit 
production is therefore directed toward the discovery of 
word and thought constellations which fulfil these con- 
ditions. The jest makes use of almost all the technical 
means of wit. The most conspicuous factor of the jest 
is the gratification it affords by making possible that 
which reason forbids. Its object is to remove inner 
inhibitions and thereby to render productive those pleas- 
ure sources which have become inaccessible. 

If we follow the development of the jest until it reaches 
its height in the tendency wit we find that the jest's 
effort is to produce pleasure and that it is content when 
its utterance does not appear perfectly senseless or 


insipid. If this utterance is substantial and valuable 
it changes into wit. When we hear a good witticism we 
experience a general feeling of satisfaction without being 
able to tell at once what part of the pleasure comes from 
the witty form, and what part from the excellent thought. 
We really do not know what gives us the pleasure and at 
what we are laughing. This uncertainty of our judgment 
may have given the motive for the formation of the wit 
in the literal sense. The thought seeks the disguise of 
wit, because through the wit it recommends itself to our 
attention and can appear to us more important and valu- 
able than it is, but above all because this disguise fascin- 
ates and confuses our reason. We are apt to attribute 
to the thought the pleasure derived from the witty form, 
and we are not inclined to consider improper what gives 
us pleasure, and in this way to close up a source of pleasure. 
For if wit makes us laugh it is because it establishes in 
us a disposition unfavorable to reason and conducive to 
play. To accomplish this the wit had to exert all its 
effort. Although such wit is harmless, and not purpose- 
ful, we can assume that strictly speaking the jest alone 
shows no tendency, that is, it serves to produce pleasure 
only. Wit, on the other hand, is never purposeless, as 
the great tendencies and impulses of our psychic life use 
it for their purposes. We have shown above the part 
played by wit in satisfying the hostile and obscene im- 
pulses; the hostile wit changes the original indifferent 
hearers into haters and scorners, and thus confronts the 
enemy with an army of opponents where there was for- 
merly but one. The obscene wit makes a confederate 
of the third person, who originally disturbed the sexual 

freud's theory of wit 311 

situation, by giving him pleasure through the utterance 
which causes the woman to be ashamed in his presence. 
In the first case wit overthrows the critical judgment 
which would have otherwise examined the dispute in 
question, while in the second case it overcomes the inhibi- 
tions of shame and decorum by the pleasure premium 
which it offers. 

What impressed us most on first reviewing the processes 
of the tendency wit was the effect it produced on the 
hearer. It is more important, however, to understand 
the effect produced by wit on the psychic life of the 
person who makes it, or, to be more precise, in the person 
who conceives it. 

In regard to its distribution we may study the psychic 
processes of wit in reference to two persons, the wit pro- 
ducer and the hearer. We can at present assume that 
the psychic process aroused by wit in the hearer is usually 
an imitation of the psychic processes of the wit producer. 
The outer inhibitions which are overcome in the hearer 
correspond to the inner inhibitions of the wit producer. 
Of the different forms of the inner inhibitions one espe- 
cially merits consideration. We designate that form by 
the name of " repression/ ' and it is characterized by the 
fact that it excludes from consciousness certain former 
emotions and their products. Tendency wit is capable 
of liberating pleasure from sources which have under- 
gone repression. If the overcoming of outer hindrances 
can be traced to inner inhibitions and repressions we 
may say that the tendency wit proves more clearly than 
any other developmental stage of wit that the main 
character of wit-making is to set free pleasure by removing 


inhibitions. The tendency wit reinforces the tendencies 
which it serves by bringing to them assistance from 
repressed emotions or it serves directly the repressed 
tendencies. Although we may readily assert that these 
are the functions of the tendency wit, we must also admit 
that we cannot understand in what manner these actions 
can succeed. This is a rather complicated process which 
we will attempt to demonstrate synthetically. 

According to G. Th. Fechner, a meeting of pleasurable 
conditions will produce a resultant pleasure greater than 
the sum of the pleasure values of the separate conditions. 
The result is greater than the sum total of the single 
effects. The theme of wit does not give us the oppor- 
tunity to test the correctness of this principle. But 
from wit we have learned something else which at least 
comes near this principle. We have shown above that 
in a cooperatoin of many pleasure-producing factors we 
are in no position to assign to each one the resultant part 
which really belongs to it. But the situation assumed 
in the principle of assistance can be varied, and for 
these new conditions we can formulate the following 
questions and answers: What happens if in one constel- 
lation there is a meeting of pleasurable and painful condi- 
tions? Upon what depends the result and the previous 
indications of the same? The tendency wit particularly 
shows these possibilities. There is one tendency which 
strives to liberate pleasure from a certain source, while 
there is another which works against this pleasurable 
development, that is, which inhibits or suppresses it. 
The suppressing stream, as the result shows, must be 
somewhat stronger than the one suppressed, and is 

freud's theory of wit 313 

therefore not abolished. But now there appears a 
second tendency which would strive to set free pleasure 
by the same process though from a different source; it thus 
acts like the suppressed one. What can be the result? 
This will be better illustrated by an example. There is a 
tendency to insult a certain person, but against this 
there is a feeling of decorum and esthetic culture. If by 
virtue of some emotional state the insult should happen 
to break through it would subsequently be painfully 
perceived. The insult is therefore omitted. There is a 
possibility, however, of making good wit from the words 
or thoughts which would have served in the insult, that is, 
pleasure can be set free from other sources without being 
hindered by the same suppression. But the second 
development of pleasure would have to be omitted if the 
insulting were not admitted, and as the latter is admitted 
it is connected with the new liberation of pleasure. Ex- 
perience with tendency wit shows that under such circum- 
stances the suppressed tendency can become so strength- 
ened by the help of wit pleasure as to overcome the 
otherwise stronger inhibition. But the satisfaction thus 
obtained is not produced by the wit alone; it is incom- 
parably greater, in fact it is by so much greater than 
the pleasure of the wit that we must assume that the 
former suppressed tendency has succeeded in breaking 
through, perhaps without an outlet. Under these con- 
ditions the tendency wit causes the most prolific laughter. 
Hence we see that the case of the tendency wit is a special 
case of the principle of help. A possibility of the develop- 
ment of pleasure enters into a situation in which another 
possibility of pleasure is hindered so that this alone would not 


result in pleasure. The result is a development of pleas- 
ure which is greater by far than the entering possibility. 
The latter acted, as it were, as an alluring premium, 
and with the aid of a small sum of pleasure a very large 
sum is obtained. The pleasure serving to liberate the 
large sum of pleasure is designated as fore-pleasure 
(Vorlust), and the principle is designated as the principle 
of fore-pleasure. 

The effect of the tendency wit can be formulated as 
follows: It enters into the service of tendencies in order 
to produce new pleasure by removing suppressions and 
repressions. This it does by means of the wit pleasure 
as fore-pleasure. When we review its development we 
find that it begins as play in order to produce pleasure 
from the free use of words and thoughts. When the 
growing reason forbids this senseless play with words 
and thoughts it turns to the jest or joke in order to hold 
on to these pleasure sources, and in order to be able to 
gain new pleasure from the liberation of the absurd. 
As harmless wit it assists thoughts and enforces them 
against the impugnment of critical judgment. In this 
it makes use of the principle of confounding the pleasure 
sources. It finally enters into the great struggling sup- 
pressed tendencies in order to remove inner inhibitions 
in accordance with the principle of fore-pleasure. It com- 
bats in turn the reason — the critical judgment — and the 
repression. It firmly adheres to the original word pleas- 
ure sources, and opens new pleasure sources by removing 
inhibitions. The pleasure which it produces, be it play- 
pleasure or removal-pleasure, can at all time be traced 
to the economy of psychic expenditure. 

freud's theory of wit 315 


Although the desire to gain pleasure is clearly a sufficient 
motive of wit, there are other motives which may par- 
ticipate in its production. Though wit-making is an 
excellent means of obtaining pleasure from the psychic 
processes, we know that not all persons are equally able 
to make use of it. Wit making is not at the disposal of 
everybody; indeed' few persons seem to possess this gift. 
It is entirely independent of intelligence, phantasy, 
memory, etc. A special talent or psychic determination 
permitting or favoring wit making must be presupposed 
in all wits. It is not often possible to investigate this 
theme; only now and then can we enter into the sub- 
jective determinations in the mind of the wit maker. 
The physician indeed occasionally has opportuntiy to 
study persons who, if not renowned wits, are recognized 
in their circle as witty; and he is often surprised to find 
such persons showing dissociated personalities and a 
predisposition to nervous affections. Owing, however^ 
to insufficient investigations this cannot be put down as 
a general rule. A clearer case is afforded by jokes of 
Jewish subject-matter, and made exclusively by Jews- 
The determination for the self-participation seems to be 
plain. It is due to the fact that the person finds it diffi- 
cult to directly express his criticism and aggression and is 
thus compelled to resort to byways. Jewish jokes not 
produced by Jews never rise above the level of the comical 
strain or the brutal mockery. The motive for the pro- 
duction of harmless wit is usually the ambitious impulse 
"to show off," or to give a favorable impression. It is an 
impulse comparable to the sexual exhibition. The 


existence of numerous inhibited impulses, the suppression 
of which retains a certain degree of liability, produces a 
state favorable for the production of the tendency wit. 
Certain components of the sexual constitution may 
appear as motives for wit formation. Persons inclined 
to obscene joking usually conceal a desire to exhibit. 
Persons having a powerful sadistic component in their 
sexuality, which is more or less inhibited, are most suc- 
cessful with the tendency wit of aggression. It is univer- 
sally known that no person is satisfied with making wit 
for himself. Wit making is inseparably connected with 
the desire to impart it. To impart the comical to another 
person is pleasurable, but one can enjoy it alone, while 
wit must be imparted. Apparently the psychic process 
of wit formation does not end with the conception of the 
wit. There is something left which strives to complete 
the mysterious process of wit formation by imparting it. 
The wit producer is in need of another person to whom 
the wit may be imparted. Wit is thus a social process. 
Due to the wit making, the person who makes the wit 
does not laugh at his own production, but he causes inhibi- 
tions to become superfluous in the hearer and thus cause 
a discharge of the repression of the hearer through laugh- 
ter. The hearer may be said to laugh with the amount 
of psychic energy which is set free by the suspension of 
inhibitions; that is, we laugh away, as it were, this amount 
of psychic energy. When we laugh at a joke we really 
do not know what we are laughing at; this can be ascer- 
tained by analysis. Laughing is the result of an auto- 
matic process and is possible only in the absence of con- 
scious attention. It is the property of wit to exert its 

freud's theory of wit 317 

full effect on the hearer only when it is new and surprising 
to him. This property, which causes wit to be shortlived, 
and forever urges the production of new wit, is appar- 
ently due to the fact that it is in the nature of the supris- 
ing and the unexpected not to succeed a second time. 
When we repeat wit the awakened memory leads the 
attention to the first hearing. This also explains the desire 
to impart wit to others who have not heard it before, for 
the impression made by wit on the new hearer replenishes 
in the wit maker that part of the pleasure which has been 
lost by the lack of novelty. An analogous motive prob- 
ably urges the wit producer to impart his wit to others. 


It is to be regretted that we cannot here enter fully into 
the deep psychological mechanisms of dreams, which 
are so essential to illustrate the similar mechanisms of 
wit. I will have to refer the reader to the last chapter 
of Freud's Interpretation of Dreams. We may however 
attempt to show some of the prof ounder relations between 
the dream and wit. 

Besides the resemblances in the techniques of wit and 
dreams — condensation, displacement, and so on — we 
also find that the formation of wit is similar to the forma- 
tion of dreams; that is, afore-conscious thought is left for a 
moment to the unconscious elaboration and its result is 
forthwith grasped by the conscious perception. Like the 
dream, wit is an involuntary mental occurrence. One 
cannot tell a moment before what joke he is going to 
crack. One usually experiences something indefinable 


which Prof. Freud compares to an absence or sudden sus- 
pension of intellectual tension, and the wit then appears 
suddenly. Brevity, too, is common to both wit and 
dreams. In both this is the result of the process of con- 
densation. The thought which merges into the uncon- 
scious for the purpose of forming wit seeks there the 
infantile play with words, for the infantile is the source 
of the unconscious. The thought is put back for a 
moment into the infantile stage in order to regain pos- 
session of the childish pleasure sources. As has already 
been demonstrated in the psychology of the neuroses the 
peculiar elaboration of wit is only an infantile type of 
thinking. The dream, also, wherein the child with all 
its impulses continues to live, has its origin in the infantile 

Besides the many resemblances between dreams and 
wit we can also discover some differences. The most 
important difference lies in their social behavior. The 
dream is a perfect asocial psychic product; having origi- 
nated in a person as a compromise between strug- 
gling psychic streams, it remains incomprehensible to 
the person himself, and has no interest or information 
for anybody else. Wit, on the other hand, is the 
most social of all the psychic functions aiming to gain 
pleasure; it often requires three persons, and the psychic 
process which it incites always requires the participation 
of at least one other person. The dream is a hidden wish, 
while wit is a developed play. Despite all its apparent 
unreality the dream retains its relation to the important 
practical interests of life; it seeks to fulfill the needs 
through a regressive detour of hallucinations, and it 

freud's theory of wit 319 

owes its existence to the strong need for sleep during the 
night. Wit, on the other hand, seeks to draw a small 
amount of pleasure from the free activities of our psychic 
apparatus, and to seize this pleasure as an incidental 
gain. It thus secondarily reaches to important functions 
relative to the outer world. The dream serves preponder- 
ate^ to guard from pain, while wit serves to acquire 
pleasure, but all our psychic activities meet in these two 


Comic differs from wit in its social behavior. The 
comic is content with only two persons, one who finds 
the comical and one in whom it is found. A third person 
to whom the comical may be imparted reinforces the 
comic process, but adds nothing new to it. In wit the 
third person is indispensable for the protection of the 
pleasure-bearing process, while the second person may be 
omitted, especially when we do not deal with tendency 
and aggressive wit. Wit is made, while the comical is 
found. The comic is usually found first in persons, and 
later by transference it may be seen also in objects, 
situations, etc. We also know that wit occasionally 
reopens inaccessible sources of the comic, and that the 
comic often serves to wit as a facade to replace the 

That form of comic which is nearest to wit is the naive 
or ingenuous. The naive, like the comic, is usually 
found and not made. It must result without our inter- 
vention from the speech and actions of other persons, 
and it can only be produced by persons who have no 


inhibitions to overcome. What conditions the functions 
of the naive is the fact that we are aware that the person 
does not possess this inhibition; otherwise we should not 
call it naive, but impudent, and instead of laughing we 
should be indignant. The effect of the naive which is 
irresistible, seems easy to understand. The inhibition 
which is usually formed in us suddenly becomes inappli- 
cable when we hear the naive, and is discharged through 
laughing. As the removal of the inhibition is direct, and 
not the result of an incited operation, there is no need 
for a suspension of attention. We behave like the hearer 
in wit, to whom the economy of inhibition is given with- 
out any effort on his part. The naive is mostly found in 
children in whom no inhibitions are developed and in 
uneducated adults, whom we consider as children in 
reference to their intellectual development. The follow- 
ing examples will serve as illustrations. 

Little Boy: "I want the doctor to come to our house.' ' 
Servant: "Where do you come from?" Little Boy: 
' ' Don't you know me? Why, we do business with you; we 
had a baby from here last week." 

Said a farmer: "I understand that they make instru- 
ments with which the stars and planets can be examined. 
That I know is possible; but how the learned men dis- 
covered the names of the stars and planets — that I cannot 

The examples of naivete do not apparently differ from 
wit in either structure or technique. It is merely a ques- 
tion whether the speaker intends to be witty, or whether^ 
owing to his uncorrected ignorance, he is serious or means 
precisely what he says. In the latter case we deal with 

freud's theory of wit 321 

the naive. The naive agrees with wit in both structure 
and content, but* the psychic process of the first person or 
producer, which is so interesting in wit, is here entirely 
absent. The ingenuous person imagines that he is using 
his thoughts and expressions in a simple and normal 
manner; he has no other purpose in view, and receives no 
pleasure from his naive productions. Thus the little boy 
believed that children are obtained from the doctor, 
and the farmer actually thought that every star and 
planet comes into existence with a definite name, which 
men of science have a way of discovering. All the char- 
acters of the naive lie in the conception of the hearer, who 
corresponds to the third person of the wit. The producing 
person creates the naive without any effort. The com- 
plicated technique which in wit serves to paralyze the 
inhibition produced by the critical reason does not exist 
here, because the person does not yet possess this inhibi- 
tion, and he can therefore readily produce the senseless 
and the obscene without any compromise. 

We have said above that the effective determination 
of wit consists in the fact that both persons should be 
subjected to about the same inhibition of inner resistances; 
we may say now that the determination of the naive 
consists in the fact that one person should have inhibitions 
which the other lacks. It is the person provided with 
inhibitions who understands the naive, and it is he alone 
who gains the pleasure produced by the naive. This, 
as we know, is due to the removal of inhibitions. But 
in order to recognize the naive we have to be cognizant 
of the fact that there are no inner inhibitions in the 

producing persons. It is only when this is assured that 


we laugh, instead of being indignant. We take into 
consideration the psychic state of the producing person; 
we imagine ourselves in the same, and endeavor to under- 
stand it by comparing it to our own psychic state. This 
putting ourselves into the psychic state of the producing 
person and comparing it with our own results in an 
economy of expenditure which we discharge through 
laughing. This strange mechanism is perhaps the essen- 
tial part of the psychic process of the comic. Looking 
at it from this viewpoint the naive is a form of the comic. 
The pleasure produced by the naive is "comical" pleasure. 
It originates through an economy of expenditure by com- 
paring the utterances of some one else with our own. 
The comical, therefore, results in an unintentional dis- 
covery in the social relations of men. It is found in 
persons, that is, in their movements, shapes, actions, etc., 
and sometimes also in animals and inanimate objects. 

The comical can be removed from the person in whom it 
is found if the condition under which a person becomes 
comical can be recognized. This shows that there is a 
comical situation into which any person can place himself 
or others to appear comical. The means which can effect 
this are: transference into comic situations, imitation, 
disguise, unmasking, caricature, parody, travesty, etc. 
As can be seen, the sphere of origin for the comic is con- 
siderably broader than that of the naive. In order to 
trace the determination of the comic we will examine the 
comic movement. 

We laugh at the actions of clowns because they appear 
to us immoderate and inappropriate, that is, we really 
laugh over the excessive expenditure. The child's 

freud's theory of wit 323 

emotions do not appear to us comical even if it jumps and 
fidgets, but it is comical to see a little boy follow with his 
tongue the movements of his pen when he is trying to 
master the art of writing. We see in this additional 
motion a superfluous expenditure of energy which we 
should save under similar conditions. In the same way 
we find it comical to see a marked exaggeration of expres- 
sive motions in adults. Thus we laugh at grimaces which 
exaggerate the normal expressions of emotions, even if 
they are involuntary, as in chorea and tics. We laugh 
because we compare the motions observed in others with 
those which we ourselves should produce if we were in 
their place. That person appears to us comical who 
puts forth too much expenditure in his physical functions 
and too little in his psychic. Our laughing in both 
cases expresses a pleasant feeling of superiority which we 
attribute to ourselves when we compare ourselves with 
him. This is one of the most important factors in the 
genesis of the comic. 

The difference between the comic and wit is found in 
the chief psychological character of the comic. The 
pleasure source of wit we have found in the unconscious, 
but there is no reason for the same localization of the 
comic. On the contrary, all the analyses point to the 
fact that the source of the comical pleasure is the com- 
parison of two expenditures which we must attribute to 
the fore-conscious. The main difference between wit 
and comic is found in the psychic localization; wit is, 
so to say, the contribution of the comic from the sphere 
of the unconscious. 

Without entering into the details of other forms of the 


comic we will briefly discuss humor. Humor is the 
means of obtaining pleasure despite existing painful 
effects. If we are in a situation which causes us to liber- 
ate painful affects, and motives then urge us to suppress 
the same in statu nascendi, we have the conditions for 
humor. Thus persons afflicted with misfortune, pain, 
etc., can gain humoristic pleasure while the onlookers 
laugh over the comical pleasure. The pleasure of humor 
results at the cost of this discontinued liberation of affect* 
it originates through an economy of emotional expendi- 
ture. Humor does not require the participation of 
another person; one can enjoy the pleasure of humor 
without feeling the necessity of imparting it to another. 
To understand the psychological mechanisms of humor- 
istic pleasure it is best to examine the so-called "grim 
humor" (Galgenhumor), where we regularly find that 
humor is produced at the cost of a great expenditure of 
psychic work. Economy of sympathy is one of the most 
frequent causes of humoristic pleasure. Mark Twain's 
humor usually shows this mechanism. 

Humor stands nearer to the comic than wit. Like the 
comic it is located in the fore-conscious, whereas wit is 
formed as a compromise between the unconscious and 

We have shown that the pleasure of wit originates from 
an economy of expenditure in inhibition, of the comic 
from an economy of expenditure in thought, and of humor 
from an economy of expenditure in feeling. All three 
activities of our psychic apparatus derive pleasure from 
economy. They all strive to bring back from the psychic 
activity a pleasure which has been lost in the develop- 

freud's theory of wit 325 

ment of this activity; for the euphoria which we are thus 
striving to obtain is nothing but the state of a bygone 
time in which we were wont to defray our psychic work 
with slight expenditure. It is the state of our childhood 
in which we did not know the comic, were incapable of 
wit, and did not need humor to make us happy. 


1. An English translation in preparation. 

2. Freud: L. c, p. 12. 

3. Hamlet, Act II, Scene II, 1.90. 

4. The Interpretation of Dreams. George Allen Co., London, and 

The Macmillan Co., New York. Cf. also Chap. II. 

5. Cf. Chap. II. 

6. Freud: L. c, p. 25. 

7. Freud: L. c, p. 26. 

8. Freud: L. c, p. 36. 

9. Freud: L. c, p. 37. 

10. Freud: L. c, p. 47. 

11. Freud: L. c., p. 50. 

12. Freud: L. c, p. 50. 

13. Translated by A. A. Brill, Journal of Nervous and Mental Dis- 
eases. Monograph series, No. 7. 

14. Cf. Chap. II, p. 44. The obscene joke formed by the sound 
associations bald-balled fulfils all the conditions of the purposive 
smutty joke. 

15. Cf. Chap. V. 

16. Cf. Chap. V. 


Abraham, 184, 185, 225, 229, 250, 

Ab reaction, 15 
Abstinence, 111 
Absurd, 289, 308 
Absurdity, 288, 295, 307 
Accordance, 306 
Actions, 322 
Activity, 276 
Acts, revengeful, 269 
Actual neurosis, 75 

distinguished from psycho- 
neurosis, 82 
Adjustment, 173, 184 
Affects, 14 

compulsive, 101 

dislocation of, 18 

opposing, 27 

of shame, 16 

painful, 324 
Aggression, 99, 112, 297 

hostile, 303 

sexual, 105, 300 
Aim, 25 

sexual, 267, 298 
Alcoholic indulgence, 308 
Alcoholics, 176 
Alliteration, 306 
Allusion, 295, 306 
Ambivalent, 260 
Amnesia, 26 
Anal eroticism, 267, 269 

zone, 268 
Anecdote, 289, 293 
Animals, 322 

in dreams, 107 
Anxiety, 76 

equivalents of, 77 

in climacterium, 81 

in intentional abstainers, 81 

in senility, 81 

Anxiety hysteria, 48 
dreams, 54 
states, 54 
Anxiety neurosis, 75 

etiology and occurrence, 79 
symptoms of, 76 
through overwork, 82 
Anus, 21, 267 
Aphonia, 83 
Arc de cercle, 220 
Aristotle, 276 
Asocial, 318 

Assistance, principle of, 312 
Association experiment, 119 
Associations, 28, 116, 147> 150, 
151, 158 
inner, 306 
rules of, 59 
Astasia abasia, 83, 221 
Attention, 66, 116 
suspension of, 320 
test of, 67 
Autoerotic, 256 
character, 21 
Autoerotism, 171, 173, 184 
Automatic, 291 
Automatisms, 138, 143, 160, 249, 

256, 291 
Avariciousness, 269 

Bailey, 114 

Beling, 96 

Bernheim, 15 

Bisexual, 223 

Bladder, 21, 267 

Blasphemous thoughts, 114 

Bleuler, 67, 116, 124, 143, 165, 

166, 184, 185, 190, 250 
Bloch, 247, 253 
Blocking, 88, 193 
Bowels, control of, 267 




Breuer, 12, 15 
Brevity, 318 

Caricature, 322 
Catharsis, 15 
Censor, 142 

fear of, 36 
Character, 23, 103, 256 

illogical, 286 

of wit, 297 

peculiar traits of, 62, 269 

type of, 172 
Charade, 281 
Child, 38, 308, 318 

desires of, 41 

favorite, 253 
Child and symbolism, 65 
Childhood, 256, 302, 325 
Children, association with, 263 

favorite, 246, 256 

only, 262 
Citations, 306 
Civilization, 237 
Cleanliness, 269 
Clowns, 322 
Coitus, 246 

disgusting, 26 

interruptus, 80, 84, 86, 106 

reservatus, 80 
Collecting manias, 211 
College cries, 308 
Colloquialisms, 68 
Comic, 319 

Comical, 316, 319, 323 
Compensation, 114 
Complex, 35, 188 

definition of, 120 

disturbance of, 133 

indicator, 55, 119 

main, 89 
Components, 21 

homosexual, 22, 112 

incestuous, 261 

masochistic, 23 

sadistic, 23, 104, 109, 232 
Compromise, 17, 25, 27, 160, 324 

Compulsion neurosis, 18, 96, 268, 
cause of, 99 
definition of, 97 
explanation of, 110 
formula of, 99 
mechanism of, 98 
periods of, 99 
Condensation, 46, 52, 140, 279, 
284, 297, 317 

with substitution, 278, 295 
Condom, 84 
Conflict, 25, 160, 233 

in paranoia, 174 

mental, 25, 90 
Confusion, 276 
Conscious perception, 317 
Consciousness, 37, 186 

flight from, 103 

function of, 187 

splitting of, 17, 36 
Constellations, 160 
Constipation, obstinate, 272 
Constitution, abnormal sexual, 24 

sexual, 24, 316 
Contamination, 140 
Contracture, 25, 83 
Conversion, 17, 27, 220 

adaptation for, 18 

hysteria, 83 

process of, 17 
Conversions, 137 
Convulsions, 83 
Coprophilic activities, 222 
Coriat, 251 
Courtship, 299 
Crisis, 141 
Cruelty, 22, 105, 232, 274 

its relation to sex, 232 
Cryptogram, 31 
Curiosity, 112, 299 

Day dreams, 134 
Day remnants, 45 
Defense, 297 

neuropsychosis, 18, 98 



Defense, mechanism of defense 

neuropsychosis, 18 
Degenerative, 24 
Delusions of grandeur, 177, 183, 

of jealousy, 176 

of observation, 100 

of persecution, 170, 175 

of self accusation, 159 
Dementia, 164, 165 
Dementia precox, 123, 133, 165, 
184, 256, 259 

characteristic of, 157 
Depreciation, 258 
Depression, 85, 258 

recurrence of, 93 
Desires, primitive, 38 
Detached affect, 18 
Deterioration, 295 

hereditary, 24 
Diarrhoea, 78 
Differentiation between dementia 

praecox and paranoia, 184 
Dipsomania, 102 
Discrimination, 67 
Disfigurement, 178 
Disguise, 310, 322 
Disgust, 23 
Dislikes, 254 
Disorder, 269 

Displacement, 47, 111, 286, 287, 
295, 297, 307, 317 

from below to above, 56 
Disposition, hostile, 302 
Disproportion, 157 
Dissimilarities, union of, 276 
Dissociations, 143 
Distortion, 36, 111 
Distraction, 117 
Double meaning, 282 
Doubts, 18, 96, 113, 273 
Dream, 27, 33, 295, 296, 317 

early Greek theories, 33 

formation of, 37 

future realization of, 270 

inhibition in, 52 

Dream, interpretation of, 30, 87 

(Epidus, 242 

of resolution, 71 

relation to normal and ab- 
normal life, 34 

symbols in, 65 

thoughts as expressed in Bible, 

wish of, 37 

work, 45, 279 
Dreams and poetry, 66 

forgetting of, 54, 107 

in diagnosis, 54 

intellectual activity in, 47 

judgment in, 48 

logical relationships, 48 

of a painful nature, 42 

reasoning in, 48 

similarity in, 48 
Dreamy states, 218, 225 

examples of, 227 

psychological significance of, 
Dyspnoea, 78 

Economy, 269, 305, 320, 324 

of expression, 284 
Ego, 183 

complex, 138, 144, 160 

incompatibility with, 16 
Ejaculatio praecox, 80 
Ellipses, 111 
Ellis, H., 247 
Emotion, 323 

discharge of, 90 

strangulation of, 14 
Empiricism, 254 
Enemy, 302 
Erogenous zones, 22, 256, 267, 

273, 294 
Eros, 20, 128 
Erotic interest, 272 
Eroticism, 267 
Erotomania, 170, 175, 176 
Esthetic culture, 313 
Ethical training, 38 



Euphemisms, 36 
Euphoria, 154, 325 
Excitement, sum of, 15 

peripheral, 21 

sexual, 298 
Exhibition, 298 

Exhibitionism, 23, 105, 232, 233 
Exhibitionists, 259 

Fabrications, 225 
Factor, causative, 25 

characteristic of hysteria, 83 
False connection, 18 
Familiar, discovery of, 306, 309 
Fancies, conscious, 220 

hysterical, 218 

sexual, 91 

unconscious, 219 
Father image, 254 
Fear, in dreams, 42, 87, 142, 

in newly married, 80 

of betrayal, 102 

social, 100 

virginal, 80 
Fechner, 312 
Feelings, moral, 23 

esthetic, 23 

homosexual, 172 

incestuous, 246 

sexual, 24 

sexual among brothers and 
sisters, 247 

social, 256 
Fere\ 73 

Ferenczi, 171, 185, 250, 252, 266 
Fiction, 308 
Fischer, 276 
Fishberg, 264 

Fixation, 14, 172, 174, 180, 246, 
253, 256, 262 

in narcism, 183 

incestuous, 246, 251 
Folie du doute, 86, 113 
Fore-conscious, 186, 187, 317, 323 
Forel, 76 

Fore-pleasure, 319 
meaning of, 314 

Forgetting, of dreams, 107 
of names, 28, 189, 190 
objects, 314 
of resolutions, 198 

Forgotten impressions, 16 

Free associations, 29 

Freud, 12, 15, 20, 21, 23, 24, 28, 
74, 75, 80, 95, 98, 102, 108, 116, 
124, 143, 144, 159, 161, 170, 
171, 172, 181, 184, 185, 186, 
187, 191, 206, 217, 218, 229, 
235, 237, 250, 253, 265, 269, 

Fried jung, 265 

Ganser, 225 
Generalization, 111 
Genitals, 21, 267 

primacy of, 22 
Germs, 259 
Gratification, 80, 300 

insufficient, 82 

sexual, 219 
Gregory, M. S., 19, 161 
Grim-humor, 295, 324 
Groos, 308 

Hallucinations, 138, 318 

auditory, 143 

teleological, 143 
Hallucinatory confusion, 19 
Hauptmann, 33 
Heart spasm, 77 
Hebephrenic, 185 
Hereditary lues, 24 

taint, 79 
Heredity, 257 
Heterosexual, 172 
Heterosexuality, 174 
Hindrances, 302 

internal, 305 

outer, 304 
Hobbies, 211 
Hoch, 124 



Holt, 32 
Homosexual, 259 

episode, 224 

object selection, 171 

pederasts, 273 

relations, 133 
Homosexuality, 54, 95, 173, 178, 
259, 262 

diagnosis of, 54 

unconscious, 174 
Humor, 324 

pleasure of, 324 
Hyperesthesia, auditory, 76 
Hypnosis, 15 
Hypnotic state, 12 
Hypnotism, its limitations, 15 
Hysteria, 12, 183 

character of, 170 

symptoms, 12, 17 
Hysterical accusations, 222 

attacks, 218 

counter- will, 13 

fainting spells, 103 

fancies, 218 

Idea, of sudden death, 77 

of threatening insanity, 77 
Ideas, contrasting, 276 

hypochondriacal, 149 
Ideler, 73 
Identification, 61, 177, 221, 272 

in hysteria, 178 

unconscious, 199 
Idiogamists, 252 
Illogical character, 286 

conclusions, 307 
Imitation, 322 
Impressions, mental, 254 

optical, 299 
Impulse for looking, 22, 112 

for showing, 22, 315 

libidinous, 300 
Impulses, 237 

constitutional, 238 

first sexual, 244 

Impulses, partial, 267 

primitive, 23, 186 
Incest, abhorence of, 246 

among savages, 251 

shyness, 251, 261 
Incongruity, 157 
Indecision, 113 
Indirect expression, 295, 297 
Individual psychology, 12 

relations, 256 
Infancy, 21, 267 
Infantile sexual theories, 88 

sexuality, 104 
Influences, toxic, 307 
Inhibiting process, 40 
Inhibition, 37, 176, 193, 237 

expenditure in, 324 

inner, 314 

of decorum, 311 

psychic, 305 

social, 298 

suspension of, 316 
Innervation, motor, 17, 220 

sensory, 17 

somatic, 18, 20 
Inordinate appetite, 78 
Insane utterances, 20, 31 
Insomnia, 85 

cause of, 76 
Inspirations, 238 
Insult, psychology of, 313 
Inversion, 111, 221 
Irritability, 76 

Janet, 17, 138, 160, 165 
Jealousy, 60, 259 
Jest, 314 

its object, 309 

witty, 281 
Jeu de'sprit, 281 
Jewish jokes, 315 

race, 263 
Joke, 36 

hostile, 297 

obscene, 297, 301 

smutty, 297, 298 



Joke, smutty, its motive, 298 
Jones, 185, 190, 214, 215, 217, 

250, 252 
Judgment, 296, 310 

critical, 314 
Jung, 35, 73, 95, 116, 117, 124, 

143, 160, 190, 253 

Kindergarten, 263 
Kleinpaul, 268 
Kraepelin, 123, 124 
Krafft-Ebing, 247 

Lapses of talking, 189, 191 

of writing, 189 
Lapsus linguae, 55, 201 
Lasegue, 73 
Latency period, 23, 256, 267 

deferred, 105 
Latent content, 38 
Laughing, 316, 323 
Laughter, 297, 301 
Libido, 25, 171, 172, 176 

fixation, 233 

for looking, 298 

for touching, 298 

withdrawal of, 181, 182, 183, 
Liebman, 166 
Likes, 254 
Loathing, 23, 267 
Logic, 288 

false, 289, 295, 307 

restraint of, 308 
Losing objects, 214 
Love, 20, 254 

and hatred, 112 

abnormal, 258, 259 

between parents and children, 

deflection of, 255 

doubt about, 113 

projection of, 254 

the struggle between, 112 
Lowenfeld, 225 

Maeder, 171, 185, 190 

Manic depressive insanity, 85 

Manifest content, 38 

Manifold application, 282, 284,. 

286, 292 
Mannerism, 45 
Mantegazza, 252 
Masochists, 259 

Masturbation, 84, 102, 158, 160, 
219, 229 

false ideas concerning, 84 

infantile, 21 

interrupted, 234 

its universality, 84 

mental, 235 

somnambulistic, 26 
Masturbators, 85 

hypochondriacal ideas of, 102 
Maturity, 25 
Measures, protective, 101 

of becoming unconscious, 102, 

of penitence, 102 

of prevention, 102 
Mechanism of obsessions, 111 
Melancholia periodic, 100 
Memory gaps, 29 

lapses of, 28, 189 

symbols, 13, 17 
Mental concentration, 231 

impressions, 254 
Metathesis, 205 
Meyer, Adolf, 124 
Mind, exploration of, 141 
Mislaying, 197 
Missending, 197 
Mistakes in printing, 205 

in reading, 205 

in speaking, 201 

in talking, 28, 189 

in writing, 205 
Modesty, sexual, 299 
Money complex, 272 
Morality, 23, 267 
Morbid perception, 20 
Mother image, 254 



Mother, ideal, 255 

influence of, 244 
Mother-in-law, 253, 260 
Mother Goose, 307 
Mouth, 21, 267 
Movements, 322 
Muscular cramps, 78 
Music expressing the complex, 


Nacke, 55 

Naive, 319, 320, 322 

functions of, 320 
Naivety, examples of, 320 
Nancy school, 11 
Narcism, 171, 172, 173, 183, 

Nausea, 223 

hysterical, 56 
Neatness, 271 
Negligence, 269 
Neologisms, 21, 307 
Neter, 253 
Neurasthenia, etiology of, 75 

periodic, 100 
Neuroses, 23, 25 

mixed, 229 
Neurotic individual, 262 
Nightmares, 54 
Nocturnal frights, 78 
Nonsense, 288 
Nonsensical, 289, 295 
Noopsyche, 157 
Normal, 23 

individual, 262 

Object love, 171, 184, 256 
Obscene joking, 232, 297, 316 
Obsession, 18, 96, 273 

psychanalysis of, 29, 58, 111 
Obsessive thinking, 98 
Obstacles, the overcoming of, 41 
Obstinacy, 269, 272 
Obstinate, 269 

constipation, 292 
Obstruction, 193 

(Edipus complex, 233, 236, 248 

dreams, 242 

in psychoses, 249 

legend, 238 
Onanism, 220 
Only child, 253 

attributes of, 257 
Orderliness, 271 
Orderly, 269 
Outdoing, 294 

Painful arm, 25 

idea, 17 
Palpitation, 77 
Paralysis, 25, 83 

of volition, 112 
Paranoia, 167, 179, 249, 256 

psychological mechanisms of, 
Paranoid condition, 170 

ideas, 263 
Paraphrenia, 185 
Parental influences, 254 

ideals, 254 
Parents, fixation on, 253 

influence of, 236 

neglect of, 237 

syphilis in, 24 
Paresthesia, 78 
Parody, 322 
Partial impulses, 21, 22, 108, 231 

repression of, 23 

revival of, 274 
Passivity, 99 
Pathogenic ideas, 16 

memory, 99 
Paul, Jean, 276 
Pavor nocturnus, 78 
Pedantry, 76 
Pederasty, 105 
Peeper, 299 
Pelletier, Madeline, 65 
Perspiration profuse, 77 
Perversions, 23, 95, 259, 262, 299 

negative of, 24, 275 
Pervert, 177 



Perverts, 25, 220, 265 

Peterson, 73, 165, 221, 230, 268, 

Phantasies, 24 
Phobias, 79, 96, 102, 273 

origin of, 18 
Pity, 23 
Pleasure, 313 

feeling of, 297 

inaccessible, 309 

mechanism, 304 

repressed, 272 

sources of, 297, 308 
Poetry and dreams, 66 
Polymorphous perverse, 23, 108, 

222, 259 
Praying, 114 
Precocious, 257 
Predisposition, 138, 315 
Premium, 314 
Prescott, F. C, 66 
Primitive thinking, 65 

impulses, 186 
Projection mechanism, 111, 179, 

Prophylaxis, 262, 265 
Prostitution complex, 245 
Protective measures, 101, 114 

mechanisms, 188 
Pseudo angina pectoris, 77 
Pseudologia phantastica, 222 
Pseudonyms, 159 
Psychanalysis, 11, 157, 272 

duration of, 31 

in psychoses, 116, 120 

of anxiety hysteria, 48, 85 

of hysterical symptom, 25 

method of, 29, 86 
Psychic censor, 17, 193 

damming, 305 

expenditure, 305, 306, 308 

expenditure, economy of, 314 

force, 16, 37, 301 

hindrances, 25 

impotence, 95, 259 

pain, 13 

Psychic, shocks, 135 

state, 322 

streams, 25, 137, 161, 186 

traumas, 20 

work, 16 
Psychogenesis, 135 
Psychology, individual factors of, 

of love and hatred, 109 

of mother-in-law, 253 

experimental, 116 
Psychoneuroses, 11, 75, 143, 259 

causation of, 301 
Psychopathological actions, 30, 

186, 189 
Psychosexual constitution, 231 

development, 102, 256 

impotence, 243, 246 

life, 94 
Psychosis, 19 
Psychotherapy, 11, 24 

schools of, 12 
Puberty, age of, 20, 267 

beginning of, 23 
Public school, 263 
Puns, 284 
Putnam, 250 

Rank, 250 
Reaction dream, 64 
Reaction formations, 267, 271, 

time, 117 

types, 117 
Reactions, 23, 117, 232 
Reality, 308 
Reason, 308 
Recantations, 137 
Rectum, 271 
Reduplications, 307 
Regression, 172, 184 

of sublimation, 176 
Rhyme, 306 
Refrain, 306 
Reliability, 271 
Religion, 237 



Remarks, witty, 303 
Reminiscences, hysterical, 13 
Remote analogies, 66 
Repartee, 292 
Representation through opposite, 

293, 295, 309 
Repression, 16, 25, 184, 187, 222, 
259, 301, 302, 311 

conception of, 35 

failure of, 17, 273 

phases of, 180 

retarded, 273 

return of, 100 
Reproaches, 99 
Reproachful actions, 100 
Reproduction of traumatic scenes, 

in the association experiment, 
55, 119 
Resistances, 54, 188, 296, 308 

the overcoming of, 16 

unconscious, 106 
Respiratory disturbances, 77 
Resultant mirth, 279 

pleasure, 312 
Retort, 304 
Retrogression, 172 
Reveries, 134 
Riklin, 116, 124, 190 

Sadger, 171, 265, 266 

Sadist, 233, 259 

Sadistic component, 104, 109, 261 

conception, 88 
Sante de Sanctis, 73 
Satire, 297 

Schizophrenia, 146, 165, 184 
Schizophrenic, 40, 184 
Screaming spells, 103 
Scrupulosity, 76, 99, 269 

meaning of, 63 
Secondary elaboration, 47 

defense, 101 

rationalization, 181 
Seduction, sexual, 99 

Selection, 299 

of professions, 208 

prehistoric, 261 
Self-willed, 269 
Semi-stuporous state, 104 
Senseless, 309, 321 
Sex abnormal, 259 
Sexual aims, 267 

anesthesia, 80, 95, 259 

attack, 90 

barriers, 256 

conception of, 20 

constitution, 23, 24 

curiosity, 299 

development, 21 

excitations, 25 

experiences of childhood, 20 

germs, 21 

gratification, 219 

ignorance, 20 

impulse, 20, 21, 256 

object, 183, 251, 298, 299 

overestimation, 260 

perverse activity, 25 

somatic injuries, 83 

suppression, 143 

symbols, 92, 280 

theories, 23 
Sexualization, 172, 173 
Shaking attacks, 78 
Shame, 23, 99, 100, 103, 267 
Shapes, 322 

Similar and cognate, 294 
Skatological, 268 

obsessions, 273 
Skylarking, 308 
Smile, 297 
Social aims, 22 

cultivation, 301 

feelings, 172, 173, 256 
Society, 302 
Somatic innervation, 18 
Somnambulism, 16 
Son-in-law, 261 
Sophism, 291 
Spectator, passive, 302 



Stekel, 73, 83, 95, 250, 266 
Stereotype, 164 
Stimulus words, 117 
Strangulated emotions, 14, 17 
Straus, 225 

Sublimation, 22, 172, 173, 299 
Substitution, 111, 293 
Substitutive formation, 17, 279 

gratifications, 229 
Suggestions, 138, 141 
Suicide, methods of, 160 

explanation of, 161 
Sully, J., 73 
Superiority, 323 
Superstition, 272 
Symbol, 88 

definition of, 65 

gross sexual, 68 
Symbolic expressions, 29, 68, 142, 
162, 193 

actions, 137, 164, 206, 209 

suicide, 161 
Symbolism, 36, 56, 58, 69 

in hallucinations, 66 

in insanity, 66 

in religion, 66 
Sympathy, economy of, 324 
Symptoms, 25 

as expression of wish fulfil- 
ment, 58 

hysterical, 220 

psychoneurotic, 28 
Syphilis, in parents, 24 

Tabula rasa, 254 
Tachycardia, 77 
Teleological, 143 

Tendency wit, 232, 301, 302, 304, 

hostile, 302 
Test person, 118 

words, 118 
Thoughts, witty, 285 
Thumbsucking, 21 
Thymopsyche, 157 
Tic, 13 

Transference, 173, 179, 255 
Transformation, 279 
Transitory arythmia, 77 
Trauma, 13 

sexual, 26, 245 
Travesty, 322 
Trembling, attacks of, 78 
Twofold application, 281 

Unconscious, 35, 186, 255, 317, 

attachment, 256 

complexes, 138 

parental influences, 245 

sadism, 110 

the language of, 107 
Unification wit, 292, 303, 306 

Vain, 258 
Van Dyke, 186 
Vertigo, 78 
Violence, 269 
Vischer, 276 
Voyeurs, 259, 299 

Wernicke, 103 
Wildman, 249 
Will, enfeeblement of, 85 
Wish, 144 

hidden, 318 
Wishes, unattainable, 17, 188 

fulfilment of, 28, 42, 228 

hidden, 43 

hidden fulfilment of, 93 
Wish-phantasies, 223 

homosexual, 167, 174 
Wit, character of, 297 

discrepancies in, 277 

distribution, 311 

diversities in, 277 

divisions of, 276 

harmless, 296, 301, 304, 314 

motives of, 315 

obscene, 310 

of aggression, 316 

psychogenesis of, 304 



Wit, purposeful, 296 

purposeless, 310 

social process, 315 

technic of, 277, 296 

theory of, 276 
Wit and dreams, 317 
Wit and the unconscious, 317 
Wit-making, 311, 315 
Witticism, 296, 310 
Woman, 299 

unyieldingness of, 300 

Words, witty, 285, 296 

obscene, 298 

playing with, 307 
World system, 182 

Zones, 21 

anal, 268, 273 

erogenous, 22, 256, 267, 273, 274 

genital, 23 
Zoophilia, 108 
Zurich school, 20, 55, 116, 124 



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physician. It cannot fail to attain a well-deserved popularity." 

Haab and DeSchweinitz '•/» 

Atlas and Epitome of Ophthalmoscopy and Ophthalmoscopic 
Diagnosis. By Dr. O. Haab, of Zurich. Edited, with additions, by 
G. E. deSchweinitz, M. D., Professor of Ophthalmology, University 
of Pennsylvania. With 152 colored lithographic illustrations and 92 
pages of text. Cloth, $3.00 net. In Saunders' Hand- Atlas Series. 


The great value of Prof. Haab's Atlas of Ophthalmoscopy and Ophthalmo- 
scopic Diagnosis has been fully established and entirely justified an English 
translation. Not only is the student made acquainted with carefully prepared 
ophthalmoscopic drawings done into well-executed lithographs of the most im- 
portant fundus changes, but, in many instances, plates of the microscopic lesions 
are added. The whole furnishes a manual of the greatest possible service. 

The Lancet, London 

"We recommend it as a work that should be in the ophthalmic wards or in the library of 
every haspital into which ophthalmic cases are received." 


Nose, Pharynx, and Ear 

Diseases of the Nose, Pharynx, and Ear. By Henry Gradle, 
M.D., late Professor of Ophthalmology and Otology, Northwestern 
University Medical School, Chicago. Octavo of 547 pages, illustrated, 
including two full-page plates in colors. Cloth, $3.50 net. 


This volume presents diseases of the Nose, Pharynx, and Ear as the author 
has seen them during an experience of nearly twenty-five years. In it are 
answered in detail those questions regarding the course and outcome of diseases 
which cause the less experienced observer the most anxiety in an individual case. 
Topographic anatomy has been accorded liberal space. 

Pennsylvania Medical Journal 

"This is the most practical volume on the nose, pharynx, and ear that has appeared 
recently. ... It is exactly what the less experienced observer needs, as it avoids the confusion 
incident to a categorical statement of everybody's opinion." 

Diseases of Nose arid Throat 

Diseases of the Nose and Throat. By D. Braden Kyle, M. D., 
Professor of Laryngology in the Jefferson Medical College, Phila- 
delphia. Octavo, 797 pages; with 219 illustrations, 26 in colors. 
Cloth, $4.00 net; Half Morocco, $5.50 net. 


Four large editions of this excellent work fully testify to its practical value. 
In this edition the author has revised the text thoroughly, bringing it absolutely 
down to date. With the practical purpose of the book in mind, extended con- 
sideration has been given to treatment, each disease being considered in full, and 
definite courses being laid down to meet special conditions and symptoms. 

Pennsylvania Medical Journal 

" Dr. Kyle's crisp, terse diction has enabled the inclusion of all needful nose and throat 
knowledge in this book. The practical man, be he special or general, will not search in vain 
for anything he needs." 


Greene and Brooks' 
Genito-Urinary Diseases 

Diseases of the Genito=Urinary Organs and the Kidney. By 

Robert H. Greene, M. D., Professor of Genito-Urinary Surgery at 
Fordham University ; and Harlow Brooks, M. D., Assistant Pro- 
fessor of Clinical Medicine, University and Bellevue Hospital Medical 
School. Octavo of 639 pages, illustrated. Cloth, $5.00 net; Half 
Morocco, $6.50 net. 


This new work presents both the medical and surgical sides. Designed as a 
work of quick reference, it has been written in a clear, condensed style, so that 
the information can be readily grasped and retained. Kidney diseases are very 
elaborately detailed. 

New York Medical Journal 

"Asa whole the book is one of the most satisfactory and useful works on genito-urinary 
diseases now extafnt, and will undoubtedly be popular among practitioners and students." 

Gleason on Nose, Throat, 

and Ear 

A Manual of Diseases of the Nose, Throat, and Ear. By E. 

Baldwin Gleason, M. D., LL. D., Clinical Professor of Otology, 
Medico-Chirurgical College, Philadelphia. i2mo of 556 pages, pro- 
fusely illustrated. Flexible leather, $2.50 net. 


Methods of treatment have been simplified as much as possible, so that in 
most instances only those methods, drugs, and operations have been advised 
which have proved beneficial. A valuable feature consists of the collection of 

American Journal of the Medical Sciences 

" For the practitioner who wishes a reliable guide in laryngology and otology there are few 
books which can be more heartily commended." 

American Text=Book of Genito=Urinary Diseases, Syphilis, and 
Diseases of the Skin. Edited by L. Bolton Bangs, M. D., and 
W. A. Hardaway, M. D. Octavo, 1229 pages, 300 engravings, 20 
colored plates. Cloth, $7.00 net. 


Dental State Boards 

Dental State Board Questions and Answers By R. Max Goepp, 

M. D., author " Medical State Board Questions and Answers." Octavo 
of 428 pages. Cloth, $2.75 net. 


This new work is along the same practical lines as Dr. Goepp's successful work 
on Medical State Boards. The questions included have been gathered from reliable 
sources, and embrace all those likely to be asked in any State Board examination 
in any State. They have been arranged and classified in a way that makes for a 
rapid resume of every branch of dental practice, and the answers are couched in 
language unusually explicit — concise, definite, accurate. 

The practicing dentist, also, will find here a work of great value — a work 
covering the entire range of dentistry and extremely well adapted for quick 

Haab and deSchweinitz's 
Operative Ophthalmology 

Atlas and Epitome of Operative Ophthalmology. By Dr. O. 

Haab, of Zurich. Edited, with additions, by G. E. de Schweinitz, 
M. D., Professor of Ophthalmology in the University of Pennsylvania. 
With 30 colored lithographic plates, 1 54 text-cuts, and 375 pages of 
text. In Saunders 1 Hand- Atlas Series. Cloth, $3.50 net. 

Dr. Haab's Atlas of Operative Ophthalmology will be found as beautiful and 
as practical as his two former atlases. The work represents the author' s thirty 
years' experience in eye work. The various operative interventions are described 
with all the precision and clearness that such an experience brings. Recognizing 
the fact that mere verbal descriptions are frequently insufficient to give a clear 
idea of operative procedures, Dr. Haab has taken particular care to illustrate 
plainly the different parts of the operations. 

Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin 

" The descriptions of the various operations are so clear and full that the volume can well 
hold place with more pretentious text-books." 


Holland's Medical 
Chemistr y and To xicology 

A Text=Book of Medical Chemistry and Toxicology. By James 
W. Holland, M. D., Professor of Medical Chemistry and Toxicology, 
and Dean, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. Octavo of 6 y ? 
pages, fully illustrated. Cloth, $3.00 net. 


Dr. Holland's work is an entirely new one, and is based on his forty years' 
practical experience in teaching chemistry and medicine. It has been subjected to 
a thorough revision, and enlarged to the extent of some sixty pages. The additions 
to be specially noted are those relating to the electronic theory, chemical equilib- 
rium, Kjeldahl's method for determining nitrogen, chemistry of foods and their 
changes in the body, synthesis of proteins, and the latest improvements in urinary 
tests. More space is given to toxicology than in any other text-book on chemistry. 

American Medicine 

" Its statements are clear and terse ; its illustrations well chosen ; its development logical, 
systematic, and comparatively easy to follow. . . . We heartily commend the work." 

Ivy's Applied Anatomy and 

Oral Surgery for Dental Students 

Applied Anatomy and Oral Surgery for Dental Students. By 

Robert H. Ivy, M.D., D.D.S., Assistant Oral Surgeon to the Philadel- 
phia General Hospital. i2mo of 280 pages, illustrated. Cloth, $1.50 


This work is just what dental students have long wanted— a concise, practical 
work on applied anatomy and oral surgery, written with their needs solely in 
mind. No one could be better fitted for this task than Dr. Ivy, who is a graduate 
in both dentistry and medicine. Having gone through the dental school, he 
knows precisely the dental student's needs and just how to meet them. His 
medical training assures you that his anatomy is accurate and his technic modern. 
The text is well illustrated with pictures that you will find extremely helpful. 

H. P. Kuhn, M.D., Western De?ital College, Kansas City. 

" I am delighted with this compact little treatise. It seems to me just to fill the bill." 


Wells' Chemical Pathology 

Chemical Pathology. Being a discussion of General Path- 
ology from the Standpoint of the Chemical Processes Involved. 
By H. Gideon Wells, Ph. D., M. D., Assistant Professor of 
Pathology in the University of Chicago. Octavo of 549 pages. 
Cloth, $3.25 net; Half Morocco, $4.75 net. 

Wm. H. Welch, M. D., Professor of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University. 

" The work fills a real need in the English literature of a very important subject, and 
I shall be glad to recommend it to my students." 

The New (2d) Edition 

Saxe's Urinalysis 

Examination of the Urine. By G. A. De Santos Saxe, M. D., 
formerly Instructor in Genito-Urinary Surgery, New York Post- 
graduate Medical School and Hospital. i2mo of 448 pages, fully 
illustrated. Cloth, $1.75 net. 

Francis Carter Wood, M. D., Adjunct Professor of Clinical Pathology, Columbia Uni- 

" It seems to me to be one of the best of the smaller works on this subject ; it is, 
indeed, better than a good many of the larger ones." 

deSchweinitz and Randall on the Eye, Ear, 
Nose, and Throat 

American Text-Book of Diseases of the Eye, Ear, Nose, and 
Throat. Edited by G. E. de Schweinitz, M.D., and B. Alex- 
ander Randall, M.D. Imperial octavo, 1251 pages, with 766 
illustrations, 59 of them in colors. Cloth, $7.00 net; Half Mo- 
rocco, $8.50 net. 

Grunwald and Grayson on the Larynx 

Atlas and Epitome of Diseases of the Larynx. By Dr. L. 

Grunwald, of Munich. Edited, with additions, by Charles P. 
Grayson, M.D., University of Pennsylvania. With 107 colored 
figures on 44 plates, 25 text-cuts, and 103 pages of text. Cloth, 
$2.50 net. In Saunders Hand-Atlas Series. 

Mracek and Stelwagon's Atlas of Skin | e d ^ 

Atlas and Epitome of Diseases of the Skin. By Prof. Dr. 
Franz Mracek, of Vienna. Edited, with additions, by Henry 
W. Stelwagon, M.D., Jefferson Medical College. With jy col- 
ored plates, 50 half-tone illustrations, and 280 pages of text. In 
Saunders' Hand-Atlas Series. Cloth, $4.00 net. 


American Pocket Dictionary New (7th) Edition 

The American Pocket Medical Dictionary. Edited by W. A, 

Newman Dorland, M.D., Editor "American Illustrated Medical 

Dictionary." Containing the pronunciation and definition of the 

principal words used in medicine and kindred sciences. 610 pages. 

Flexible leather, with gold edges, $1.00 net; with thumb index, 

ill. 2 5 net. 

James W. Holland, M. D., 

Professor of Medical Chemistry and Toxicology, and Dean, Jefferson Medical College, 

" I am struck at once with admiration at the compact size and attractive exterior. ] 
can recommend it to our students without reserve." 

Stelwagon's Essentials of Skin 7th Edition 

Essentials of Diseases of the Skin. By Henry W. Stel- 
wagon, M. D., Ph.D., Professor of Dermatology in the Jeffer- 
son Medical College, Philadelphia. Post-octavo of 291 pages, 
with 72 text-illustrations and 8 plates. Cloth, $1.00 net. In 
Saunders' Question- Compend Series. 

The Medical News 

" In line with our present knowledge of diseases of the skin. . . . Continues to main- 
tain the high standard of excellence for which these question compends have been noted." 

Wolffs Medical Chemistry New (7th) Edition 

Essentials of Medical Chemistry, Organic and Inorganic 
Containing also Questions on Medical Physics, Chemical Physiol- 
ogy, Analytical Processes, Urinalysis, and Toxicology. By Law- 
rence Wolff, M. D., Late Demonstrator of Chemistry, Jefferson 
Medical College. Revised by A. Ferree Witmer, Ph. G., M. D., 
Formerly Assistant Demonstrator of Physiology, University of 
Pennsylvania. Post-octavo of 222 pages. Cloth, $1.00 net. /;/ 
Saunders' Question- Compend Series. 

Martin's Minor Surgery, Bandaging, and the Venereal 

Diseases Second Edition, Revised 

Essentials of Minor Surgery, Bandaging, and Venereal 
Diseases. By Edward Martin, A. M., M. D., Professor of Clin- 
ical Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, etc. Post-octavo, 166 
pages, with 78 illustrations. Cloth, $1.00 net. In Saunders' 
Question- Compend Series. 

Vecki's Sexual Impotence New ( 4th ) Edition— just Ready 

Sexual Impotence. By Victor G. Vecki, M. D., Consulting 
Genito-Urinary Surgeon to Mt. Zion Hospital, San Francisco. 
i2mo of 400 pages. Cloth, $2.25 net. 

Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin 

"A scientific treatise upon an important and much neglected subject. . . . The 
treatment of impotence in general and of sexual neurasthenia is discriminating and 


deSchweinitz and Holloway on Pulsating Exoph- 

Pulsating Exophthalmos. An analysis of sixty-nine cases not pre- 
viously analyzed. By George E. deSchweinitz, M. D., and Thomas 
B. Holloway, M. D. Octavo of 125 pages. Cloth, $2.00 net. 

This monograph consists of an analysis of sixty-nine cases of this affection 
not previously analyzed. The therapeutic measures, surgical and otherwise, 
which have been employed are compared, and an endeavor has been made 
to determine from these analyses which procedures seem likely to prove of 
the greatest value. It is the most valuable contribution to ophthalmic liter- 
ature within recent years. 

British Medical Journal 

"The book deals very thoroughly with the whole subject and in it the most complete account of 
the disease will be found." 

Jackson on the Eye The New (2d) Edition 

A Manual of the Diagnosis and Treatment of Diseases of the 
Eye. By Edward Jackson, A. M., M. D., Professor of Ophthalmology, 
University of Colorado. i2mo volume of 615 pages, with 184 beautiful 
illustrations. Cloth, $2.50 net. 

The Medical Record, New York 

" It is truly an admirable work. . . . Written in a clear, concise manner, it bears evidence of the 
author's comprehensive grasp of the subject. The term ' multum in parvo ' is an appropriate one to 
apply to this work." 

Grant on Face, Mouth, and Jaws 

A Text-Book of the Surgical Principles and Surgical Diseases 
of the Face, Mouth, and Jaws. For Dental Students. By H. Horace 
Grant, A. M., M. D., Professor of Surgery and of Clinical Surgery, 
Hospital College of Medicine, Louisville. Octavo of 231 pages, with 
68 illustrations. Cloth, $2.50 net. 

Preiswerk and Warren's Dentistry 

Atlas and Epitome of Dentistry. By Prof. G. Preiswerk, of 
Basil. Edited, with additions, by George W. .Warren, D.D.S., Pro- 
fessor of Operative Dentistry, Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery, 
Philadelphia. With 44 lithographic plates, 152 text-cuts, and 343 pages 
of text. Cloth, $3.50 net. In Saunders'' Atlas Series. 

Friedrich and Curtis on Nose, Larynx, and Ear 


in General Medicine. By Dr. E. P. Friedrich, of Leipzig. Edited 
by H. Holbrook Curtis, M. D., Consulting Surgeon to the New York 
Nose and Throat Hospital. Octavo volume of 350 pages. Cloth, 
$2.50 net. 


Wolfs Examination of Urine 

A Laboratory Handbook of Physiologic Chemistry and 
Urine-examination. By Charles G. L. Wolf, M. D., Instructor in 
Physiologic Chemistry, Cornell University Medical College, New 
York. i2mo volume of 204 pages, fully illustrated. Cloth, $1.25 net. 

British Medical Journal 

" The methods of examining the urine are very fully described, and there are at the 
end of the book some extensive tables drawn up to assist in urinary diagnosis." 

Jackson's Essentials of Eye Third Revised Edition 

Essentials of Refraction and of Diseases of the Eye. By 
Edward Jackson, A. M., M. D., Emeritus Professor of Diseases of 
the Eye, Philadelphia Polyclinic. Post-octavo of 261 pages, 82 illus- 
trations. Cloth, $ 1. 00 net. In Saunders' Question- Compend Series. 

Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin 

" The entire ground is covered, and the points that most need careful elucidation 
are made clear and easy." 

Gleason's Nose and Throat Fourth Edition, Revised 

Essentials of Diseases of the Nose and Throat. By E. B. 
Gleason, S. B., M. D., Clinical Professor of Otology, Medico- 
Chirurgical College, Philadelphia, etc. Post-octavo, 241 pages, 112 
illustrations. Cloth, $1.00 net. hi Saunders 1 Question Compends, 

The Lancet, London 

" The careful description which is given of the various procedures would be sufficient 
to enable most people of average intelligence and of slight anatomical knowledge to 
make a very good attempt at laryngoscopy." 

Gleason's Diseases of the Ear Third Edition, Revised 

Essentials of Diseases of the Ear. By E. B. Gleason, S. B., 
M. D., Clinical Professor of Otology, Medico-Chirurgical College, 
Phila., etc. Post-octavo volume of 214 pages, with 114 illustra- 
tions. Cloth, $ 1. 00 net. In Saunders' Question- Compend Series. 

Bristol Medico-Chirurgical Journal 

" We know of no other small work on ear diseases to compare with this, either in 
freshness of style or completeness of information." 

Wilcox on Genito-Urinary and Venereal Diseases 

The New (2d) Edition 

Essentials of Genito-Urinary and Venereal Diseases. By 
Starling S. Wilcox, M. D., Lecturer on Genito-Urinary Diseases 
and Syphilology, Starling-Ohio Medical College, Columbus. i2mo 
of 321 pages, illustrated. Cloth, $1.00 net. Saunders' Compends. 

Stevenson's Photoscopy 

Photoscopy (Skiascopy or Retinoscopy). By Mark D. Stev- 
enson, M. D., Ophthalmic Surgeon to the Akron City Hospital. 
i2mo of 126 pages, illustrated. .Cloth, #1.25 net. 

Edward Jackson, M. D., University of Colorado. 

"It is well written and will prove a valuable help. Your treatment of the emergent 
pencil of rays, and the part falling on the examiner's eye, is decidedly better than any 
previous account." 

/\ f -<C/- 

Massachusetts School 
for Feeble Minded,