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What Do Dreams Do? - Oxford Scholarship Online
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What Do Dreams Do?

Sue Llewellyn


What is a dream? It’s a complex, non-obvious pattern derived from your experience. But you haven’t actually experienced it. Strange. Revealing complex, hidden patterns makes dreams odd. Dreams associate elements of different experiences to make something new: a pattern you didn’t know was there until you dreamt it. Patterns are discernible forms in the way something happens or is done. Some patterns are easy to spot, being certain and obvious: night follows day. Patterns in human/animal experiences are less obvious because, first, the patterned elements appear at different times or places and, ... More

Keywords: dreaming, non-obvious associations, complex patterns, evolution, unconscious, memory, creativity, mental illness

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198818953
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198818953.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sue Llewellyn, author
Professor in Humanities, University of Manchester, UK

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Part I Dream Patterns, Dream Basics, and Dream Backstory

Part II Dream Emotions, Meanings, and Unconscious Impact

Part III Dream Creativity and Craziness

Part IV Dreams as Patterns (in Brief), Other Dream Theories, and Futures