The Theories of Dreams

            There are many theories on the significance of dreams and there is no definitive encyclopedia on their meanings. The ability to have one dream that is so bizarre and fantasy like and the next seem so real that it is hard to tell if it really happened or not, is quite amazing. One theory is that dreams reflect not only daily events and stresses, but also deep hidden fears and desires. It is the way the psyche copes and releases intense emotions, especially the ones most deeply repressed and denied. Katherine Anne Porter relates this phenomenon superbly in "Flowering Judas.” Her complicated writing style mimics the way the main character, Laura, utilizes daily defense mechanisms to avoid having any personal connection with anybody, including herself Porter clearly feels that this type of severe emotional suppression is unhealthy and detrimental to ones emotional state. It only furthers alienation from society, the opposite sex and self, all of which go against the nature of humans being social and emotional creatures. This unhealthy psychological repression must have some outlet, which comes inevitably in the enigmatic dream sequence.

             Porter shows that practicing self-detachment leads to insecurity and lack of purpose outside of maintaining this position. The constant struggle to suppress internal rage and personal opinions is away to maintain safety. The exposure of real feelings makes one vulnerable and because of this Laura keeps everything inside. She subconsciously dresses in heavy nun-like clothes to help hide and keep contained her real feelings and opinions. She also has a pervading sense of danger and disaster on a daily basis and no sense of direction in her life. The suffocation of feelings is so complete that she has no idea of what exactly she is feeling or why she is there. The only comfort she has is her ability to maintain her walls and feel safe. Her comfort is in knowing she is safe because her inner thoughts and feelings are unexposed.

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