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October 20, 2006

Extra Credit Freud Commentary

Kristine Park
CompLit 240
Section 003

Text: Dora, An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
Page 38

“How many fewer miraculous cures and spontaneous disappearances of symptoms should we physicians have to register in cases of hysteria, if we were more often given a sight of the human interest which the patient keeps hidden from us!?

In this quote, Freud claims that physicians would be able to know the causes of the symptoms more if they were “given a sight of the human interest.? In other words, if the patient just said everything without hiding any piece of the story, perhaps the root of the symptoms would be easily pin-pointed. When the patient only relays pieces of his or her story, the doctor can only work with what is given. For example, Freud interprets Dora’s anger toward Herr K. based on hearing what Dora told him of Herr K.’s proposal. However, towards the end of the treatment, Dora confesses she did not tell Freud one part, the part that was the reason for being so upset by Herr K.. Dora tells Freud about the young governess Herr K. proposes to and from there Freud was able to see Dora’s reason for anger and related this back to her dreams.
A similar situation is shown in “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,? where everyone is not telling the entire story and Poirot claims everyone has a secret.
But this also led me to think the reason for keeping some things unsaid. At both of these time periods, some things were just not said because of social reasons; it would be improper and not “normal.? The “norms? and pressures of society keep things hidden, or “repressed,? covering up the core of the problem.

Posted by krpark at October 20, 2006 06:36 PM


I think this is an interesting passage, because Freud puts the impetus on the patient, as opposed to the doctor in solving a medical problem- it shows his belief in a more active role for the patient, just as his practice of asking his patients questions does.

Posted by: jcbroadw at October 23, 2006 09:16 PM

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