Sunday, February 24, 2008

I find the most apparent and relevant connection between our readings of Freud's theories on dreams and the Schnitzler's novel to be Albertine's dream itself. Using the Freudian method of analysis in relation to her dream the reader can come to understand how the events detailed in the chapters preceding her confession are reflected in her dream, and how, with Freud's help, a wish can be determined in her words. Her dream is built around the juxtaposition of Fridolin and the symbolic meaning of their marital union. Throughout the dream Fridolin is consistently associated with material adornments, clothing, costumes, etc. He flees to the village to procure these items when Albertine and himself realize they are left naked. Albertine, on the other hand, is ambivalent about her nudity and remains reclined in a meadow, at first alone, than with the strange danish traveler, and finally with an unknown number of others. There she laughs at Fridolin in his efforts to procure garments and at his refusal to accept the princesses offer and acquittal. That Fridolin is so motivated to cover their nudity suggests a suppresive quality of his nature, and of his inability to deal to with Albertine's sexuality. That she laughs at her husband from on high and is surrounded by many others in her nudity suggests that she is neither ashamed nor ignorant about her sexuality. These details and subsequent inferences seem to occur in Albertine's dream as a reaction to the jarring confession each partner makes at the beginning of the story. The resentment that this dream causes in both parties denotes the destructive nature of the upper-class Viennese and their relationship to their sexuality.

1 comment:

Lasica said...

I, too, wrote about Albertine's Dream. I agree that her sexuality is what causes Fridolin to loose his grip on reality and to rush headlong into the Viennese night. He does not realize that her "confession" was the direct result of his own statements that he was searching for his "domino" twins at the ball. She makes her vacation confession because she feels jealous. Whether she actually gave the mysterious Dane a second thought is unknown. I don't think she did, I think she "confesses" because she doesn't want to be left out. She was disgusted by the Pole at the ball, but Fridolin was having fun. She realizes this and tries to match him through her "fantasy." But he ups the stakes, bringing up the fact that he too was tempted during their vacation by a young prepubescent girl. This causes a huge rush of memories to flood her consciousness. She married him when she was very young and she has never been with anyone else. She subsequently dreams of his crucification and laughs because she wants revenge and her dream is the only way to get even with him for his betrayal.