Summary: Difference Between Phantasy As Discussed By Freud In “Creative Writers and Daydreaming”

In “Creative Writing and Daydreaming”, Freud seeks to explain the relationship between an author and their work where he explains about creative writing as an extension of a childhood’s play time. Freud explains that the pleasure of a person’s work releases deep cognitive pleasure that releases some tension. People have desires and wishes but it becomes difficult to express them due to morality and social restrictions. Such desires stay dormant and suppressed in the unconscious part of the mind, and according to Freud, these desires can be expressed through writing.

Artists express their views especially their childhood desires that had been suppressed through writing. Such artists fantasize and daydream of their childhood dreams, and the artist is able to express their desires through writing (Freud, 422).

An author remembers the precious moments and desires to express their past in their present time, but this is sometimes difficult. Therefore the author fantasizes and represents their wishes inform of art work. In most cases, the artists presents the desires they wished they had done in their childhood, but they were denied the chance to do so, and therefore they bring out their ideas inform of writing.

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In “A Child is Being Beaten”, Freud was trying to explain how beating fantasies is one of the most complicated things in a person’s life. His views were that beating fantasies is related with guilt and can result in the sprouting of guilt. The fantasies are not inclined in the line of psychosexual development but they are due to the passage through the Oedipus complex.

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It means that the feelings are as a result of incestuous love that cannot become reality, which results to repression and grief. When a child is of an early age, they being to have their genital organization that brings out their sexual lives and therefore beating fantasies begin to appear (Freud, Family Romances, 239). Freud tries to explain how people try to beat fantasies that evolve in their childhood where the role of the mother is not clearly defined. The weight of the incestuous love contributed to the regression of the fantasies that a child has, making the fantasies to remain in the unconscious mind.

According to Lacan, the unconscious mind takes the structure of a language and this is signified by the evidence by the meaning of self-expression through the unconscious. Lacan further explained that fantasy is a protective image of desires that is characterised with immobile and fixed qualities. The work of Lacan makes a person to understand that narrative can be considered in various ways. It can be viewed as a vehicle to explore some philosophical and theoretical issues especially the ones associated with human conditions. Human lives are divided into various dimensions that place focus on the processes where meaning is constructed across time. It is a form of going back to events that happened and the individual may be unconsciously aware of (Bettleheim, 1642).

“…Through exposure to this type of fantasy narrative, with which he can formulate and think about his unconscious hopes and fears…” 1642

Hermeneutics can therefore be viewed as a bridge between those conceived ideas and the theoretical issues of the narrative. It also identifies the various sides of a narrative in regards to its history, cultural orientation and origin. It means that when an individual generates their narratives, they must have some origin, background and orientation. Moreover, narrative can also be descriptive where a person can tell a story so as the person reading can visualize the ideas it the experience of the writer. In most cases, a person may portray their fantasies into writing, making the reader to formulate ideas of what happened. The works of Lacan and Freud are important in making a person understand the origin and creation of narratives, especially from the unconscious state of mind.

Screen memory can be viewed as a compromise between elements that are repressed and the defence against such elements. It means that there a person experiences less childhood memories than the memories about his childhood. Freud used the terms screen memory to explain any memory that hides or represses another in the unconscious mental state. Facts that are important in the memories are not important but significance is placed on the psychic character where details regarding the events are not given importance. Symbols are used to displace the main elements and a person can sometimes forget real names of happenings. Freed developed the concept as he tried to understand the unconscious fantasies where he concluded that memories play a crucial role in a person’s life as long as the individual understands how to interpret them (Reed and Levine, 4). He was of the opinion that any memory could be screen memory although there can be some aspects that are careened out and not acceptable to the ego. Freud compared dreams to screen memories where most common elements of representations enabled the two to contain some traces especially in the form of thoughts in dreams. According to Freud, screen memory focuses on past memory and this helps in the reconstructing personal history of an individual. The memories of a person can be deceptive because they are not a faithful record of the events that took place, but they are bound to revision as a person grows up.

Screen memories derived from childhood memories is characterised by senses of reality that are clear and heightened that places focus on inoffensive events that screens from memory of especially a traumatic event. Such memories remain unchanged and stay for a long time because the memories are not harmful and remain a mystery to an individual. All the memories from childhood is essential is retained in the memory, and the issue is usually knowing how to extract the memory by analysis. Such memories represent some years of childhood that had been forgotten and this can be equated to daydream thoughts. In retrogressive screen memory, Freud described the memories of past happenings that unconsciously portray situations in the contemporary world. In regards to the different types of screen memory according to Freud, it makes a person have an understanding of how the brain works (Kellerman, 141). It shows the connection between a person’s brain and how the environment maintains it through a system of internal clock that echoes temporal organization. Organization of the brain shows the functioning through various re-entry programs and classification that binds together various possible timeframes to a cognitive experience, which is held together with the world. As a person ages, the temporal organization is disoriented and changes can be seen in sleep disorders, aging, issues like jet-lags or problems like mental disorders.

It means that issues like flashbacks in narratives and flash forwards are a reflection of what a person experiences in the brains, which tend to appear to a person in form of screen memory. The process of temporal organization makes the process possible as a person is able to transmit their feelings through re-entry programs, which then are revealed to the audience through flashbacks. Moreover, there are some people who experience flashbacks as a result of bad encounters for instance; a person may start having flashbacks after he is humiliated and losses their job at work. Such a patient may not have a history of drug abuse or any sign of sickness, but the invoked bad memory can cause the individual to start experiencing flashbacks that can also stem out the experiences of the person during his childhood. In such a case, a person may not experience the memory as something that happened in the past, but they can perceive as something happening in real time. The brain processes the memory and stores it as short or long memory, and in most cases flashbacks are usually as a result of long term memory that becomes spontaneous due to arousal and other sudden effects. Therefore in narratives, individuals experiencing flashbacks express their feelings of their screen memory through flashbacks where they may sometimes write down their memories thinking that it is happening in real time. It makes the writers to pass their message to people regarding what they went through at some point in their lives especially their teenage life. Narratives try to portray a different side of the writer where the feelings are conveyed and written down as memories that are triggered by current happenings.

Works Cited

  1. Bettleheim, Bruno. “The uses of enchantment: The meaning and Importance of Fairly Tales .” Comparative Literature (1976): Vol. 91, No.6, 1642-1644.
  2. Freud, Sigmund. Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming. London: Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1908.
  3. —. “Family Romances.” The Standards Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (1906-1908): IX, 235-242.
  4. Kellerman, henry. Dictionary of Psychopathology. New York: University Press, 2009.
  5. Reed, Gail and Howard Levine. On Freud's 'Screen Memories'. New York: Springer, 2014.
Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Summary: Difference Between Phantasy As Discussed By Freud In “Creative Writers and Daydreaming”. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

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