A Freudian View Of Charles Lamb’s Dream Children: A Reverie

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Text. Lamb had a very solitary and painful life. One can only trace a fragment of his life’s happiness to his childhood days as is apparent in the poem, “The Old Familiar Faces” as well as the highly emotive essay, ”Dream Children-A Reverie”. Concerning the latter, he begins the essay by stating that children love to listen stories of a great uncle or a “granddame” and continues to account the story of his grandmother, Mrs. Field to his precious little children; namely Alice and John. Mrs. Field used to live in a rich and luxurious mansion in the county. She was a housekeeper. She was highly esteemed and loved by all who remembered her as a very good and religious woman. The owner of the house lived in a more fashionable house elsewhere, leaving Mrs. Field as the sole guardian of the house. Even though she worked in the house, Mrs. Field managed to keep it like one of her own. The house was old but distinguished from every corner. Lamb used to spend his holidays there as a child and was each time overwhelmed by its beauty and majesty. Mrs. Field often spoke of seeing the apparitions of two small children (a boy and a girl), running up and down the steps of the house at midnight; of which Lamb had no luck of witnessing (probably an innuendo to The Babies In The Wood). He remembers how he used to stroll in the big house with its worn-out curtains and flinging tapestry. He would constantly gaze at the busts of the “twelve Caesars” imagining them to come alive or simply freeze like one of the statuettes. This was one of his most favourite idle occupations. Then again there was a nearby lush garden, which posed of swanky surroundings, with its nectarines, peaches and oranges. Lamb often visited the old and ever-faithful yew and fir tre... ... middle of paper ... ...sider: “Glamis hath murdered sleep; and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more-Macbeth shall sleep no more.” (Macbeth) Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking with a taper in her hand and constant rubbing of her hands is only an extention of that guilt and a sort of ill omen of what is more to come. In this case, one may say that the unconscious neither forgives nor forgets. References Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation Of Dreams (1900). Tr. A.A. Brill. New York: Macmillan, 1913. Lucas, E.V. (Ed.) The Works of Charles And Mary Lamb. London: Methuen and Co., 1905. Morpurgo, J.E. (Ed.) Charles Lamb: Selected Writings. New York: Routledge, 2003. Ward, Thomas Humphry. The English Poets. Selections with Critical Introductions by Various Writers and a General Introduction by Matthew Arnold. Vol. 4. New York & London: Macmillan And Co., 1894.

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