Fraud and Unjustified Conjectures in Dora An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria by Sigmund Freud

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Many aspects of our lives, including culture and religion, are fabricated on the basis of conjectures. Although these facts may remain unproven, little harm is inflicted from the possibility of misinformation. Contrarily, in the case of science, the smallest error can lead to severely misguided results and an inability to reach a solution. Dora An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria by Sigmund Freud exemplifies this situation, as Freud reveals an incomplete analysis relying on a slew of unjustified conjectures. During Dora’s time of treatment, Freud consistently ignores her denials and impresses his frequently outlandish theories on her, which ultimately leads to her early termination of treatment. Freud fails to cure Dora due to his flawed diagnosis upon unsupported conjectures and his embodiment of the patriarchal authoritativeness that lead to her hysteria.

Freud starts his report by informing the readers of the incompleteness of his analysis and preparing them for a fragmented case. He admits that though the two dreams of Dora were recorded immediately after his session, “the case history itself was only committed to writing from memory, after the treatment was at an end […] thus the record is not absolutely – phonographically - exact” (4). Already, it becomes clear that the case will be based off of potentially invalid information. Freud attempts to defend this cause of skepticism by stating that the recollection remained fresh and heightened in his mind by his personal interest in the case (4). Freud clearly recognizes the opportunity for criticism due to the lack of information and accompanying lack of validity in his arguments, but he’s more intent on completing the report and proving his sexual desire and dream interpretat...

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...he success of his treatment, it’s clear that some-if not all is the result of her escaping from beneath the foot of her oppressors.

Freud’s adoption of the oppressive qualities in which he attributes Dora’s hysteria to and his reliance on weak conjectures directly lead to the failure of his treatment. Throughout the analysis of Dora’s symptoms, Freud spews an endless stream of unsupported assumptions leading to an overall insignificant argument. He manipulates Dora’s dreams to become suitable proofs for his theories rather than genuinely attempting to cure her hysteria. Although Dora voices her disagreements, Freud overlooks her emotions for the sake of completing his case, which ultimately leads to her premature departure. Freud, being one of the many oppressive males of his time, seems to misinterpret penis envy for a simple hatred towards men.

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