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Linn, L. (1954). Color in Dreams. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 2:462-465.

(1954). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2:462-465

Color in Dreams

Louis Linn, M.D.


Considering the frequency with which color appears in dreams, the number of direct references in the literature to this phenomenon are remarkably few. The significance of words or speeches in dreams has not suffered from this neglect; yet the incidence of the latter, at least in my experience, is not greater than the incidence of color details. This omission is further underscored by the fact that their significance, as far as I have been able to ascertain, is the same. Of speeches Freud (2p. 389) says: "The dreamwork cannot compose a new speech. No matter how many speeches and answers, which in themselves may be sensible or absurd, may occur in dreams, analysis always shows us that the dream has merely taken from the dream thoughts fragments of speeches which have really been delivered or heard."

In a particularly colorful dream reported by Freud (2p. 504), he was able to trace all of the individual colors which appeared in the dream to a series of experiences in which each specific color appeared. He concludes, "The beautiful colors seen in the dream were but a repetition of those seen in memory." Ella Freeman Sharpe (6) echoes this comment with a conclusion of her own, "The clue to the significance of conversation, numbers and colors in dreams can often be reached through the patient's associations to some specific person or object."

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