An Analysis of Dreams by Timothy Findley “We are such material as dreams are made on” ( Shakespeare The Tempest ) possibly most accurately sums up the human captivation with their ain dreams. Fliting. transitory. and possessing their ain ground. these unusual base on ballss of illusion work stoppage attending and draw importance to themselves. In Timothy Findley’s short narrative “Dreams” . the human compulsion with. and dependance upon. dreams is taken up in item. The narrative can be seen as symbolic in its entireness. with each facet of the narrative stand foring some true portion of life.
The chief character of Findley’s narrative is readily seen to be Doctor Mimi Menlo. Doctor Menlo enters the narrative in the first paragraph as a concerned married woman. worried that her hubby. Doctor Everett Menlo. is non kiping at dark. The medium for the narrative is revealed in the 2nd paragraph of the narrative. when it is revealed that Mimi Menlo is trying to remain awake through the usage of both caffeine and a drug called Dexedrine. When an pep pill is substituted for sleep legion side effects can happen. non least of which are anxiousness. restlessness and confusion.
Doctor Mimi has been taking 5 milligram of Dexedrine each eventide. This drug evidently has an inauspicious affect. as can be seen by the improbably realistic and graphic dream which she has. This dream takes up the remainder of the narrative. and can be interpreted as symbolic of the tests which Mimi is traveling through in her life.
There are legion indicants that the events of the span of yearss described are symbolic and representative of Mimi’s interior struggle. The first. and possibly most of import of these. is Kenneth Albright. her husband’s patient. Kenneth Albright is described as “uniquely schizophrenic” ( Findley 112 ) . a adult male who had attempted suicide four times before he was brought under Everett’s attention. Kenneth would stand for that component in each of us which is tired of life. and seeks merely to stop it all. To delegate such a function to Kenneth would take easy into the following symbol. which is Mimi’s ain patient. an autistic male child named Brian Bassett.
Mimi has been working with Brian Bassett for a drawn-out period of clip. and has become ( in her ain descriptive term ) “a alternate warrior” ( Findley 121 ) for this autistic male child. Brian exists in the existent universe. and genuinely is a patient of Doctor Menlo. However. in the dream province. Brian takes on more significance. and becomes identified with Kenneth Albright as a symbol of that which is tired and hopeless. The narrative provinces Brian’s state of affairs as “in the procedure. now. of melting off “¦ but. of class. the spirit and the will to populate can non be fed by force to those who do non desire to feed” ( Findley 111 ) .
Mimi has been working a long clip with Brian. doing no advancement. At one point in the narrative. she even refers to her husband’s injury as being caused by “something about a patient ” one of his tougher instances ; a wall in the patient’s status they could non interrupt through” ( Findley 110 ) . Merely as she can non interrupt through Brian Bassett’s autistic universe. her hubby can non interrupt through Kenneth Albright’s schizophrenic psychotic beliefs to convey him back to the universe of visible radiation and hope once more.
Mimi goes to kip worrying about her hubby. and with ideas of her ain toughest instance on her head. These together provide the fresh fish for her encephalon to turn into the dream which is given as the remainder of the narrative.
The attack of the narrative. told in 3rd individual omniscient with a prejudice towards Mimi’s side of the dream. gives a hint to this reading of the dream. While it is surely possible for the storyteller to be third-person omniscient. there is no ground to slant the narrative toward Mimi unless it is really told from her position. If the narrative is to be told through the eyes of Mimi. and yet has distinguishable all-knowing elements ( the cognition of what occurs at Everett’s clinic. an apprehension of the Menlo’s Canis familiaris Thurber’s dreams. etc. ) so it would follow to delegate the full narrative to a dream-state. In a dream. it is rather possible for the dreamer to hold an all-knowing point of view. without excepting hapless false belief from the image.
A distinguishable component of dream-state is given through the decease of Brian Bassett. To Brian’s guardian angel. what would be more in character than to desire the best for her patient. no affair what the cost? Brian dies. but non before stating “goodbye” ( Findley 123 ) to the 1 who cared for him the most. To give up person who is in hurting is a hard lesson to larn. and therefore the figure of Brian Basset in the dream becomes identified with the hurting and heartache which comes through stating adieu. Brian slides softly from Mimi’s dream. “a vanishing act” ( Findley 131 ) through which he vanishes everlastingly.
The blood which appears on Everett’s patient Kenneth Albright can be seen as a symbol of enduring. While the narrative does non province that the Menlos are spiritual people. during the procedure of obtaining a doctor’s degree in psychological science they would both hold studied faith in some signifier. Nothing else in the human experience has such a profound impact upon the human moral mind as faith. and as such it remains indelibly marked upon the human mind. Being knowing about faiths would intend that both of the Menlos would be familiar with the thought of placation.
In every facet of Judeo-christian history. the thought of placation comes to the head ” “without the sloughing of blood is no remittal [ for wickedness ] ” ( The Bible Hebrews 9:22 ) . Blood has been seen as a symbol of enduring throughout history. from the first forfeit offered in the Garden of Eden with the decease of a lamb through to the concluding once-and-for-all decease of Jesus Christ. through which all wickedness was forgiven for all clip.
Mimi is rather cognizant of how much agony her husband’s patient has gone through. and therefore dreams the blood into her dream as a symbol of his agony. Everett is handling this psychotic patient. and by a procedure of designation he has obtained the agony of the adult male. and has begun to populate out this agony in his ain life. This is shown in the narrative by the blood which has transferred from the individual of Kenneth Albright through dreams to the individual of Everett Menlo.
This narrative is placed within a dream universe. From the 2nd page. Mimi Menlo is populating a dream. in which she rehashes the events of the old hebdomads. seeking in some manner to happen the truth behind her husband’s insomnia. Her decisions are typically dream-like in that they bear small resemblance to reality beyond the shallowness of the background scenery. Everett and Mimi. as characters in the dream. walk harmonizing to different regulations than those which govern human existences in the waking universe. Scientifically. there is no possible manner for blood to hold appeared on Kenneth Albright. or for that self-same blood to hold been transferred over to Doctor Everett Menlo. Taken in a symbolic sense. nevertheless. the full narrative unfolds as the unusual intrigues of Mimi Menlo’s encephalon.
Mimi has fabricated a dream-world for herself which is comparable in every manner to the world she knows so good. Her dream has become such material as life is made on. with the image it paints scaring to lay eyes on. Symbolism is built-in in the dream. from the blood stand foring enduring to the Menlo’s Canis familiaris Thurber stand foring that which is simple and guiltless about us. Findley weaves a tapestry of dreams adroitly together with some gloss of world. and the concluding merchandise is a absorbing expression at the lengths that the human mind can travel to in an effort to explicate the experience known as life.