Dreams - HSC English 1st Paper Passage

Mohammed Ahsan
Dreams - HSC English 1st Paper Passage

Dreams - HSC English 1st Paper Passage

A. Work in pairs and discuss the following questions:

• What is a dream?

• Do you have dreams?

• Is a dream real or unreal?

• Is there any relation between dream and action?

• Who is a dreamer? Do you like a dreamer? Why/why not?

Dreams have fascinated philosophers for thousands of years, but only recently have dreams been subjected to empirical research and scientific study. Chances are that you've often found yourself puzzling over the content of a dream, or perhaps you've wondered why you dream at all.

First, let's start by answering a basic question: What is a dream? A dream can include any of the images, thoughts and emotions that are experienced during sleep. Dreams can be extraordinarily vivid or very vague; filled with joyful emotions or frightening images; focused and understandable or unclear and confusing.

Why do we dream? What purpose do dreams serve? While many theories have been proposed about the reason and function of dreams, no consensus has emerged. Considering the time we spend in a dreaming state, the fact that researchers do not yet understand the purpose of dreams may seem baffling. However, it is important to consider that science is still unraveling the exact purpose and function of sleep itself. Some researchers suggest that dreams serve no real purpose, while others believe that dreaming is essential to mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Next, let's learn more about some of the most prominent dream theories.

Consistent with the psychoanalytic perspective, Sigmund Freud's theory of dreams suggests that dreams are a representation of subconscious desires, thoughts and motivations. According to Freud, people are driven by aggressive and sexual instincts that are repressed from conscious awareness. While these thoughts are not consciously expressed, they find their way into our awareness via dreams. In his famous book The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), Freud wrote that dreams are "...disguised fulfillments of repressed wishes."

  • Freud's theory contributed to the popularity of dream interpretation. Following his paths many theorists came up with their own ideas about dreams. The following are just a few of them:
  • Some researchers suggest that dreams are a subjective interpretation of signals generated by the brain during sleep. Dreams are not meaningless. Instead, during dreams the cognitive elements in our brain produce new ideas.
  • One theory suggests that dreams are the result of our brains trying to interpret external stimuli during sleep. For example, the sound of the radio may be incorporated into the content of a dream.
  • Another theory uses a computer metaphor to account for dreams. According to this theory, dreams serve to 'clean up' clutter from the mind, much like clean-up operations in a computer, refreshing the mind to prepare for the next day.
  • Yet another model proposes that dreams function as a form of psychotherapy. In this theory, the dreamer is able to make connections between different thoughts and emotions in a safe environment.

Dream Poems


William Wordsworth (1770-1850), the great Romantic poet, considered poets dreamers because they have the ability to turn "our wish, our power, our thought" into "a deed." Poets give voice to what we desire and strive hard to achieve. They write about the dreams of lovers, men of action, patriots, social reformers, workers and just about anyone given to imagining a better tomorrow for themselves and for others.

In the previous lessons we've learnt about different aspects of dreams. In this lesson, we will read two poems written by two poets from two sides of the Atlantic. While D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) was an English novelist, poet and essayist, Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was an American poet, novelist and playwright. Hughes was also a leader of the Harlem Renaissance which attempted to bring changes in the lives of the Black people in the 1920s.


- D. H. Lawrence

All people dream, but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind,
Wake in the morning to find that it was vanity.

But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, 
For they dream their dreams with open eyes,
 And make them come true.


- Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams 
For if dreams die
 Life is a broken-winged bird 
That cannot fly.
 For when dreams go 
Life is a barren field 
Frozen with snow.
Hold fast to dreams

I Have a Dream

... (The Negro is still not free.... the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.... (The Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.... (T)be Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.....

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of 'interposition' and 'nullification', that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with.

With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day....

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania...

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews andgentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" (abridged)

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