What Do Dreams Do?

Sue Llewellyn applies evolutionary, chaos, and Freudian theory to the study of dreams. What can they reveal about our memories, creativity, and ourselves?

What Do Dreams Do?

Llewellyn, Sue. Oxford, 2020
234p indexes, 9780198818953 $40.00, 9780192550903

In this interesting book, Llewellyn, a lecturer in humanities at the University of Massachusetts, presents a reader-friendly answer couched in evolutionary theory to the question at hand. In a dozen well-constructed, research-based chapters, Llewellyn makes the case that dreams help people not only remember but also decide, predict, and create. This author sees dreams as hyper-associative and divergent, neither linear nor logical. Dreams have a qualitative character that Llewellyn finds consistent with chaos theory. She uses her own dreams to illustrate many of her points, notable especially in her evaluation of Freudian theory. If a person could read only one book about dreams, Llewellyn’s text would be this reviewer’s choice.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
S. Krippner, California Institute for Integral Studies
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Psychology
Choice Issue: Jul 2021

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