The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious – Sigmund Freud

The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious – Sigmund Freud

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Why do we laugh? The answer argued Freud in this groundbreaking study of humour is that jokes like dreams satisfy our unconscious desires. The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious (1905) explains how jokes provide immense pleasure by releasing us from our inhibitions and allowing us to express sexual aggressive playful or cynical instincts that would otherwise remain hidden. In elaborating this theory Freud brings together a rich collection of puns witticisms one-liners and anecdotes many of which throw a vivid light on the society of early twentieth-century Vienna. Jokes as Freud shows are a method of giving ourselves away.