Condensation = Synecdoche; Synecdoche = Condensation

The rhetorical element of synecdoche is similar to Freud’s theory of condensation. The synecdoche is a comparison in which a mentioned part  stands for the whole of an item, idea, etc.   A comparison of this nature condenses the entirety of an object into a partial representation.  Because in a synecdoche, for instance, an artery might represent the whole heart, the complete organ, the act of calling on the heart as just as an artery is something like concentrated orange juice:  all water removed,  dense sugar or pulp left as illustration of what once was.  In the condensation of dreams, a portion of our dream-thoughts are wrung out, leaving just the envisioned dream-content.  Though it is the dream-content that we see in our dreams (and, naturally, one might confuse most visible with most valuable), according to Freud, it is crucial to successful dream interpretation that we recognize that the dream-content is merely a limb of the more-important whole of dream-thoughts it represents.  “What is clearly the essence of the dream-thoughts need not be represented in the dream at all.”  In other words, go beyond the pulp.

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19 Responses to “Condensation = Synecdoche; Synecdoche = Condensation”

  1.   Kevin L. Ferguson Says:

    Hmmm…I”m with you on the OJ comparison, but doesn’t Freud make a point of saying that condensation is not to be confused with omission? Is synecdoche omitting the rest of the object, or “condensing” it?

  2.   Henna Says:

    True, true…if the part that represents the whole does in fact omit the remainder. Though, I wonder if it HAS to be that way. Could a synecdoche be a part, but a part that’s a condensation of the whole, as opposed to a fraction of it? Because that’s the version that I’m getting at.

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