Shannon 's Reviews > Dream Story

Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler
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's review
Feb 24, 2011

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Read from February 22 to 24, 2011

The title Dream Story perfectly encompasses the feeling Schnitzler accomplishes as he takes his readers on an otherworldly journey along with his protagonist, Fridolin. In the end, the question remains: Are these real events or is this a story of Fridolin’s dream and an inquiry into the human mind including our underlying impulses, desires, and fears.

I am inclined towards the latter opinion. The events unfold randomly in what seems to be distorted time.

It seems Schnitzler is bringing to light questions regarding desire human beings often keep to themselves, and sometimes, from themselves. Does the nature of marriage and fidelity demand deception, or in the very least, omission?

Albertina tells her husband of her fantasy on their past vacation including her willingness in the moment to give up her marriage, her child, her future for one night with a stranger. In turn, Fridolin confesses he also had a strong attraction and desire for a young woman on the same vacation. These confessions actually seem to bring the couple closer and they express desire to not keep secrets from one another anymore and to share such things at once with one another.

But when Albertina tells Fridolin of her dream in which he remains faithful to her and is sentenced to death as a result, all while she is cheating on him and laughing at him and his faithfulness, he then becomes angry and hurt. He becomes determined to be unfaithful to his wife in life just as she was in to him in her dream.

Does Albertina’s honesty to her husband bring about more harm to their relationship than omission would? It seems to me to be necessary to keep some aspects of your thoughts and desires for only yourself.

There is a fine line indeed between honesty and consideration for your relationship and partner. Often, we want to be able to give all of the above...but is it possible?

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