'It was one of those dreams which, while retaining the characteristic dream scenery, are a continuation of one’s intellectual life, and in which one becomes aware of facts and ideas which still seem new and valuable after one is awake' - 1984

What? what kind of dream is the author trying to tell me? I feel like he's being purposely vague. Please help me understand.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Hot Licks, Scott, Lawrence, AmE speaker, Hellion Oct 1 '18 at 17:29

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    What don't you understand? – Hot Licks Oct 1 '18 at 2:32
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    Please edit to explain what you've already worked out and try to explain why the remainder puzzles you. Right now, we're not sure which parts need explaining. – Lawrence Oct 1 '18 at 4:03

It was one of those dreams which

You know what a dream is, right?

while retaining the characteristic dream scenery

Very often the things you "see" in a dream are somehow not realistic (and this often makes you aware that it's a dream).

are a continuation of one’s intellectual life

While there may be "scenery" differences from "real life", much of the structure of this dream is realistic and relates to thoughts and concerns you have when awake.

and in which one becomes aware of facts and ideas which still seem new and valuable after one is awake

Some of what you remember from the dream seems to provide new insights into your "awake" life.

A classical example of this (though admittedly not particularly "realistic") is Friedrich August Kekulé's dream about snakes that led him to the structure of the benzene ring.

  • Please provide some documentation for your dream theory. It's certainly not Freud's or Jung's. – Zan700 Oct 2 '18 at 14:55
  • @Zan700 - What "theory"? – Hot Licks Oct 2 '18 at 17:06
  • The idea that while in a dream, the dreamer can distinguish between what is realistic and what is not? "and this often makes you aware that it's a dream." This defies my experience, but perhaps it's the case for others, and perhaps there is literature on the mechanisms. – Zan700 Oct 3 '18 at 7:47
  • @Zan700 - So you've never been dreaming, had something totally weird happen, and then realized "I'm dreaming!"? – Hot Licks Oct 3 '18 at 11:18
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    @HotLicks - Er, no. When in the dream, totally weird things seem completely normal. It's only when I'm later awake and think back over the dream that I go "ah, there's this totally weird bit here. That means it's all a dream and not a memory". – AndyT Oct 3 '18 at 13:36

My interpretation: Dreams usually don't have the chronology and causality that we associate with reality, but despite that some dreams have an intellectual content that upon waking seems valuable. Despite the nonsense, we can learn from dreams.

  • If my detractor can explain how my answer (a subjective interpretation was called for) can be wrong, I would be grateful. I love 1984 and have given its themes and concepts much thought. – Zan700 Oct 1 '18 at 6:44
  • OP didn't call for a subjective interpretation, and the quote doesn't need a subjective interpretation. – Hot Licks Oct 1 '18 at 11:56
  • @Hot "What is the author trying to tell me?" There are endless passages in prose and poetry that require interpretation, and there can be multiple interpretations, in fact much prose and poetry strive for multiple meanings. Agreed, this passage is not the best example, but I was trying to be considerate of a new contributor. Thanks for personing up. – Zan700 Oct 1 '18 at 15:22

Zan700 has excellent answer. In particular, our comforter, the Holy Ghost, indeed tries to inform, help, and teach us in dreams and as we wake.

  • I think Orwell might agree, although his definition of Holy Ghost might be broader than what you have in mind. However, this answer should probably be a comment. Pleasant dreams. – Zan700 Oct 1 '18 at 6:47