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Dreams

For use with Talking Point worksheets

Moderator: TalkingPoint

Dreams

Postby TalkingPoint » Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:50 pm

Dreams

Instructions: Read the text below to find the answers to the questions on your worksheet.

We sleep in cycles which include "deep sleep", during which we don't dream, and "dreaming sleep" in which we have hallucinations which we call dreams. Every ninety minutes or so we have a period of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep during which we dream. This REM sleep lasts for up to half an hour.

Dream interpretation has been a subject of intense interest for thousands of years. Dreaming about famous people means that you are bored with your social life and would like to have more fun. If you mix with the celebrities in your dream as an equal this indicates that you have high self-esteem. If you interact with the stars in a subservient way then you have little confidence in yourself. Similarly, dreaming that you are at a party or get-together is interpreted differently depending on whether you felt at ease or awkward there.

Dreams about death can represent a new start in life; maybe you are changing jobs, moving house or starting a new relationship. Dreaming about flying is very common and may represent a wish to escape from a situation. If you dream that you are falling it may mean that you are not looking forward to something in the immediate future and that you feel powerless to avoid it. This type of dream is often experienced before events such as tests or exams and new beginnings such as getting married or starting a new job.

They say that if you dream that you are wandering around an empty house it may reflect a subconscious uneasiness or anxiety in your life, and if you dream about losing your teeth it may originate from deep-seated memories of your own teeth falling out when you lost your "milk teeth", or may indicate that you have a little toothache which is not painful enough to break through into your conscious mind.

The word "dream" does not only refer to hallucinations which occur when we are asleep. It can also refer to an ambition or an ideal state of affairs. It was used as such by the famous social justice campaigner, Martin Luther King (1929-1968), in many of his speeches when he said, "I have a dream." When Irving Berlin (1888-1989) wrote I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas in 1942, he was undoubtedly using the word in this sense rather than as a reference to dreaming during sleep. Victorian poet and critic, Matthew Arnold (1822-88), described Oxford as "that sweet city with her dreaming spires" in Thyrsis, a poem he wrote in 1866.

Quick Quiz
Read the clues below and write the solutions on a piece of paper. Then take the first letter of each answer and rearrange them to find the hidden word connected with this Talking Point.
    1. Matthew Arnold described "the dreaming spires of Oxford" in his poem called _______________.

    2. _______________ Berlin wrote I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.

    3. If you dream about a party or _______________, the interpretations may vary.

    4. Research suggests that we have a period of REM sleep every _______________ minutes.

    5. If you dream that you are walking round a deserted _______________, you may be anxious about something in your life.
Talking Point Homework, EnglishClub.com © Liz Regan 2004
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