The Confusion of Dreams and Reality

Posted On November 15, 2009

Filed under Jenna K.

Comments Dropped 4 responses

This post was sparked by Abbie P.’s post, ” ‘It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep’ – Owl City (Fireflies)”

In her post she posed the question:

“If sanity is the ability to tell the difference between a dream and reality, does that make Alice insane?”

Now, this question seemed to generate a lot of different responses. Some people believe Alice is insane because while she is in Wonderland she thinks it is all real. I, on the other hand, think that Alice is not insane as long as when she wakes up she realizes she was dreaming.

Now if you want to debate on that question, click on the link. But I want to pose a different question:

What if our dreams are so realistic that it is hard to separate them from reality, then are we considered insane?

I mean it’s very easy to say that you are dreaming when you are in the world where you’re flying from building tops and running on water. But, it’s not so easy to that you are dreaming when your dream world consists of you going to school and seeing your friends everyday. Everybody’s had these realistic dreams. You wake up and you have to think about what just happened. If it weren’t for the fact that you were laying in bed you would think that it was all real. Then you have to make sure you’re not still dreaming and laying in bed is actually reality. Are people who have these kind of dreams insane? If so, then I need to check myself into an asylum.

So maybe we need to take another look at the definition of sanity. Or maybe we have the definition right, there’s just a few exceptions?

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4 Responses to “The Confusion of Dreams and Reality”

  1. Hassan Tanwir

    This is called running from realities.

  2. Elizabeth A.

    I, for one, do not think that you’re insane if you believe you’re dreams are real. I’ve had many of those encounters and wake up looking around my room in confusion. I can honestly say that I know that certain foods affect your dreams, like what you dream about. Maybe they can also affect your ability to tell real from the dream. I think that Alice is having one of those dreams where she ate before she fell asleep, but it’s up for debate and Carroll isn’t exactly here to tell us.

  3. Abbie P.

    As for your question; according to the annotations, yes. To paraphrase it, it pretty much states that sanity is the ability to decipher a dream from a reality. But, according to today’s standards, no that wouldn’t make you insane. It would only make you imaginative. By today’s standards, insanity is being different, and is often associated with over-dramatized emotions (bipolar disorder). But anyways, that wasn’t exactly all I said, and a lot of people decided to take me a little too seriously.

    No, jenna. You are not insane.[:

  4. Adam K

    Let’s say that someone was Superman in a dream and when that person woke up they still believed they were superman and they thought they could fly, would they be insane?, of course. However there seem to be exceptions like you said, if someone was dreaming that they were at school and woke up and they discovered that it was all a dream, are they insane?, maybe, but most likely not. The definition of sane is right and their are exceptions. Alice is not an exception, she’s in a world that could hardly be called real and acts like it’s real which could classify her as insane, but you are most likely not insane if you dream of a situation that could be considered real such as school and think it’s real.

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