Rebecca Crusoe in New Zealand -or- Journey to Fantasy Island

Magical Realism in Dreams -or- Dream Visions of Fables and Fairy Tales 

The dream has always provided a magical vehicle to transport the imagination to strange, mysterious and exotic places. The literary paradigm for "desert island" stories is Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe". This archetypal voyage and return story, spun off numerous imitators such as found in Swift's "Gulliver Travels" and Golding's "The Lord of the Flies". As most of the surface of our planet became explored, the literary imagination moved on and turned its attention to other fantasia venues of exploration such as; Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues under the Sea" and his "A Journey to the Centre of the Earth". H.G. Wells imagination would help us to travel through time in "The Time Machine". With the advent of cinema, science fiction stories re-worked many of these ideas, and films like "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" were the result. 

The Hollywood dream factory took up the popular theme of being marooned on a remote island in the film "Cast Away". Tom Hanks (as Chuck Noland a FedEx employee) does a star turn in the dramatic story of the psychological and emotional realism of survival, despair and hope. Hank's near hypnotizing solitary performance on the island holds the attention of film viewer who can only hope that he finds a way home, and a "happy end" to the story. 

Rebecca's dream (below) is less about survival, it resembles more the TV show "Fantasy Island", where fantasies and dreams can come true. Those coming to Fantasy Island learn important life lessons about the medium of their fantasies and dreams. Rebecca describes her dream island as; "An island with bright yellow sand dunes, and bright orange pools of water." It is an anthropomorphic place where humans can be magically transformed into animals. Such dreams mark the psychological and literary birth of what we know as the "fables" and "fairy tales". Here is Rebecca's dream; 

Rebecca, 24 New Zealand 

I was standing at the edge of the ocean in a desert island type place with rolling bright yellow sand dunes. There were inch deep bright orange pools of water around. The man that I love appeared and he became a white horse with a beautiful mane. I stepped close to him and slipped my hand under his mane as I asked "Have you figured it out yet?" and flicked his mane to the other side of his neck. He replied 'yes'. I felt (during the dream) as if I should know the significance of the question I was asking but it made no sense to me. The flicking of the mane meant something significant also. He disappeared and suddenly there were people on the beach and I was naked. I felt slightly vulnerable and decided I should go. I became a salamander and began swimming away in the pools of water which felt mildly disconcerting but I was impressed by my ability to swim in so little water. 

Mr Hagen's Reply; Have You Figured it Out Yet? -or- Fables of Love and the Oceanic 

Much like Alice who traveled to "Wonderland", or Dorothy who traveled to the land of "Oz" , you have traveled to a desert island to meet the man that you love. The dream begins with what Romain Rolland called the "oceanic feeling", a concept Freud popularized in his book "Civilization and its Discontents". For Freud the oceanic feeling was the psychological source of all spiritual and religious systems of thought and libidinal energy. What Freud evidently never figured out was that this narcissistic feeling is closely related to what Novalis had called "the religion of love". 

This archetypal feeling of limitless narcissism and love is the result of your "magical thinking" that produces an oneiric state of wonder and "enchantment". Bruno Bettelheim's "The Uses of Enchantment", can explain your dream in part, from the perspective of "the animal groom" cycle of fairy tales. When the magic pixy dust of your dream begins to wear off and your lover disappears, suddenly your magical fantasy is exposed ("He disappeared and suddenly there were people on the beach and I was naked"), you then animistically transform yourself and make an impressive exit stage right.

From a popular music perspective, there are many magical songs such as Queen's "A Kind of Magic" from the film "Highlander", or Bette Middler's "I Put a Spell on You" from the film "Hocus Pocus".

Further Reading:

  • Barabara G. Walker "The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets





All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.