From No Subject - Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis
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Manifest content is the narrative that the dreamer tells about his or her dream. In contemporary usage, the criterion manifest is also applied to other types of verbal production and to behaviors. Sigmund Freud contrasted manifest content to the latent dream thoughts brought out by psychoanalytic interpretation.

The Freudian theory of dreams "is not based on a consideration of the manifest content of dreams but refers to the thoughts which are shown by the work of interpretation to lie behind dreams" wrote Freud in The...