It was the night of March 15, 2012. I was tossing a turning, but the reason I remember this dream was because I rarely have any, being that I always have deep-sleep patterns. I had suddenly appeared in my father’s home by the dining room table. I recall it strangely being my birthday and I was celebrating it with my father, sister, and grandmother, but I do not know how old I was becoming. One thing I quickly noticed was that my mother was missing. The whole event was moving way to fast and I had no control over what was going on.
My father began to walk up to me and handed me over the deed to our house! I was shocked and confused over what had just happened. I did not understand why he would do such a thing. After this very uncanny event, I suddenly found my self at what seemed like a huge, indoor parking structure, which just had a few cars here and there. As we proceeded to walk up the concrete stairs, I realized my mother was still not part of the group and it was just my father, sister, and grandmother. My father looked very excited just as a child would be if they got a new toy for Christmas.
I did not know where I was going nor did I care or try to stop myself. It was as if I was a zombie, following my folks to some uncertain place. As we stopped at one of the levels, he ended up taking me towards a car. As I came closer, I could make out the bright orange color, and sparkling shine. Once close by, I realized that it was the car that I had always wanted as a teen and now had long forgotten about. It was a BMW E46 M3, with all the accessories and gizmos, which was just the way I had imagined mine to be. I had a feeling of shock and awe.
One thing I realized about the car was that it had an emblem in the back that of a M5 instead, which struck a cord in me, but I soon after forgot as he gave me the keys. We all entered the car, however, as I looked in my hand, the keys were gone, I was in the passenger seat, and my father began to start the car. As he set the car to reverse, he began to back-up and SLAM, he crashed into the car behind us. He then ended up crashing into the car in front and then continued to crash into two more cars. I was outraged and totally furious!
I began to yell and swear at everyone and ended up letting him know that I didn’t want the car anymore. As they all stared at me, especially my father with an innocent, yet serious face, I suddenly woke up. Sumire’s dream in Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart relates to my dream in that we both are confused, puzzled, and frightened at the same time with absolutely no control over our surroundings and they are represented through the Freudian complexes of the compulsion to repeat and the uncanny which are found in Freud’s The Uncanny.
In Sumire’s dream, she realizes, during her great chase and ordeal, that the person she sees is not the mother she remembers in her dreams. I experience a similar feeling, but in my dream, I do not even see my mother, as if she has never existed. The relation our two dreams share is the uncanny complex, as coined by Freud. Freud writes, “It may be true that the uncanny is something, which is secretly familiar, which has undergone repression and then returned from it, and that everything that is uncanny fulfills this condition. ” (29-30).
The uncanny is the resurfacing & projection of edible, traumatic memories that have some changes, but are not totally unknown. It is a morphed, deformed, and twisted version of the edible phase. In reality, my parents are divorced, which might be a reason why I do not see her there, but on an event such as my birthday, especially when I got such great gifts, my father and her would set their differences aside for my sake and get along. It was all uncanny to me mainly because ever since the divorce I had not dreamt of my parents nor their current situation and its effects on me.
The whole gift-giving scene seemed like a bribe with strings attached, in this case, it involved me forgetting about my mother. The whole event was uncanny to me due to past events in my childhood resurfacing, such as a birthday, as strange and frightening events in my life instead of joyous ones. In Sumire’s case, she spots her mother, but when she gets closer, she realizes that it is not the same young, beautiful mother she remembers seeing in the family photo album. She is confused and in awe from realizing that the woman she saw could not be her mother.
Sumire is building hatred towards her father due to believing he has lied to her about her mother. She feels betrayed and lied to by her father. The whole event is strange since she does not know whom the person she saw was, but strangely she did not feel like she did not know the person at all. She realized that it probably was her mother, but she has grown older and aged. Sumire also begins to feel uncanny, since she thought she knew her mother, but her whole world shattered as she realized that not everything her father told her was true.
Both Sumire and I had some sort of traumatic event in our edible phases; in her case, she does not know why her father has lied to her about her mother and who the person she saw really was, and in my dream, I am confused to why my mother was not present on such a joyous occasion, when she would, in reality, be present even in the present situation. The second scene I will be comparing is when Sumire gets trapped in a tower after losing her mother, to my dream, in which I keep receiving gifts and magically taken away to different places, and I shall relate the two by using Freud’s compulsion to repeat complex.
Freud writes, “…it is only this factor of involuntary repetition which surrounds what would otherwise by innocent enough with an uncanny atmosphere, and forces upon us the idea of something fateful and inescapable when otherwise we should have spoken only of ‘chance’”(21). We have no control over it, thus causing a surreal feeling. It is unknown why it repeats and the meaning of it. They are repressed memories coming back to haunt us, whether they are good or bad, thus frightening the person and giving an uncanny feeling.
I find myself in the beginning at my father’s home where we are celebrating my birthday, and then I am taken away to a parking garage to see my gift, a sports car. My father is in control of the situation. He is smothering me with gifts and he also drives my new car instead of letting me drive it, eventually going on to crashing my car. My father is in control of it and I cannot stop him. I have absolutely no control over my surroundings or the people I am with. This causes me to feel frightened and helpless with nowhere to turn except to do as I am told. Everything felt surreal since I did not know why it was all happening to me.
In reality, my father would have never gotten me that car, let alone given me the deed to the house. My first car was a gift from him, and surprisingly a sports car. The thing was, he was unaware of the type of vehicle he had just purchased me. A year after, I had gotten into two separate accidents with each only a few months apart. They were both due to my aggressive driving habits, stubbornness, and a false sense of proving myself to my friends. The events that occurred in my dream were the exact opposite of what he would have done; yet I feel as if it was my punishment and my way of teaching myself a lesson.
My past events came back to haunt me in my dream. I had long hid them away in my mind and now they came back in the form of my father trying to discipline me by giving me what I want and then taking it away. In Sumire’s dream, she witnesses her mother, or at least who she thought was her mother, get sucked into a black hole, gone forever. Sumire proceeds to continue on the stairs and reaches a wooden door, which she proceeds to open. As she walks inside, she notices a sky full of tiny, wooden planes, but as she calls for help, no one pays any attention to her. She realized that it might be her white gown, but she is wrong again.
Sumire is trapped in her dream with no control over it. The first moment of loss of control is that she cannot save her mother. She feels weak and helpless and is trying anything to get saved, but it is hopeless. It feels surreal and uncanny to her, as well as frightening. The reason the compulsion to repeat complex fits so well here is that she never knew who her mother was and now this was finally coming back to haunt her. She had only known her through photographs, and now that she found out her father lied to her, she begins to doubt everything she has known, thus punishing herself.
Both Sumire and I have repetitive events where we lose control of our dreams, thus creating a sense of uncanny and surreal feeling, in which we feel betrayed and hopeless. Our dreams share the common Freudian complexes of the uncanny and the compulsion to repeat. Both Sumire and I share the same punishment, the loss of our mothers. We struggle to find out either who they are or where they are. In Sumire’s dream, she was looking for her mother, and when she finally found her, she realized that it could not be her. In my dream, my mother does not appear at all, thus making me believe there might be something wrong.
In both scenarios, our father’s play a critical role as well. Sumire believes her father has lied to her about her mother and how she looked due to evidence from the family photo album. I believe that the reason my father is giving me all these gifts are to hide the fact that something terrible has happened to my mother. In both cases, we feel uncanny due to not being able to understand the nature of our current situations and the compulsion to repeat is present since our past experiences are coming back to haunt us; in Sumire’s case, the loss of her mother, and in my case, my parent’s divorce.