The Brush Salesman
These ten dreams were obtained from a 21-year-old unmarried male college student who was working part time as a door-to-door Fuller Brush salesman. This particular dream series contains an unusually large number of coding problems, and it's hoped that by discussing the rationale followed in resolving some of these problems, the potential user can gain a clearer understanding of our classification system. Readers are urged to try to code each dream by themselves before they read how Hall and Van de Castle coded them.
A couple caveats before you begin: First, the discussion here will seem even more overwhelming than an actual study, because it includes codings for activities, objects, and descriptive elements. These are three of the longest and most detailed categories, but they are among the three that are least used except in normative studies or in individual cases where certain activities, objects, or descriptive elements stand out.
Second, we remind you that when actually coding a series or set of dreams, it is best to code the series for one category at a time, such as characters or friendliness. It is much more difficult to code a dream for every category and then go on to code the second dream for all categories, and so on. There is just too much to keep in mind. If you code one category at a time for all the dreams, you can review the coding rules before you start and have your Web browser open to the examples for that category so that you can refer to them quickly if you run into coding questions. Moreover, as we said in the main text, coding all dreams for a given category allows you to develop a mind set that will assure that you are being consistent in your own coding.
This is not the most dramatic dream series you will ever read. The basis for selection, as we said above, is that it contains a large number of difficult coding decisions. Most series you read will hopefully be easier to code, and more fun!
Go back to the table of contents for the coding examples.