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In the "dream of Irma's injection" ( Freud 1900), Freud discovers that Irma appears in a series of situations in which each of her actions refers back to different people.

None of these figures whom I lighted upon by following up "Irma" appeared in the dream in bodily shape. They were concealed behind the dream figure of "Irma," which was thus turned into a collective image with, it must be admitted, a number of contradictory characteristics. Irma became the representative of all these other figures which had been sacrificed to the work of condensation, since I passed over to her, point by point, everything that reminded me of them. [p. 293]