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The Sandman Essay

Comparison of Hofffman’s job, The Sandman, and Mosse’s, From Romanticism to the Menschen

Hofffman’s function, The Sandman, and Mosse’s, From Romanticism to the Volk, share cohesive concepts, every single examine the dramatic social shift toward promoting nationalist thought in the minds of the The german language people. Throughout the rootlessness of his heroes, the intellectual disparity among Nathanael and Klara, plus the structure of The Sandman, Hoffman aptly uses the folktale genre to effectively disclose his contempt for the tenets of enlightenment because they challenged the modern Volk ideology of Germany.

Clara and Olimpia

There are interesting parallels and contrasts between both of these, I think.


Clara is usually presented in her notification, and by the narrator, since having a very bright mind competent of delicate distinctions (65). Her brand suggests clarity as well. The narrator addresses of her eyes in glowing conditions, saying that poets and music artists said of them, Can functioning at the young lady without having miraculous heavenly sounds and instruments beam your way from her eyes and penetrate our inmost recesses, awakening and stirring anything there? inch (65).

  • Not sure what to make of this, but this kind of reminds me showing how in Nathanael’s poem, Coppelius takes Clara’s eyes and throws all of them at his breast (71).

Nathanael reacts badly to her good common sense (61), and accuses her brother Lothar of teaching her logic as they can’t suppose she could possibly be capable of such obvious thinking or else; he tells Lothar to let that go (57)What’s up get back? Nathanael won’t want a brilliant fiancperhaps?

Nathanael used to write reports that Albwould pay attention to and appreciate, but following your experience of Coppola coming into his life and reminding him of Coppelius, Nathanael’s reports become gloomy, incomprehensible and formless, as well as boring, and Clara no longer enjoyed hearing. Nathanael begins to accuse her of being cold and prosaic (69), and after that, after she tells him to chuck his composition about they two and Coppelius into the first, this individual calls her a damned lifeless automaton.

Nathanael seems to think he is in some way expressing a lot of deep graceful sensibility, discovering some genuine truths unavailable to cold, prosaic people (67, 69, 89). But to Clara his works are getting to be prosaic themselves.


It becomes clear pretty early on that Olimpia is usually an automaton. Hoffmann doesn’t try to cover this intended for very long, I believe. Unlike Clara, she is described by others as taxed with total mindlessness; possibly Spalanzani cell phone calls her witless (87). Although Nathanael telephone calls Clara a lifeless automaton, it truly is of course really Olimpia that is such.

But Olimpia, unlike Clara, seems to list diligently to Nathanael’s creative works. Where Clara finds these people boring, Olimpia is a good listener Nathanael has ever endured (91). Wherever Nathanael considers Clara is usually cold and unfeeling, he sees Olimpia as expressing deep and powerful feelings of love and longing.

Naturally , Olimpia is not really feeling anything; these thoughts are being projected on her by Nathanael.

Clara Olimpia
intelligent, bright, in a position of refined distinctions witless
really loves N not capable of love, nevertheless N thinks loves him
N thinks cold, unfeeling, prosaic truly cold, unfeeling, but N thinks ardent
thinks N’s artworks uninteresting, boring doesn’t think everything with N’s artwork, but N thinks your woman loves that as much as this individual does

Citation styles:

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WriteWork contributors. ETA Hoffmann The Sandman. WriteWork.com. WriteWork.com, 27 July, 2003. Web. 10 Sep. 2019.

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Written in an epistolary form, this short story begins as a letter from Nathanael to Lothar. Nathanael is in a state of upset because a peddler has come to visit him. He explains that in order for his distress to make sense, he must tell Lothar the story of his life.

Nathanael explains that, as a child, he and his siblings rarely saw their father, except in the evenings, when he would give them picture books. At nine or so, his mother would send the children to bed, saying that the Sandman had comeindeed they would hear a heavy tread on the stairs which they assumed to be the Sandman. Frightened, Nathanael asked his mother about the Sandman, but she assured him he was not realjust meant it was time for sleep. His nurse, however, told a different story. She said that when children wouldn’t sleep, the Sandman would come and throw sand in their eyes and then take them home for his children to eat.

At this point, of course, the incubus of the Sandman came to terrify Nathanael at night, although he knew it couldn’t really all be true. He drew an association between the Sandman and his father’s room, the door of which could be heard opening at night. Then, when he was ten, his mother moved him from the nursery into a room near his father’s.

Desperate to see the Sandman, Nathanael concealed himself one night in his father’s room and waited for the footsteps. Peering out, he saw that the Sandman was not an ogre at all, but an old lawyer friend of the family, Coppelius. Nathanael explained, however, that the children and their mother alike all hated Coppelius, who was ugly and spiteful; however, their father seemed to idolize him. Seeing his father sitting with Coppelius, Nathanael noticed his father start to become ugly by association.

Coppelius caught Nathanael in his hiding place, and then (the narrative suggests this is really happening) threw him on the fire and took out some fiery grains, intending to throw them in.

(The entire section is 1,159 words.)

Nathanael and the narrator

The narrator speaks of having an experience that you want desperately to communicate to others, but when you try, [e]very word, everything that human speech is capable of, seem[s] to you colourless, glacial and dead. You try and try, you stutter and stammer, and your friends’ sober questions blow upon your inward flame like icy blasts of wind until it almost goes out (61). This struck me as descriptive of what Nathanael was trying to communicate to Lothar and Clara about Coppelius and Coppola, and his response to Clara’s good sense as thinking of it as cold and unfeeling. Nathanael struggles to express what he wants to express to Clara, and finally hits on the poem about he and Clara and Coppelius, which she eventually tells him to throw into the fire.

Similarly, the narrator him/herself says that Nathanael’s story had been so gripping that s/he struggled with how to begin. So, the narrator says, I decided not to begin at all. Gentle reader, accept the three letters (which my friend Lothar kindly made available to me) as the outline of the picture, to which I shall now, while narrating, strive to add more and more color (63). This is similar to how the narrator describes trying to tell others of a profound experience by first providing an outline and then later shading it in with colour. The letters are the outline that the narrator begins with, but Nathanael’s first letter is also the outline he begins with in telling his friends of his experience, and he tries to fill in the colour later.

So there is some kind of parallel being drawn here between Nathanael and the narrator of the story, I think, though I’m not sure what significance that might have.

Plot summary

The story is told by a narrator who claims to have known Lothar. It begins by quoting three letters:

1. A letter from Nathanael to Lothar, the brother of his fiancClara. Nathanael recalls his childhood terror of the legendary Sandman, who was said to steal the eyes of children who would not go to bed and feed them to his own children who lived in the moon. Nathanael came to associate the Sandman with a mysterious nightly visitor to his father. He recounts that one night, he hid in his father’s room to see the Sandman. It is Coppelius, an obnoxious lawyer come to carry out alchemical experiments. Coppelius begins taking shining masses out of the fire and hammering them into face-like shapes without eyes. When Nathanael screams and is discovered, Coppelius flings him to the hearth. He is about to throw fire embers into Nathanael’s eyes when his father pleads he be permitted to keep his eyes. Coppelius instead twists Nathanael’s hands and feet and tortures him until he passes out. A year later, another night of experiments caused his father’s death in the presence of Coppelius, who then vanished without a trace. His father having died of some sort of flaming explosion, the burns to his face are gone before he is laid in his coffin. Nathanael believes that a barometer-seller who arrived recently at his rooms under the name Giuseppe Coppola is non-e other than the hated Coppelius, and he is determined to seek vengeance.

2. A letter from Clara to Nathanael, explaining that Nathanael had addressed the previous letter to her instead of to Lothar. She was touched at the account of Nathanael’s childhood trauma, and discussed it with Lothar, but she is convinced that the terrors are of Nathanael’s own imagining and urges him to put Coppelius/Coppola out of his mind.

3. A letter from Nathanael to Lothar, in which Nathanael declares that Coppola is not, after all, Coppelius: Coppola is clearly Italian, while Coppelius was German, and Coppola is also vouched for by the new physics professor, Spallanzani, who is also Italian and has known Coppola for years. Nathanael adds that Spallanzani has a daughter, Olimpia, a brief glimpse of whom has made a considerable impression upon him.

Shortly after this third letter, Nathanael returns to his home town from his studies to see Clara and Lothar, and in the joy of their reunion Coppelius/Coppola is at first forgotten. Nevertheless, the encounter with Coppola has had a profound effect on Nathanael, driving him toward a gloomy mysticism which bores Clara and leads to their gradual estrangement. He writes a poem about Coppelius destroying his happiness in love, in which Coppelius appears at his wedding to touch Clara’s eyes and then throws Nathanael into a circle of fire. After he emotionally reads this poem to her, she tells him to throw the insane poem into the fire. Nathanael’s frustration with this leads him to call her an inanimate, accursed automaton, which so enrages Lothar that he in turn insults Nathanael, and a duel is only narrowly averted by Clara’s intervention. Nathanael pleads for Clara’s forgiveness, and declares his true love for her, and the three then reconcile.

Nathanael returns to complete the final year of his studies, after which he intends to return to his hometown forever. He finds his student lodgings destroyed by fire, though his possessions were rescued by his friends and moved to a new house which is opposite that of Spallanzani. His window now looks directly into that of Olimpia, and he is again struck by her beauty. Coppola calls to sell his wares, and offers pretty eyes, pretty eyes! which reawakens Nathanael’s childish fear of the Sandman. However, it turns out that Coppola has lenses and spectacles to sell, and also small telescopes, and Nathanael buys one of these from him to set matters right after his earlier outburst. As Coppola leaves, Nathanael becomes fixated on watching Olimpia through his telescope, although her fixed gaze and motionless stance disconcert him.

Spallanzani gives a grand party at which it is reported that his daughter will be presented in public for the first time. Nathanael is invited, and becomes enraptured by Olimpia, who plays the harpsichord, sings and dances. Her stiffness of movement and coldness of touch appear strange to many of the company. Nathanael dances with her repeatedly, awed by her perfect rhythm, and eventually tells her of his passion for her, to which Olimpia replies only Ah, ah!. During the following days, he visits Olimpia repeatedly, reading her the poems and mysticism that had so bored Clara, and Olimpia listens to it all and replies only Ah, ah!, which Nathanael interprets as understanding. Most other people consider her dull and stupid, although pretty, and with strangely mechanical actions.

Eventually Nathanael determines to propose to Olimpia, but when he arrives at her rooms he finds an argument in progress between Spallanzani and Coppola, who are fighting over the body of Olimpia and arguing over who made the eyes and who made the clockwork. Coppola, who is now revealed as Coppelius in truth, wins the struggle, and makes off with the lifeless and eyeless body, while the injured Spallanzani urges Nathanael to chase after him and recover the automaton to which he has devoted so many years of his life. The sight of Olimpia’s eyes lying on the ground drives Nathanael to madness, and he flies at the professor to strangle him. He is pulled away by other people drawn by the noise of the struggle, and in a state of insanity, is taken to an asylum.

Spallanzani recovers from the encounter, but is forced to leave the university because of the sensational revelation of the trick he had played in trying to pass off an automaton as a living person. Coppelius once more vanishes without trace. The narrator adds that the story of the automaton had a widespread effect on society, with many lovers taking steps to ensure they were not enamoured of puppets but of real flesh and blood.

Nathanael appears to recover from his madness and is reunited with Clara and Lothar. He resolves to marry Clara and move to a pleasant estate near his home town. On the way to visit the place, they pass through the town and climb the high steeple to look out at the view. Clara points out a bush that seems to be striding towards them. Nathanael automatically withdraws Coppola’s spyglass and, looking through it sideways, sees Clara through the lens. With Clara in place of Olimpia as the subject of the spyglass’s gaze, madness strikes Nathanael again, and he tries to hurl Clara from the steeple. She is saved by Lothar, but in the crowd that gathers below Coppelius appears, and upon seeing him Nathanael cries pretty eyes, pretty eyes! and leaps over the railing to his death. Coppelius disappears into the crowd.

Many years afterward, the narrator concludes, it is said that Clara was seen with a kind-looking man sitting before a country house with two lovely boys, and thus found the domestic happiness that Nathanael could never have provided.

An analysis of the Story

I tend to agree with the thesis and the theme that the author has presented in this story. Many individuals in the society tend to suffer from posttraumatic stress that in most occasions originates from their childhood. This stress tends to affect the manner in which they relate with other individuals in the society, their thought process and the manner in which they judge and perceive things. If the condition is not properly addressed, there are high chances that it may have adverse effects on the lives of these individuals.

I feel that Nathaniel developed fear of the Sandman as a result of the bedtime story that he was told when he was young. Due to his young age, his mind at that particular time could not process the story as a fiction but as reality. It is due to this fact that he developed fear of the Sandman and the manner in which he took eyes from his victims.

From an analysis of the story, I think that an eye symbolises life. It is due to this fact that Nathaniel accuses Coppelius for the death of his father who mysteriously disappeared after the incident (Kremer 143). However, his fiancClara, tries to make him believe that this was just fiction and not reality, a notion that Nathaniel tends to believe in. However, things take a new turn when Coppelius reappears again. This time, he is called Coppola, a long time friend of Nathaniel`s professor, Spalanzani.

With time, Coppola takes away the eyes of Olimpia, a beautiful girl who was the daughter of Spalanzani and was secretly admired by Nathaniel. After the incidence, Coppola mysteriously disappears again with the eyes of Olimpia whose body lies motionless on the floor. It is then discovered that she was an automation of a living person. This encounter drives Nathaniel to madness and he believes that his fears of the Sandman are true.

He is then taken to a mental asylum where he recovers and later on marries Clara. However, due to his fear, he pushes her downhill while on a walk that results to a great injury. Finally, Clara is married by another man and lives a life that Nathaniel would not have given her (Kremer 161).

The Sandman is similar to Leonardo DiCaprio`s movie called Shutter Island. In this movie, after losing his wife in a tragic fire accident, Edward Daniel (Leonardo DiCaprio) visits Ashecliffe Hospital to investigate the case of a missing lady, Rachel Solando who had dissapered mysteriously in the hospital.

However, it emerges that Mr. Daniels is suffering from posttraumatic stress of losing his wife and as a result, he has been admitted in the mental facility to recover. Due to the fact that he could not accept the death of his wife, he imagined that he is a detective searching for Rachael whom his mind has formulated to represent his wife.

An Interpretation of Dante’s Inferno through Neil Gaiman’s Sandman

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno is one of the classic works of Western Literature. Like all great works, it is a corner stone for that which follows. One such work is Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, which takes Dante’s concept of Hell and contorts and plays with it to an almost absurd degree. At first glance the product appears to be extremely different. In actuality it is a hidden portal to a new meaning of Dante’s Inferno. Dante the pilgrim wakes up in the Dark Wood of Error without knowing how he got there

Analysis Of ‘ Maus And The Sandman ‘ By Neil Gainman

a struggle for visual learners. Graphic novels offer value, variety, and new medium for literacy that acknowledges the impact of visuals. Novels such as Maus by Art Spiegelman and The Sandman (vertigo) by Neil Gainman, not only appeal to visual learners, but are useful across all curriculums. Maus and The Sandman offer different style narratives and visuals that reflect the diverse nature of graphic novels. The variety in compositions between these two demonstrate the strengths of the graphic novel

Cultural Context : ‘ The Sandman That Created One Image Of The >1890 Phrases | almost 8 Pages

human being were popular throughout books because they will incited dread within persons due the association with human-identity. Through the centuries, men figures specifically had a desire to have the ideal male and female. In 1816, Elizabeth. T. A. Hoffmann had written The Sandman that made one picture of the ideal-female-machine, which represented the living fantasy of what guys considered to be the perfect women of this time period. Throughout the 20th hundred years the image in the ideal guy was shown in the play R. U. R. by simply

Nathanael and Olimpia

You will discover hints through the text that Nathanael is usually or seems like an automaton:

  • In his first letter, when he can be recounting the frightening face with Coppelius in his dad’s room, he says that after Coppelius threatens to steal his eyes, he started unscrewing his hands and toes and trying that will put them in several places, talking about the mechanism of these muscles. Coppelius places them again where we were holding, saying, The old man understood what having been doing! inches (47). Now i am still perplexing over whom the old man here is (Spalanzani? )
  • The moment Nathanael comes back home to visit his family and friends (after the characters in the beginning of the story), he can gripped by conviction that free will certainly is an illusion, that every person, under the misconception of operating freely, was merely being used in a terrible game simply by dark forces (67). To me, this kind of suggests that he feels he’s not in charge, that somebody else is managing him as if he had been an automaton.
    • This individual even feels pulled to think about Olimpia through Coppola’s spyglass as if by simply an irresistible force (81)

It’s also pretty clear that whenever Nathanael falls in love with Olimpia, he’s falling crazy about a reflection of himself:

  • When he examines her for the first time through Coppola’s telescope, to start with her sight seem strangely rigid and dead. But since he appeared through the goblet more and more keenly, moist moonbeams appeared to expand from Olimpia’s eyes. That seemed that her benefits of vision experienced only now recently been ignited; her eyes shone with an ever livelier flame (79).
    • This sounds to my opinion like it is only Nathanael’s taking a look at her that brings Olimpia’s eyes to our lives. She appears to be capable of vision simply through the reality he is taking a look at her and imputing that to her.
  • Later there are a few statements that make it obvious that Nathanael is definitely seeing himself in Olimpia:
    • In to Um: you deep spirit through which my entire being is usually reflected! (85).
    • N to Siegmund: It was simply formyselfthat her adoring looks grew bright, filling up my mind and thoughts with radiance; just in Olimpia’s love should i find my very own self again (89).
    • Then you will find the very telling passage in p. 91, that makes it obvious that when Nathanael thinks Olimpia is saying precisely what he would have stated about his art, it should only be Nathanael’s own voice.

Finally, I find it interesting that when Nathanael touches Olimpia, she is at first ice cold, however as he researches her eye she appears to warm up (83). There may be some thing here regarding Nathanael considering her sight, seeing himself, and then her skin appearing to heartbeat with life. He is delivering her alive with his looks and along with his touches.

A few thoughts coming from all this so far:

  • Nathanael doesn’t want Clara to become intelligent, doesn’t want her to see detailed and clearly into what’s going on with him. She says that his fears are due to him allowing them to come to life, and he won’t want to listen to it.
  • Nathanael really loves a woman who has simply no mind whatsoever, who perceives nothing (literally), and who can therefore function as a perfect mirror to Nathanael himself, showing himself to him because his object of love.


The activities that have been shown in this tale reflect real world situations. Folks who normally suffer from posttraumatic pressure normally usually suffer the consequences down the road in their lives. This comes as a result of them being unable to separate fiction and reality. Additionally , the concerns that they have makes them do silly things. This kind of story is usually therefore among such an incidence and represents the fight between reality and fiction in an individual suffering from posttraumatic pressure.

The Fall Of The property Of Jason derulo, By Edgar Allen Poe

Although it is commonly associated with the Research Fiction and Horror styles, E. Capital t. A Hoffman’s The Sandman is, in fact , a work of Gothic the entire as it determines with all of the traditional literary aspects of this genre and the epistolary form just aids in these elements. Gothic Books embodies the elements of the grotesque, the unknown, death/decay, liminal spots, and relationship, The Sandman has many prevalent elements throughout in likeness with other wonderful works of Gothic hype, including Edgar


Really, this whole history centres around eyes. And have an composition topic pupils could reveal, asking them to discuss the importance of eye and vision in the account. I hope somebody takes this up, since I’m even now unsure myself. Here are some arbitrary thoughts.

  • When Coppola/Coppelius takes Olimpia away and leaves her eyes, Spalanazani says to Nathanael which the eyes were stolen by you (95).
    • Can make sense in my opinion insofar since her eyes only came alive, just had the strength to see, if he looks at her and perceives her because having the power of vision. Her eyes are his eyes, in this sense.
    • This also brings up the knowledge Nathanael acquired when he is definitely spying upon Coppelius great father, and Coppelius draws him and threatens for taking his sight because they want some eyes (for a few reason). Having been going to rob Nathanael’s eye, until his father begged Coppelius to let N place them. What to make of this, even though, I avoid yet know.
  • In Nathanael’s composition, Coppelius takes Clara’s sight and punches them by N’s breasts, and they get into his chest like weakling sparks, singeing and burning (71). To my opinion, this could recommend a anxiety about Clara seriously looking into his heart, that he does not want that?
    • Clara later says that Coppelius fooled him and the girl still acquired her eyes, that what entered his breast was drops of his very own blood. Nevertheless he discusses Clara’s eyes it is loss of life looking again (Olimpia’s eye? ). Probably it’s that he fears that if perhaps he seriously were to belong to her (71), and she would be to really see into his heart, he’d die.
    • Notice that once Coppola/Coppelius takes Olimpia apart, Spalanzani picks up her sight from the flooring and throws them for Nathanael’s breasts, at which point he becomes angry: Then chaos seized Nathanael with trendy claws and penetrated him, lacerating his mind and thoughts (95). So the field in N’s poem gets repeated here.
    • In addition , Coppola’s glasses scattered in the desk will be shooting their particular bloodred rays into [Nathanael’s] breast (77)similar photo.
    • Finally, when Nathanael looks at Olimpia through the telescope at the party, her loving look pierced and inflamed his heart (83).
  • There is certainly some interconnection between fireplace, heat and eyes that we can’t yet make sense of:
    • There is the childhood picture where Coppelius and N’s father will work over the flames, and Coppelius calls for eye; then Coppelius grabs N and threatens to put red-hot grains in his eye (47).
    • In N’s poem, Clara’s eyes singe and burn his breasts when Coppelius throws them at him; similarly, when ever this field is repeated and Spalanzani throw’s Olimpia’s eyes by N’s chest, then chaos seized him with hot claws (95).
    • When Olimpia’s sight seem to come to life when N is looking at them through Coppola’s telescope, the power of perspective is attached to fire: It seemed that her power of vision got only now recently been ignited; her eyes shone with a great ever livelier flame (79).
    • While noted previously mentioned, Olimpia’s supportive look pierced and irritated his heart (83).

Very well, that’s regarding as much rambling as I may do to get today, and I really havent come to much in the way of conclusion however. But probably these thoughts might be ideal for others in their own interpretations.

Not bad

Not bad not bad. I think you could have used some direct quotes to support your points.

You could also have eloaborated on some of your ideas.

In the introduction, I personally would not have stated what my train of thought through out the essay would be. I will begin with . himself. It is a needless repetition of what you are about to say.

You could also very your word usage. For example instead of say motif you could use symbolism and theme.

2 out of 2 people found this comment useful.


  • Nathanael (the gift of God): narcissistic protagonist with a manic sense of mission.
  • Clara (the light one): Nathanael’s fiancwith a peaceful, judicious, yet determined temperament.
  • Lothar: Clara’s brother and Nathanael’s friend.
  • Nathanael’s father: alchemical experimentalist whose dealings with Coppelius during Nathanael’s childhood lead to his death.
  • Coppelius: Fear-instilling, large and malformed man who spoiled the happiness of Nathanael and his siblings in their childhood and may be implicated in the death of Nathanael’s father.
  • Coppola: Italian trader in barometers and lenses, in whom Nathanael recognizes Coppelius.
  • Spallanzani: physics professor with whom Nathanael is studying, and collaborator with Coppola on building the lifelike automaton Olimpia.
  • Olimpia (she who comes from Olympus in the >Folklore recommendations

The storyplot contains one of a horrific depiction of the folklore figure, the Sandman, who is usually said to chuck sand inside the eyes of children to help them drift off. The following research is coming from an English translation of the story:

The majority of curious for more information of this Sandman and his particular connection with kids, I eventually asked the woman who have looked after my own youngest sis what sort of gentleman he was.

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