The status of Nathaniel’s being in E.T.A. Hoffman’s “The Sandman” is an issue that is never clarified in the sci-fi tale. While the reader initially assumes that Nathaniel is human, various small plot-points within the novel— such as Coppelius dislocating Nathaniel’s joints and intending to burn out his eyes, and Nathaniel’s head “shattering” like glass at the end of the tale— suggest that Nathaniel could very well be an automaton himself, and his constant confusion and apparent malfunction at the end of the tale (yelling “Beautiful eyes! Beautiful eyes!” before jumping to his death) seem to support this theory.
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- E.T.A. Hoffmann: "The Sandman" (Speculation)
- ETA Hoffmann's "The Sandman" – Thesis Statements
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- Is Frankenstein's monster human?
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- Papers on Stem Cell Research and Cloning
- Revised papers on Büchner's "Leonce and Lena"
- Thank you! Vanderbilt University Center for Intelligent Mechatronics
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- The Ideal Body
- What is "human?"