Category Archives: ETA Hoffmann’s “The Sandman” – Thesis Statements

“The Sandman” Thesis Statement

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 … Continue reading

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Narration in “The Sandman”

E.T.A. Hoffmann alters the structure of the story to add to the uncertainty that the uncanny creates.

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What Is Wrong With Nathaniel

Nathaniel’s conflation of the Sandman with Coppelius, and by extension of imagination with reality, renders him prone to sudden, violent episodes that are triggered by flashbacks to his traumatic childhood; this phenomenon occurs when Coppola first visits him, when he … Continue reading

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Merging Reality with Fanstasy

Though, when separate, realism and fantasy are harmless, “The Sandman” shows that unifying the two, whether in a person such as Nathaniel or in practice as in alchemy, leads to the creation of the uncanny.

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Looking Through the Glass

Coppola’s spyglass facilitates a dynamic shift in Nathaneil’s mental stability by blurring the line between the real and the fantastic and leads to his eventual destruction.

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Science inducing Fear

Science, though attempting to answer the unknown and rationalize the nonunderstood, gives life to new fears and reinvigorates suppressed ones, as exemplified by Nathanael’s mental struggle with reemerged childhood fears in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Sandman.

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Maternal Absence

Despite the abundance of active, paternal figures in E.T.A. Hoffman’s “The Sandman”, significant, maternal roles are relatively sparse which is indicative of the psychological effects faced by the tale’s characters who are left without this motherly role model.

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Nathaniel’s Breaking Point

In E.T.A. Hoffman’s short story “The Sandman”, Nathaniel jumps off of the tower after looking at Clara through the telescope, but the question of what he saw is never directly answered.  Based on the effect of the telescope on Olympia, the … Continue reading

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An Artificial Origin

In E.T.A Hoffman’s “The Sandman”, Nathaniel’s supposed hallucinations or dreams about Coppelius’s existence are eventually validated by the subsequent narrations thus any piece from Nathaniel’s recollection could just have easily been true which in turn suggests that the unhinging of  … Continue reading

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Nathaniel as an Automaton in E.T.A. Hoffman’s “The Sandman”

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 … Continue reading

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