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HUMN 3093 2 - February 5 2008 HUMN 3093 Response 2 The...

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February 5, 2008 HUMN 3093 Response 2 The Sandman: The Uncanny in Theory E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Sandman" is a striking account of the nearly inexplicable horror experienced by a man who is traumatized during childhood. At the core of these fears is the nursery tale figure of the Sandman, who, Nathanael is told, comes at night to steal the eyes of sleepless children. Fear of such a figure is expected; however, in Nathanael’s case, childish fear is amplified by his inability to separate this imagined figure from reality. In his work “The ‘Uncanny,’” the psychoanalyst Freud provides an explanation for this fear, in an attempt to neutralize the uncanniness of the story. Freud states that the fear Nathanael feels towards the Sandman has more to do with an infantile castration complex than with the actual fear of losing his eyes. According to Freud, “study of dreams, phantasies and myths has taught us that a morbid
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