what is the physicological problem in this story?
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Mental illness is crucial to The Sandman because the reader of the story must constantly assess Nathanael's level of insanity to decide what to believe of the story. Hoffmann also attempts to instill the reader with a sense of the suddenness and overwhelming nature of fits of madness, often using similes of pain and intense heat to describe the feeling of plunging into a fit and depicting visions that may be a mix of hallucination, warped perception, and true perception of a crazy situation - for example, when Spalanzani throws Olimpia's eyes at Nathanael. The use of mental illness to create the sense of the fantastic in the story is important because fantastic stories like this often rely on, and expose mental illness's basis in, lack of trust in one's own or another's experienced sensation and perception.