“The Sandman” and the Birth of Childhood Phobias

Indeed, it is true that children are very vulnerable, and they believe in the existence of ghosts and monsters. Often, children associate dreadful monsters with darkness and death. Consequently, almost all children suffer from the fear of human-eating creatures, as often communicated by their elders in one way or another (Zisenwine et al. 186).  The illustration in The Sandman resembles many people’s experiences when they were growing up. While the question of whether or not it is right to frighten a child, the reality is that such situations occur more often. However, a subjective position is that children should not be frightened. Therefore, the explanation is that when a child gets a frightening experience at a tender age, it may make them develop uncontrolled fear.

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The example of the young boy and the fear induced by the elder cousin shows that even at an old age, the child would maintain the feeling. In The Sandman, the boy must sleep with the lights on to avoid darkness because of the fear he developed at the tender age of six years. He lived to dread darkness and to open the window while asleep. Therefore, the experience could have changed the mentality of the young boy to believe in the existence of a monster living and hunting for children at night (Rosen 1). Consequently, the boy experienced sleeplessness that night, a situation that would forever haunt him.

Many people share the experience of being frightened or are made to believe in monsters through stories. However, it is worth appreciating that, at times, the stories were meant to tame the curiosity of the children who could be easily harmed in the night or while adventuring in the forests in the absence of their parents or guardians.


Works Cited

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Rosen, Rachel. “Between Play and the Quotidian: Inscriptions of Monstrous Characters on the Racialised Bodies of Children.” Race Ethnicity and Education, 2015, pp. 1-14.

Zisenwine, Tamar, et al. “Nighttime Fears and Fantasy–Reality Differentiation in Preschool Children.” Child Psychiatry & Human Development, vol. 44, no.1, 2013, pp. 186-199.


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