Our poor Nathaniel never had a chance. He was caught in the constant spin of insanity and that of a mad man. It is curious why Nathaniel was chosen to be the object that the Sandman terrorizes. It could be because he is weak or because he has imagination. In the end, it does not matter. Nathaniel was completely destroyed. He was so afraid of his childhood boogeyman, that he let the creature wholly into his life, poisoning every little crevice. He is a tragic character, but hardly likeable. He throws away a happy life and wonderful fiancé for the sake of chasing his aesthetic desire in the form of the wooden doll, Olympia. The doll represents all his desires and all his inhibitions. He provokes his own destruction, dancing with the doll and urging her constantly to “Hey, hey, hey! Fiery circle, fiery circle! Spin, spin, fiery circle! Come on! Spin, wooden dolly, hey, spin, pretty wooden dolly…” (Hoffmann, Pg. 114). Nathaniel is dancing with his own devil. He craves the creature, which in turn surfaces a craving for his own insanity. He dances all throughout the night and urges the creature to dance alone.
This is the end that Nathaniel always wanted. He drove himself forward with every move he made. His faith in the Sandman and his reluctance to see the true nature of the automaton, he made his own bed and got exactly what he wanted.