Laura's Reviews > The Sandman, Vol. 10: The Wake

The Sandman, Vol. 10 by Neil Gaiman
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May 06, 08

bookshelves: comic, fiction, fantasy
Read in May, 2008

Okay. This is may main problem with this whole ending rigamarole: the storyline ceased to have any grander import. Morpheus' death was sad, yeah, but we were MEANT to see it coming from MILES off, which we did. Furthermore, the symbolic disconnect of the characters reached its fullest point here. THroughout the story, the characters were taking on lives of their own which did not exactly jive with the symbolism of their offices and names. For example, we never see Destruction actually destroying anything throughout the entirety of the series, and furthermore there's no symbolic reason for it being HIM who's run off. The fact that Morpheus' character is a grim, emotastic rulebound fellow with an inability to change makes little sense symbolically, because dreams are not thought of that way: dreams and nightmares are ruleless terrors and wild fantasies and they are the reason for and the cause of change in the real world-- the 'I have a Dream' speech is a perfect example of this, and I kept expecting them to bring it up. But no. I never thought that Morpheus as he was depicted was really a very good personification of the idea of 'dreams' as I understand them at ALL.
And it gets worse here, because the story loses most of its symbolic meaning and it just becomes a story about a group of people--who barely pass for a family--interacting. The raven Matthew's part was the only gripping part of these particular issues. It seems like Matthew is the only one behaving realistically-- everyone else is just sort of dancing and jumping around to provide plot-closure for fans. There's not enough bittersweetness. The whole gloomridden atmosphere built up in the preceding two volumes is kind of tossed off, and everything becomes about winding the series up. Add that to the fact that Gaiman long since abandoned most attempts to link the symbolism of the characters to any ACTUAL symbolism from the real world, and the story suddenly seems to lack a lot of punch.
See my review of Preludes and Nocturnes to find out what I thought of the series as a whole.
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message 1: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Bachman The reason the characters don't "jive" with their respective positions is because each of the Endless also represents their alternative. Dream can manipulate reality, Death visits us at birth and death, a Destruction is an artist.

Also, the reason Destruction vacates his position is because he doesn't want to feel responsible for all the things that occur in the 20th century-WW1, WW2, the Holocaust, etc...

Pay better attention next time you read through it. :)


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