Coraline Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 23 December 2016


Neil Gaiman’s children’s novel Coraline begins when Coraline, a young girl, and her parents moving into a second-floor flat in an old house. She then enters a parallel universe in which she begins her journey quest. As well as in Harry Potter, Coraline follows the classic pattern of a quest story, with plenty of interesting and imaginative twists on the genre. The hero with a thousand faces presents the idea of a hero’s journey, also called as the monomyth.

Written in 1949 by Joseph Campbell, the book uses worldwide examples in order to highlight the similarities found in every heros journey, which can be seen in Coraline. ne can see how in Coraline also passes threw different hero phases such as the call to adventure, refusual of the call and the crossing of the first threshold, just to name a few. To start with, one of the first things of the monomyth found in “Coraline” is the call to adventure. For example, coraline is faced with the situation of her parents being kidnapped by the “other mother”. The words “help me” (pg. 53) from her trapped parents was the call and the beginning to her hero’s journey. To continue, in her departure, she also had the supernatural aid of the small stone with a hole.

The stone came with advice from Miss Spink, she said “and be very, very careful, and don’t wear green in your dressing room (pg. 20, 21), so, Coraline took the stone and she wandered what does miss Spink mean by “danger”. Once the hero has committed to the quest the magical helper appears, or becomes known. There are many characters in the Coraline story that help aid her to success in defeating the other mother but no one in the book played a larger role than The Cat. The Cat was a mystery all on his own.

One must recall that se cat is often a symbol for wisdom, mystery and helper. The Cat was not a friend or foe in the story. The cat was there to help Coraline along through the Other World and remind her that she is from the real world (just likethe egiptians used to believed). At the climax of the story, Coraline used the cat by throwing him at the Other Mother to escape the Other World. The hero returns with the token. The token is a reminder of the hero’s quest. The token proves that the story was not a dream. In the book Coraline, the token is the Stone with a hole in it.

The Stone was given to Coraline from Ms. Spink. Ms Spink lived with Ms. Forcible in the flat under Coraline’s house. When Coraline receives the stone she asked “What is it for? ” Miss Forcible responds “It might help…There are good for bad things, sometimes. ”(24) The Stone with the hole in it help Coraline locate the ghost children and the souls of her parents. At the end of the journey when she rescues her parents, leaves the Other World and saves the real world from the Other Mother, Coraline return the stone with the hole in it to Ms. Forcible.

Coraline says “Here you go, …I don’t need it anymore. I’m very grateful. I think it may have saved my life and some other people’s deaths. ”(193) Letting Coraline and the readers know that the story was more than just not a figment of Coralines imagination. Coraline has to overcome the road of trail before she can continue on her hero’s journey. For example, she offers the “button eyed” mother a challenge, “an exploring game, a finding things game” (92). The gamble was her love in exchange for her real parents and the three lost souls of the children.

The other mother agrees on the game. However, the “beldam” does not play fair. For instance, she conjured up a sand storm ,dog-bats, jelly-like creatures and of course a dough faced, “grublike”(111) thing with button eyes that whispered “coralline”. All the evil things try to stop Coraline in her quest. Overall, one can agree that the hero’s quest is evident in coraline. Its a incredible twist how Neil Gaiman creats this hero, making it appeal mor realistic and down to earth than other heroes.

Coraline is not special. She’s an ordinary kid with ordinary parents living in an ordinary home. She’s not gifted at solving mysteries or riding horses or playing with dolphins. She doesn’t have any outstanding personality traits, like shyness, insecurity or extraordinary kindness. She’s just a kid who happens to be female, whose curiosity leads her to an adventure, the consequences of which demand heroics from her. She makes mistakes, and she also has flashes of brilliance, as people generally do.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 23 December 2016

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