Blake and Gaiman on Women’s Desires: A Dissection of Mrs. Armitage on Wheels and Coraline College

Quentin Blake and Neil Gaiman both utilize desire as a driving force in the plots of their works. Blake’s Mrs. Armitage on Wheels sees its protagonist desiring more out of her bicycle and using her creativity and mechanical prowess to enhance the design. Coraline sees its protagonist desiring something interesting to stave off her boredom and using her bravery to find a new world to enjoy and explore, as well as escape from. This motif is common in children’s media, but these two books differ in their uncommon resolutions. By the end of both Mrs. Armitage on Wheels and Coraline, the main character is punished for wanting more from life, though the punishment in the former is much less severe than the punishment in the latter. This is significant to note because unlike, for example, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which has its male protagonist ultimately rewarded with almost everything he desires from life, the works of Blake and Gaiman do not reward their female protagonists for wanting to improve their lives and making efforts to achieve their objectives. Blake and Gaiman’s common resolution in their respective works to punish their female protagonists for aspiring to better their lives conveys the authors’ hidden...

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