Manipulation and Appreciation in Coraline College

Neil Gaiman's Coraline introduces the story’s antagonist far before that very antagonist's evil intentions are revealed. In the novel, a young girl Coraline has just moved into an old home. She feels ignored by her parents who are too busy working to pay attention to her. When she stumbles upon the door that leads to her other Mother, who has excessive amounts of time to spend with Coraline, it appears to Coraline that her wishes had been answered. The other Mother uses manipulation in order to ease Coraline’s worries regarding the usual situation she finds herself in. Though Coraline is quick to feel unsafe within her other Mother’s household, she is forced to return in order to save her parents. While the other Mother has violent intentions, she primarily relies on manipulation and exploiting negative feelings children feel towards their parents in order to achieve her goals. Though the other Mother plays the role of villain, it is from her that Coraline learns to appreciate her own family more.

When attempting to persuade Coraline to join the other family, her other Mother focuses on two main issues Coraline has with her parents. The first is the amount of time they spend with her. Though not specifically stated in the book,...

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