The smell in the hidden corridor (Olfactory Imagery)
When Coraline enters the corridor beneath the trap door, she is struck by a pungent smell. As she takes a deep breath, she finds that "the smells of sour wine and moldy bread fill her head." This vivid imagery connects to the motifs of decay and secrecy throughout the novel. Coraline is a firsthand witness to the corruption that lies beneath the surface of the other world.
The picnic scene (Visual Imagery)
When Coraline dreams of the picnic, she is profoundly impacted by the scene's visuals. She describes how the "sun is high in the sky and while there were distant, fluffy white clouds on the horizon, the sky above her head was a deep, untroubled blue." The visual imagery is striking, as it relates to the novel's theme of appearance versus reality. Beneath Coraline's thin cloud of reality, there is a great threat of danger and disturbance. Coraline is able to understand how these themes manifest in the visuals of the subconscious.
The old man's flat (Olfactory Imagery)
In the other world, Coraline enters Mr. Bobo's apartment. There, she finds that the flat "smells of strange foods and pipe tobacco and odd, sharp, cheesy-smelling things Coraline could not name." Coraline's sense of smell indicates that she is entering a space where there is a profound presence of decay. Although Coraline is disturbed by this smell, she must persevere in order to find the missing marble.
The house in the other world (Visual Imagery)
As Coraline grows closer and closer to successfully capturing the missing souls from the other world, her environment begins to change drastically. The house in the other world begins to flatten out. Coraline describes it as "no longer looking like a photograph, more like a drawing, a crude, charcoal scribble of a house drawn on gray paper." The house's metamorphosis reflects Coraline's understanding of its sinister powers. The darkness and flatness of the image indicate the ominous qualities of the story.
Coraline Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Coraline is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.