What is Coraline, the character, like?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Coraline is intelligent, whimsical, brave, and loyal. Her character is revealed by her actions in Neil Gaiman's Coraline.

Coraline is a smart little girl who is mostly dismissed by those around her. Her parents rarely listen to what she says, her neighbors mistake her name for Caroline, and...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Coraline is intelligent, whimsical, brave, and loyal. Her character is revealed by her actions in Neil Gaiman's Coraline.

Coraline is a smart little girl who is mostly dismissed by those around her. Her parents rarely listen to what she says, her neighbors mistake her name for Caroline, and she is left alone a great deal of the time. In spite of this, she is very intelligent and curious, which is displayed in her conversations with neighbors and her preoccupation with the walled off apartment next door. Her intelligence is also clear when she tricks her Other Mother into opening the door so Coraline, her real parents, and the trapped children can escape.

Coraline is also brave, curious, and a bit reckless. Even though Mr. Bobo warns her not to go through the door, her curiosity gets the better of her. She's happy there so she ignores the signs that something might not be quite right—like the buttons on her Other Parents' eyes or the cat who tells her that it is good she carries protection with her. Her bravery is also displayed when she offers to find the souls of the trapped children and risks her life in the bargain.

Coraline is whimsical. She accepts the Other World, with her button-eyed Other Mother and Other Father as well as a talking cat that can move back and forth between reality and the other apartment. At the end of the story, she accepts the warning of the trapped children in a dream as reality and is able to foil the Other Mother's attempt to capture her once more.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team