What effect does it create to not have the mother in the illustration on page 7?

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In Coraline, one of the central themes of the text is the importance of family. However, Coraline doesn’t realize how important her actual mother and father are until she loses them in the story. Before she travels to the other world and experiences the other mother and father, she doesn’t appreciate her own family.

At the start of Coraline, Coraline is excited about the new house they’ve moved into. Through the first few pages, she is continually exploring. Her parents are present in the book, but not paying much attention to Coraline. Her parents are always busy, and when she wants to spend time with them, there is always some excuse that comes up. Her mother’s absence from the illustration on page 7 helps to solidify this idea.

Page 7 shows Coraline running home from the rain, then sitting at the window, bored. When she asks her mother what she should do, she is answered by a bodiless speech bubble. The illustration drives home the idea that her mother isn’t present in Coraline’s life. It also helps the reader empathize with Coraline and understand her actions and desires later in the story. By showing how alone Coraline is, the illustrator can show why Coraline might be taken in by other mother and other father, who shower her with attention and love.

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