In the book Coraline, the main character is a girl who has to face some frightening supernatural beings, such as the “Other Mother,” who is a copy of Coraline’s real mother from a different world. Coraline wandered into this world by accident.
Facing frightening things with bravery is a theme in the book. At one point, Coraline recalls a story that her father told her about an incident involving wasps. When Coraline was younger, her father went with her for a walk in an abandoned area between their house and some shops.
They had angered some yellow wasps, and Coraline’s father told her to run away. He stayed behind on purpose to let Coraline escape. Then, later, he had to go back in order to get his glasses after they had fallen off. He got stung thirty-nine times, whereas Coraline had only been stung once.
Coraline’s father told her that standing there being stung while letting Coraline escape hadn’t been brave, since it was all he could do. The passage then reads:
But going back to get his glasses, when he knew the wasps were there, when he was really scared. That was brave.
While she’s telling this story to her talking cat, Coraline has to demonstrate this definition of bravery by deliberately going back into the world with the Other Mother, even though this time she knows it’s dangerous.