What is the main conflict in Coraline?

Expert Answers

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

I would argue that the main conflict in this excellent novel is actually that of many novels, as the powers of good and the powers of evil are shown to be pitted against each other. This novel is very reminiscent of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, where two girls find that curiosity gets the better of them and that as a result they are trapped in a different world that they have to find their way out of and to try and restore normal life.

Let us consider for one moment the way that the other fantasy world that Coraline enters is described. The key note that indicates there is something wrong with this world is the reference to the eerie button eyes of Coraline's fake mother and father, and the way that they try and convince and persuade her to stay with them and exchange her own eyes for a set of button eyes. The power of evil is therefore symbolised in these button eyes and in the fantasy world that this fake mother creates. Ranged against this power is the innocence and goodness of Coraline as she battles and fights to find her real parents and return to her normal world.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team