Parsons, Elizabeth, Naarah Sawers, and Kate Mcinally. "The Other Mother: Neil Gaiman's Postfeminist Fairytales." Children's Literature Association Quarterly33.4 (2008): 371-89. Web.
This journal talks about The Other Mother, and how she represents a postfeminist point of view. In Coraline’s real life, her mother doesn’t do much. Her father is always seen cooking, cleaning, and working. While her real mother is never seen until the father is in the picture. But, in the Other World, The Other Mother does all of the cooking, but shares responsibilities with the Other Father.
Terms & Quotes:
Mirrormask: How Coraline’s worlds are complete opposites
Human Limitations: what Coraline learns to accept about her real parents, and when she decides to go home
Material Feminism: accept male power by materialist bribes and way of life
“Material feminism slips seamlessly into postfeminism, the effects of which are exposed in these novels in the form of the postfeminist truism that women have apparently achieved equality but that this has not made them, or their daughters, happy” (Parsons).
“Coraline consequently enters a fantasy-scape in which she encounters an all-powerful and sadistic other mother, but one, nonetheless, who plays the traditional mothering role admirably” (Parsons).
“Coraline's sense of "I"-dentity is also mist-ified, particularly because in the real world, people continually get her name wrong by confusing Coraline with the common (and therefore unindividuated) name Caroline. The "I" must be aligned with the rules of symbolic culture, and so Coraline must resolve a sense of self through mirrors and mothers in the Imaginary phase. Finding the "I" of identity also (and inevitably, according to psychoanalysis) involves accepting gendered difference” (Parsons).
About the writer:
Elizabeth Parsons is from John Hopkins University. She has written many other pieces. Also, she was not the only writer that helped write the journal, she had written it with other people. To be specific, Dr Naarah Sawers. Dr Sawers graduated from Oxford with an English degree. I will use this piece to further my research.
Rudd, David. "An Eye for an I: Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Questions of Identity." Children's Literature in Education 39.3 (2008): 159-68. Web.
This journal talks about how Coraline is in an identity crisis and the Other Mother is supposed to help her find herself. This is done by passage via the house. The architecture is seen in gothic times as an aporia. This means “no passage”. It means that something cannot be and not be something at the same time. This phrase is often seen in the movie when Mr Bobinksy says “it’s Coriline not Coraline, one cannot be Coraline and Coriline”. This writer also suggests that her name is Coraline because they wanted to replace the I, since she has no sense of self or worth in the beginning.
Terms & Quotes:
“Coraline’s button replacements have the related association of giving up one’s soul, the eyes being its windows. Aside from paying the ferryman, this was one reason the eyes were covered with coins: to keep them shut; just as mirrors were covered when someone died, in case their soul might go into the mirrored surface and haunt the living” (Rudd).
“The space Coraline needs to negotiate is therefore between these two realms. The other old man, Mr Bobo (who later disintegrates into a nest of rats), taunts her with the frustration of feeling neglected: ‘‘You’ll go home. You’ll be bored. You’ll be ignored. No one will listen to you, not really listen to you … They don’t even get your name right’’” (Rudd).
“Coraline has come to realise that this space outside the Symbolic, attractive as it sounds in some regards, is also dangerous” (Rudd).
Aporia: no passage gothic style home
Anamorphosis: all of the changes in the real and other world
Hauntology: The act of inanimate objects coming to life
About the writer:
Dr David Rudd is the President of the University of Memphis. Before that, he was a psychology professor. I will use his research and work to take a psychological stand point of Coraline. I also like how he links all of these ideas together about Coraline and The Other Mother.
Palkovich, Einat Natalie. "The “Mother” of All Schemas: Creating Cognitive Dissonance in Children’s Fantasy Literature Using the Mother Figure." Children's Literature in Education 46.2 (2015): 175-89. Web.
Children act the way they do because of previous experiences they have. Usually, children are closest with their mother, who is supposed to show them the way in life. The child is supposed to feel safe in their home. But, Coraline is searching for something else. She doesn’t know who she is, so she goes searching. She ends up finding another family who actually pays attention and cares for her.
Terms & Quotes:
Schema: a plan or theory
Dissonance: lack of harmony or understanding
Secure Base Schema: attachment theory
“The mother in the reading environment creates the frame context (reading event) in that she is often the one holding the child while reading aloud and interacting with the child through questions, explanations, and shared attention…” (Palkovich).
“Throughout the novel, familiar objects are mirrored, split, and degraded; like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, Coraline is affected by the fluctuating contexts of a strange new world. She learns that names are not static signifiers of meaning and that concepts are specific to particular domains. Even her own name is consistently and mistakenly misrepresented: “It’s Coraline. Not Caroline.”” (Palkovich).
“The division between Coraline’s real mother and the Other mother is drawn along ambiguous lines at first, bringing into question traditional Good Mother/Bad Mother” (Palkovich).
About the Writer:
The University of Haifa Israel is where Dr Einat Natalie Palkovich completed her schooling for cognitive poetics and Children's Fantasy Literature. She now works at New York University. I will use her outlook to provide further research.
Muller, Vivienne. "Same old 'other' mother'?: Neil Gaiman's Coraline." The University of Western Australia, Women's Studies (May 26, 2012): n. pag. Web.
She is a bored little girl who gets no attention. Her family never listens, or takes care of her. This is why the idea of another family intrigues her so much. She is searching for something/someone she doesn’t have, this is why she is so quick to trust the other mother.
Terms & Quotes:
Domestic and Familiar: what coraline is used to
Memory and Repression: Her doubts about whether this other world is real shows through
Primary Narcissism: everyone has a double except coraline
“The other mother is a constantly transforming mix of the solicitous and nurturing mother (satisfying primary narcissism) and threatening and fearsome crone (the uncanny harbinger of death)--thus embodying both aspects of the ways in which Coraline sees her own mother, but also the ways in which she needs to see her own mother as she begins to relinquish dependency on her” (Muller).
“ Coraline's battle with and eventual destruction of the other mother at story's end and her reconciliation with her own mother suggests that a resolution to the Oedipal crisis has been reached” (Muller).
“The juxtaposition of the grotesque with the more recognizable cliches of maternal disciplining permits a reading of the bad mother as the mother who eschews individuation of the child and whose own sense of self is predicated on this repudiation. This is driven home in another scene in which Coraline comes across three ghosts of children from the past who have been destroyed and whose spirits have been imprisoned by the other mother. One of these ghosts does not know if it was formerly a girl or boy, the implication being that the powerful mother has blocked the child's path to 'proper' heterosexually gendered identity” (Muller).
About the Writer:
Dr Muller studied at the University of Western Australia. She has gotten her degree in Literature and Women’s studies. I also liked this article because it showed more points that I wanted to elaborate on.
Dean, Tanya . Piano Guts and Other Mothers. Vol. Vol. 24, No. 2 (88) (2013), pp. 264-274. N.p.: : International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, n.d. Print.
Coraline cannot trust her own eyes. In the other world, the dogs attend the theater. Rats put on a show. But, in the end she sees everything as it is. The other mother is her escape from reality. Through this other world Coraline has found herself, and found the strength to fight.
Terms and Quotes:
Parallel Universe: the other world she goes in which seems better than her real life
Theatrical Fantasy: uniquely mortal art
Semblance of Truth: foolish truths
“Fantasy is any departure from consensus reality” (Dean).
“The Parallel worlds of Coraline’s reality and the realm of the other mother are both related in equally clear, matter-of-fact descriptions” (Dean).
“The first lesson to be learned from Coraline, Do not trust your eyes” (Dean).
About the writer:
Dr Tanya Dean is a professor at The University of Ulster. She teaches creative arts, and fantasy. I like this approach, because it focuses on the fantasy aspect of Coraline instead of just the psychological. I will use this to tie my piece all together, since Coraline is a fantasy book and movie.
When Coraline looks in the mirror, she never sees herself.
This is the Pink Palace the represent the gothic style architecture.
One of the authors above stated that during this scene, she wrote mist but the I was misplaced. They argued this could be her poor sense of self.
This is how Coraline’s real father cooks for her. He cooks sludge. This is also a postfeminism reference.