Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CORALINE

I am not crafty but I entered a box at my little mochi: Coraline Box Swap Housekeeping. Mine is so poorly made that I am ashamed to show it. I feel sorry for the poor lady that is receiving mine. Hopefully she will be able to forgive me. I just received mine today and it is stunning. What blew me away was the drawing that Dora of Faded Ink made which has an articulated arm. Simply, exquisite. Thank you Dora, thank you very much!

Here is a little background info on Coraline from wikepedia:

Before the tale begins, Coraline and her parents move into a new apartment. Coraline's parents are always busy with their work and pay her little attention. Isolated, Coraline goes off to explore. She meets the other inhabitants of the house, two elderly women retired from the stage and an even older man who trains mice, and finds a locked door in the drawing room, though the entrance beyond is bricked up. The next day she takes the key to the door, opens it, and finds a dark corridor leading to an apartment which duplicates her own. This alternate world is inhabited by her Other Mother and Other Father, who are near-replications of her real parents, except they have buttons for eyes. These Other parents first seem more interesting, fun and caring than her real parents. At the day's end, Coraline's Other Mother offers her a chance to stay in this world forever if Coraline will sew buttons over her eyes. Coraline decides she would rather go home, much to the disappointment of her Other Mother.

Upon her return to her flat, Coraline finds her real parents are missing. They do not return by the next day, and Coraline, discovering they were kidnapped by her Other Mother, resolves to rescue them. Coraline travels again to the Other Mother's world. After angering her Other Mother by refusing to accept gifts or love, she is trapped behind a mirror as punishment. There Coraline meets the souls of three children from different eras whom the Other Mother entrapped then tossed aside when she wearied of them. After escaping the room, Coraline challenges the Other Mother in a game to find the children's souls and her parents within the Other Parents' world, using her wits and a seeing stone received from her neighbors. Coraline finds the others' souls and escapes to the real world, forcing the door closed on the Other Mother and severing her hand. Back in her apartment, Coraline finds her parents safe and sound.

The next night, Coraline discovers her task is not done. The Other Mother's severed hand, which is still in Coraline's world, attempts to steal the key so the Other Mother can exact her revenge, but Coraline lures the hand to a well and tricks it into falling in with the key, ridding the world of the danger of the Other Mother forever.

Characters

Coraline Jones – The young heroine and self proclaimed explorer, she is young, clever, curious, resourceful, and brave. Coraline is often irritated by rain, crazy grownups (as they all seem to be), and not being taken seriously because of her young age and quiet demeanor, though perhaps her biggest pet peeve is that everyone mistakes her name for Caroline (everyone in the real world at least, except the mice and her parents). She also likes apples and limeade, which she finds very curious.

Mrs. Jones – Coraline's mother (Mrs. Jones) works at her house on the computer. She is very busy most of the time, and sometimes a little inattentive, but she loves and cares about Coraline. She is married to Mr. Jones, Coraline's father. She is pretty, nice, helpful, and outgoing, though Coraline considers her to be rather boring.

Mr. Jones – Coraline's father (Mr. Jones) works at his house on the computer which he spends most of his time on his job. He cares about Coraline very much and is very nice, gentlemanly, handsome, and helpful. But like Coraline's mother, she finds him rather boring.

The Cat – A black cat from Coraline's world. The cat acts as a mentor to Coraline and guides her through her journey. It claims to have no name, explaining that cats do not need names to tell each other apart. Unlike many of the characters in the novel, it does not have an "other world" counterpart. It moves freely from one world to the next, although it can talk in the Other Mother's world. It is very sarcastic towards Coraline and defiant of the Other Mother, but seems to tremble at the thought of being stuck in the Other Mother's world.

The Other Mother or Beldam – The creature that created much of the 'Other' world for her own entertainment. She is almost identical to Coraline's real mother but taller and thinner, with long black hair that seems to move by itself, black button eyes, paper-white skin, and extremely long, twitchy fingers with long dark red nails. She cannot create, but only copy, twist and change things from the real world when constructing her version of it. She collects children, with whom she quickly becomes bored or frustrated, and imprisons them behind a magical mirror, slowly sucking the life from them; she intends to do the same with Coraline. She is referred to several times as "the beldam", an archaic word meaning "hag/witch".

The Other Father – A creation of the Other Mother, who was used to try to help trick Coraline into staying in the Other Mother's world. The Other Mother ends up punishing him for revealing too much to Coraline.

Miss Miriam Forcible and Miss April Spink – A pair of retired actresses who live in the flat next door to Coraline. They own several scottie dogs, and talk in theater jargon, often referencing their time as actresses. They recognize the danger Coraline's in after reading her fortune through tea leaves and give her a stone with a hole in it to help protect her. In the other world they are young, pretty, and perform unendingly in front of the scottie dogs, who, in the other world, behave like humans.

Mister Bobo – A retired circus performer living in the flat above Coraline's; he is commonly referred to as the Crazy Old Man Upstairs. Over the course of the book he claims to be training mice to perform in a mouse circus, and often brings Coraline messages from the mice, though at first Coraline doubts he even has mice to train, and she does not listen to what the man says was supposed to come from the mice. His counterpart in the other-world trains rats, and is in fact made of rats.

The Three Children – A trio of children who were previously victims of the other mother, two girls and one boy. The boy is described as having a dirty face and red trousers. One of the girls has two butterfly wings, blond hair, and a silver circlet, the other has a brown bonnet and brown dress. They were trapped by the Other Mother at different times before Coraline, and resided in the closet until Coraline found herself in the same closet. She promises to rescue them after hearing about their vulnerability due to their lack of souls. After having their souls restored, they go to the afterlife, but the last Coraline sees of them is in a dream where she picnics with them. Here, she sees their true appearances and they thank her for freeing them from the Other Mother. It is also shown that the winged girl eats daisies.

Coraline is a fantasy/horror novella by British author Neil Gaiman, published in 2002by Bloomsbury and Harper Collins. It was awarded the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, the 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novella, and the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers. It has been compared to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland because of its surrealism and plot based on an alternate-reality, and has been adapted into a 2009 stop-motion film directed by Henry Selick.

7 comments:

Samosas for One said...

Cool!

Melissa said...

That is an awesome box and contents.

3continentfamily said...

how interesting! Lovely box.

A Cuban In London said...

I loved the story and loved your box, too. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Paula and Skip said...

I simply love this story and you ve spent so much effort - it turned out so nicely

willow said...

Really neat post!

But OH-OH-OH-OH-OH!!! I ADORE your new Madame X header! You don't know how many times I almost put her up as mine! Tres, tres cool!!!

susannassketchbook said...

I'm sure whoever receives your Coraline box is going to be thrilled. I can see how all the objects in the box in your photos relate to the movie. And, yes, that's an incredible drawing that Dora drew. She's talented!