Mirna Vezzali with

 Coraline

By

Neil Gaiman

coraline

 

Chapter I :

Coraline Jones discovered the door after she and her family had moved in their new house. The home was big but Coraline’s family didn’t own all the house, they owned only a part because two sisters lived on the first floor: Miss Spink and Miss Forcible. They were two actresses when they were young. In the flat above Coraline’s lived a man who said he was going to create a circus with rats but didn’t want to show it. Coraline thought that he was mad and that he had invented it all.

The house had a big garden with a tennis court.

Coraline, went out in the park to explore because she loved exploring. She wanted to find the well that Miss Spink and Miss Forcible talked about. They warned her because they said that it was dangerous. When she found that well she saw only bricks and saw that the well was covered with wooden boards.

She continued to explore.

The following day it rained, so Coraline couldn’t go out to explore. She didn’t know what to do, her parents worked at the computer and didn’t pay her attention. Her father suggested she should count every door, window and everything that was in the house.

She counted everything that was in blue (153), the windows (21) and
the doors (14).

13 of the doors opened but the 14th didn’t. It was a big brown door. She asked her mother where that door took so her mother took a bunch of keys and with the oldest key opened the door. The door didn’t take anywhere. There was only a wall of bricks. Coraline’s mother said that, that door, before the house was divided, took to a room that now was an empty apartment on sale.

When the night came, and Coraline was falling asleep, she heard a noise, and then she saw a shadow. She followed the shadow that took her into the living-room. When she turned the light on she didn’t see anything so she went to bed.

Chapter II :

The following day it had stopped raining. Coraline went out for a walk. She met Miss Spink with her dogs and she met also Miss Forcible who was locked out of her house because Miss Spink had the keys. She also met the crazy old man who lived above her. He told her that she was in danger.

When Coraline was at home she didn’t know what to do because her parents worked. She went to Miss Spink and Miss Forcible. They offered a cup of tea to Coraline and then the two women started talking to each other about their past careers. Suddenly Miss Forcible said to Coraline that she was in danger, she didn’t know why. Miss Spink gave Coraline a stone with a hole in it and said that It could help her.

 

Chapter III:

Coraline and her mother went to the nearest shopping centre because Coraline needed some new clothes for the beginning of school. When they got home Coraline’s mother went out to buy something to eat. So she was alone in the house because her father had to go to London for work. She was bored, so she took the key of the door that led to nowhere. She opened it and didn’t find the wall of bricks but a dark hallway. That hallway was spooky. When it ended she found herself in her home again but something felt different. It was all the same except for her mother and father. She was tall, skinny and she had buttons instead of eyes, she was her “other mother”. The two of them sat at the table with her father. He also had buttons instead of eyes. Coraline went to her other room that had walls in pink and green colours. There were a lot of toys, she also found rats under her bed, they couldn’t talk but they could understand her. On the doorway there was the crazy man that lived above her. He had buttons too. He asked her if she wanted to go with him to his flat so she could watch him while feeding the rats, but Coraline said no, she preferred to go out and explore.

 

Chapter IV:

She met a black cat in the garden. She saw that cat before, it was the same cat that existed in the real world. The cat could talk. Later he said that Coraline did well to bring protection with her (referring to the stone that Miss Spink gave to her). Then the cat vanished.

Coraline went to Miss Spink and Miss Forcible’s home. When the girl entered the house she found herself in a theatre hall. There was a dog with a torch that could talk and that brought her to sit. The audience were all dogs. When the show began Coraline saw Miss Spink and Forcible. It was their show. The two of them made talent shows. Coraline asked how much the show lasted and the dog near her said “Forever”.

She went out of her home where her other parents waited for her.

They asked her if she wanted to stay there so they could be a real family. But if Coraline stayed, they wanted to do a little change. They wanted to replace her eyes with buttons. Coraline didn’t want, so she greeted them and went to the door that led to her real home. While she walked in the dark hallway she closed her eyes and when she opened them. Coraline was in her real living-room in her real house.

 

Chapter V:

Her mother wasn’t at home. So Coraline ate something and then went to sleep. The following day Coraline looked in the bedroom of her parents but she didn’t find them. They hadn’t come home. The little girl went out. She met Miss Spink, who said that she and her sister, Miss Forcible won’t be at home for a little bit because they would stay at Miss Forcible niece. Coraline returned back home where she wrote a story, watched television, cleaned the house and ate.

She tried to sleep but she missed her parents too much. When she woke up, she found the black cat who stared at her. The little girl asked him if he knew where her parents were, so the cat stood up and began to walk in the direction of the stairs. Coraline followed him. They stopped in front of the big mirror. At first it showed the hallway but then her parents who seemed sad. Her mother wrote something on the mirror: “HELP US” then they vanished. Coraline wanted to help them so at first she called the police but the policeman didn’t take Coraline’s words seriously so she decided to go to her other mother. Coraline knew that she had kidnapped her parents because she wanted Coraline to stay forever with them.

The little girl dressed up, and with the company of the black cat, went downstairs to the big brown door. They entered the door and when the big black hallway had an end she hugged the other mother saying that she missed her parents. The other mother said that they were there, both of them but Coraline wanted her real parents. So the other mother said to her that they were bored of her, they were in a better place. They went near the mirror which showed Coraline’s real parents happy. She didn’t trust the other mother who, using a rat, got the key of the door and locked it. When both the other parents where asleep, Coraline went out where she met the black cat. The cat explained that the other mother might want something different from herself to love and he also said that in order to defeat her, Coraline had to challenge here, because the other mother loved challenges. Coraline began to think about what the cat said. She went to her other room and fell asleep.

 

Chapter VI:

Coraline woke up in her other room. At first she felt like she didn’t know who she was but then she remembered who she was and what she had to do. Coraline dressed up and went downstairs. Everything was the same in the house but there wasn’t anybody. Her other mother wasn’t there but she found her other father that looked a bit different than he used to be.

Coraline began to speak with him and he said that he should not speak with her if the other mother wasn’t there. He also added that the other mother created all this other world.

Coraline went out exploring. She went really far. The trees didn’t seem trees anymore, instead they seemed more like drawing sketches. Everything was white. There she met the black cat who spoke with her.

Coraline thought that they were in the middle of nowhere but the cat showed her that she didn’t go too far. She went back where she started, like walking around the world. You start out walking away from something and end up coming back to it.

The house was silent. The little girl walked to the mirror, then the girl heard the other mother near her. The mirror didn’t reflect the other mother.

Coraline wanted to talk with her so they went to the living-room and started to talk. Coraline wanted to know where her real parents were. Coraline was being too disrespectful with the other mother , so the “woman” took a black key out, took Coraline in front of the mirror, opened the mirror and pushed Coraline in it.

Chapter VII:

Coraline was in a little space in the darkness. She thought that she was alone until she felt something soft like lips or cheeks.

Someone began to say to stay quiet. When Coraline’s eyes began to see something in the darkness, she recognised three figures. They had her same height. They told Coraline that they didn’t remember their names, they had been there for too long. They said that “she” had removed their hearts, they were dead. Empty.

Coraline asked if she could do something for them and they answered that She had their souls. They asked her if she could save them.

Chapter VIII:

The other mother brought Coraline out of the mirror. She brought her to the kitchen where she was cooing. Coraline said that in the mirror there were three children. The other mother didn’t listen to her. The little girl asked her if she wanted to play a game where Coraline had to look for the souls of the children. If Coraline was able to find them, the other mother would leave her alone and give her parents back, but if she failed to find the souls, she would stay forever where she was, and be an obedient child. The other mother accepted the challenge. Coraline began to search but she didn’t know how big a soul was. She went in front of the mirror, she looked in the stone with the hole which showed a way to her room. She went there, she searched everywhere but, at first, Coraline didn’t find anything. Then she looked again into the stone and saw that something was shining. It was a little grey ball. Suddenly she heard someone whispering that she needed to be fast because the other mother was angry. Coraline went out to the theatre of Miss Spink and Miss Forcible. The theatre was empty and ropy. Coraline looked through the stone where she saw something that shone on the stage. There was something like a bag but there were two people in it. Coraline grabbed the little ball and ran away.

Coraline found two souls of the three children. She needed to find the third one.

Chapter IX:

Coraline went out the garden where she found the other mother. She gave the girl a key which opened the door of the empty apartment. Coraline knew there was something wrong.

She entered the empty apartment. Coraline didn’t find anything, only a trapdoor which she opened.

She went down and turned the lights on. She found there her other dad. He was like a spider, with long legs. He didn’t want to hurt Coraline but She, the other mother, told him he had to do it.

Coraline ran up the stairs and closed, really fast, the trapdoor. She ran out of the apartment and went up the stairs of the house.

Chapter X:

She entered the house where the mad old man lived. She heard whispers that said that if she would stay there the other mother would do anything for her. She would give her anything, but Coraline wanted her parents and she already knew where she could find them. Coraline didn’t fear the man. In fact when the little girl got closer to him, he vanished. Coraline immediately looked in the stone where she saw that a rat was holding the little soul of the last child. The rat began to run and so did Coraline.

Coraline chased the rat but at the end the girl fell and hurt her knee. Fortunately the cat arrived with the little ball and gave it to Coraline.

The cat said that, now, everything had become a sketch, there weren’t entries or exits, but Coraline was brave, she took the cat with her and she went to the sketch of the house.

Chapter XI:

She entered the house but the house wasn’t a sketch. There were pieces of furniture and all. There was also her mother.

Coraline knew that she wasn’t going to keep the promise, so she had a plan.

When the other mother asked if she knew where her parents were Coraline said that they were in the corridor behind the door. The mother unlocked the door but there was nothing.

The other mother said that she had to stay there, but Coraline threw the cat to the mother, took the ball of glass and ran to the door. There with the cat, she closed the door, ran until they saw the exit.

Coraline was finally at her real home.

Chapter XII:

Coraline was woken up by the mother. The real mother. She was finally at home, Coraline hugged the mother and went in the bathroom to medicate her wounds.

She and her parents passed a nice evening together.

When Coraline was asleep she had a dream, she was having a picnic with the three kids that now were free but they said that for them everything had ended, not for Coraline. They thanked Coraline for what she did and then Coraline woke up. She saw a shadow and she knew what that was. That was the right hand of the other mother who wanted the key back.

Chapter XIII:

Coraline made a decision. She wanted to put an end to this story. She asked her mother if she could have an old table-cloth because she wanted to play dolls.

The little girl went to the well where she removed the wood boards and instead of those she put the table-cloth with the dolls and the cups and also the key.

She began to play and when the hand jumped out of the woods Coraline tried not to look. When the hand jumped on the well she saw exactly it falling down with the key. Immediately she covered the well with boards of woods and went back at home with the dolls.

It was the day before school began and usually Coraline was always nervous but not this time. She was not afraid of anything.

Comment:

I really liked this book, but i liked also the story itself. I think it is another version of “Alice in Wonderland” and the idea of the story, in my opinion, is really interesting. While in the story of Alice, the protagonist doesn’t run away from her world, in “Coraline” the protagonist has the need to escape her reality of boredom. I have noticed many moral teachings veiled in this story, the first of which is that you should always be careful at what you want. Some time after reading the book, I saw the movie and I really loved it, it can trap the idea of ​​boredom and dissatisfaction and then develop into a completely different world, full of color, music, life, but, which hide something sinister. You have that feeling from the beginning. In fact, since the beginning of time we have been taught that to come to terms with the devil there is always a price to pay and here again the protagonist has to pay the price for her desires. In short, I found it a really nice book, that makes you think. At times I was also afraid, especially when the true identity of the antagonist was given in the last chapters.

The book teaches one of the most important values, being happy with what you already have.

Author

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films.

His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book.

In the early 1980s, Gaiman started to work as a journalist, conducting interviews and writing book reviews. Then Gaiman started writing also comic-books and novels. Several of Gaiman’s original works have been optioned for film adaptation, the most famous one is Stardust. Also a stop-motion version of Coraline was released on 6 February 2009.

Gaiman frequently performs public readings from his stories and poetry.

(c) Mirna Vezzali

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Mirna Vezzali with Coraline By Neil Gaiman

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