Coraline and Her Crazy Home(s)

               In traditional senses, home functions as a haven with warm family members. In The Birchbark House by Louise Erdich, home functions in the traditional sense, whereas in the popular stop motion film Coraline, home is uncomfortable and scary with zany characters.

            The Birchbark House depicts home in a pretty standard way. Omakayas lives with her family and loves them dearly. Her home seems to include her community as well. Home is shown to be dynamic in the way it changes with the seasons. Each season brings its own tasks that the community must cooperate to finish. Though their island is their home, the feelings associated with being there vary.

            The film Coraline consists of different experiences in the home. After moving from Michigan to Oregon with her parents, Coraline was not getting along well with her parents. Her home was somewhere new geographically. As if this new location was not enough, she stumbles through a passage into some sort of parallel universe where she finds her “other” parents. At first, this other world functions as second home which appears way neater than her real home. When one home was not feeling comforting, she had another one to escape to. However, this does not last long as she finds out more about her “other” parents and their intentions. This second home becomes a scary place that she nearly becomes stuck in. This juxtaposes with her home in the real world which no longer seems so bad. Home for Coraline varies largely throughout the movie. Similar to The Birchbark House, home is dynamic. However, the experiences of home get much scarier in Coraline and are different in nature.

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