Friday, November 12, 2010

Coraline: The Graphic Novel

Joseph Campbell wrote the bookThe Hero With a Thousand Faces which was a study of world hero myths. Campbell found that all story-telling, consciously or not, follows the ancient patterns of myth, and that all stories, from the crudest jokes to the highest flights of literature, can be understood in terms of the hero myth; the “monomyth” whose principles he lays out in the book.

The theme of the hero myth is universal, occurring in every culture, in every time; it is as infinitely varied as the human race itself; and yet its basic form remains the same, an incredibly tenacious set of elements that spring in endless repetition from the deepest reaches of the mind of man.

The repeating characters of the hero myth such as the young hero, the wise old man or woman, the shape-shifting woman or man, and the shadowy antagonist are identical with the archetypes of the human mind, as revealed in dreams. That’s why myths, and stories constructed on the mythological model, strike us as psychologically true.

This accounts for the universal power of such stories. Stories built on the model of the hero myth have an appeal that can be felt by everyone, because they spring from a universal source in the collective unconscious, and because they reflect universal concerns. They deal with the child-like but universal questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where will I go when I die? What is good and what is evil? What must I do about it? What will tomorrow be like? Where did yesterday go? Is there anybody else out there?

The idea imbedded in mythology and identified by Campbell in The Hero With a Thousand Faces can be applied to understanding any human problem. The are a great key to life as well as being a major tool for dealing more effectively with a mass audience.


Please choose only ONE of the following blog's to read on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey 12 step cycle. These blogs were the most concise versions of the "Hero's Journey" that I could find on the internet. I do not subscribe to these blogs or know anything about these blog authors beyond these two posts. (This one is the simple version- I liked it the best) (The longer & more in-depth version of the 1st blog post)

1. Consider your reading of Coraline in relation to Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. In what ways do you see intersections and/or connections to some of the stages of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey?

2. Consider our viewing of Chihiro's journey in the animated movie Spirited Away. What intersections and/or connections, if any, can you make to the graphic novel Coraline?

3. Name one other character from a book, graphic novel, play or movie that comes to your mind when you consider Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey and briefly describe why this character comes to mind for you.


  1. 1. I believe that there are many connections between Coraline and Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. When we are first introduced to Coraline we see her world, which she thinks is very ordinary and extremely boring, this is Campbell’s first stage, “ordinary world”. Coraline’s “call to adventure” came when she hears the rat running around her house leading to the open door her mother had closed earlier. Although this peaks her interest, she “refuses the call” once she realizes that behind the door lies a very scary “other mother“. Once she realizes that her parents are in trouble and that she will need to save them she returns to the other world and finds her “mentor”, the black unnamed cat, who guides her through the imaginary other world. She finds “friends and enemies” through out her search for her parents. The rats quickly become enemies as they try to deceive her and spy for the “other mother”, while the children’s spirits become her friends and help her. Coraline goes through various “ordeals” in order to rescue not only her parents, dealing with the rats, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, and her “other father”. Coraline is able to rescue her parents and comes to realize that even though life is not perfect, life is wonderful, especially when you are loved. This was Coraline’s elixir.

    2. Some connections that I saw between Coraline and Chihiro’s journey was what seemed to be the parents distance from their children. Both sets of parents seemed to care very little for their children, or at least that’s what the girls seemed to feel. Both girls also have to mature very fast in order to help their parents, who cannot seem to help themselves. Coraline and Chihiro both also learn very valuable lessons through out their journey, the realize that their lives weren’t perfect, but they are loved. They also realize that good deeds go very far in when helping others, that selflessness in turn helps both find their parents and go back home.

    3. The Hero that comes to mind is Mark Thackeray, the lead character from the movie “To Sir, with Love”. I see him as the hero because he walks into what he thought was going to be a very easy job, something that a smart man could handle. His challenge comes when he finds that the youths he is teaching are not responding to him. While at first he could care less that the youth learn, he gets to know them and learns the importance of education in the youths future. His students, through out the movie transform into his mentors, his enemies and his friends. His rebirth comes when he decides to throw out the boring teaching methods that the youth have long ago cast aside and decides to teach them about life. Thackeray is able to teach the youth and inspires them to be aim at success in which ever path they choose. No longer is he the engineer in simply a need for a job, but he sees himself as someone who can help youth and loves seeing them succeed.

  2. #1. I think Coraline is a typical hero story depicted in Joseph Campbell’s THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES. It matches the plot Joseph Campbell outlined perfectly. At the beginning, Coraline moved into an old house with her parents and her life was quite boring (The hero is introduced in her ORDINARY WORLD). Then, one day her curiosity called her to go into a strange world behind a door in their drawing room where she met her Other Mother and Other Father (The CALL TO ADVENTURE). Coraline was reluctant to continue the adventure because her Other Mother wanted to sew buttons on her eyes and made her stay forever(The hero is reluctant at first). Back in her real world but couldn’t find her parents, Coraline was scared. Luckily, with the help of a cat (the mentor), she found her parents were trapped in the strange world behind the door so she passed the door again and began her adventure (Passes the first threshold). Then Coraline made a deal with her Other Mother to find the souls of three children as well as her parents during which she got help from the black cat and the ghosts of three children (The hero encounters tests and helpers). Coraline was cheated into a cellar where she met the monstrous Other Father but successfully escaped (The innermost cave). After Coraline collected all three souls and then she confronted with her Other Mother (The hero endures the supreme ORDEAL). She found her parents in a snow globe and opened the door back home (The hero seizes the sword). Coraline ran through the terrible corridor to her home (THE ROAD BACK). Her Other Mother’s right hand chased her into the real world so Coraline lured the hand to a deep well with the key and got rid of them together(Resurrection). Finally, Coraline returned to her normal live with courage (Return with the elixir).

    #2. Spirited Away and Coraline have many similar plots. At first, Chihiro was upset because her families were moving to a new place, so did Coraline though she was not quite upset but bored. Then leading by curiosity, Chihiro and her parents went to a strange land where Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs. Coraline went to adventure lead by curiosity and her parents were kidnapped by the antagonist as well. Chihiro was very scared and tried to run but the way back had become a deep river. Coraline was scared at first, too. They both decided to rescue their parents despite of their fear. Luckily, both of them found mentors. Chihiro met Haku who encouraged her to find a job. Coraline got advices from a black cat to play games with her Other Mother. Then, Chihiro was challenged by a series of tasks to finish her work while Coraline was challenged by a series of tasks to find children’s souls. The story came to the climax when Chihiro encountered No-Face who had turned into a monster. Coraline was encountered by a monstrous Other Father too. They both defeated monsters by their wisdoms. Finally they both saved their parents and returned to their worlds with courage.

    #3. Harry Potter is the name came into my mind. Every story of Harry Potter begins with a description of Harry’s normal live in Muggle world and then he is called into adventure in the Wizard world. In each story he encounters a big task but in order to finish the big task he always has to finish several small tasks first. During these adventures he often receives help from his friends and teachers. Near the end of each adventure, Harry will face the “big monster” in a dark and strange place usually all by himself. After a harsh fight, Harry will survive from trauma and serious injuries. He will return to his world with more courage to fight with his fate. So I think Harry Potter fits Campbell's theory very well.

  3. Answer is in 2 posts!

    3. Many characters came to my mind when considering Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. I could immediately identify the archetypal path of the lead characters in many of my childhood favorites from Bastain of “The NeverEnding Story” to Alan and Sarah of “Jumanji”. Ironically my mind settled on Andy Anderson (Kate Hudson) in “How to lose a guy in 10 days”.
    While the genre of this film is actually romantic comedy, the main character/hero, Andy Anderson, follows along a path that remarkably resembles the hero’s journey as depicted by Joseph Campbell. In this story the “hero” Andy Anderson is a magazine writer who must write an article on “How to lose a guy in 10 days” for her mentor/boss at Composure Magazine. In order to do this, she must choose an unsuspecting guy to attract, seduce and then repel, through a process of steps that would then work as a reverse “how-to” for the women readers of Composure Magazine.
    The main character is introduced in her “ORDINARY WORLD”, where she is working for a magazine that she does not respect of find intellectually challenging. Her “CALL TO ADVENTURE” comes when she must think of this article to write on the spot in order to save a friend/co-worker (who has recently been dumped). After initially finding a man, Ben, to seduce for the article she begins to have true feelings for him and becomes “RELUCTANT”, she wants to walk away from the project, but her mentor/boss will not allow it. In this story, the “CROSSING OF THE FIRST THRESHOLD” occurs when Andy meets her love interest’s family and begins to have true feelings for him. A “TEST” Andy encounters is when she finds out (from her “ENEMIES”) that Ben has also entered the relationship under false motives (to win a bet that he could make any woman fall in love within in 10 days). Andy’s “INNERMOST CAVE” is actually an emotional location, where she discovers that she has made herself vulnerable by truly falling in love. She must then endure the “SUPREME ORDEAL” of her love interest finding out the truth behind her motivation to enter the relationship (for the magazine article). Andy and Ben break up and the “hero” is miserable. I would equate this to the “near-death” experience of many heroes in traditional adventure tales. Like Luke Skywalker after each of his near-death experiences, Andy is changed through this experience and grows into a person who is open to love and motivated to follow her dreams of working for a major “serious” news publication. She is “RESURRECTED” and transformed by this experience. Next, Andy “SEIZES THE SWORD” by publishing her “How to lose a guy” article, which she actually writes as a very public expose of her declaration of true love for Ben. When Ben reads this article, he chases after her and there is a dramatic ending where the two profess their undying love for each other. What I loved about this was being able to recognize for any elements of the hero’s journey in a story so far removed from the expected genre.

  4. continued from previous post...

    2. Both Coraline and Chihiro follow the archetypal path of the hero’s journey. We can see these basic, uniting elements guiding the storyline of both girls’ journeys. Each are introduced in an ORDINARY WORLD receiving the CALL TO ADVENTURE being RELUCTANT at first to CROSS THE FIRST THRESHOLD where she eventually encounters TESTS, ALLIES and ENEMIES. Both endure a SUPREME ORDEAL, SEIZE THE SWORD and are pursued on the ROAD BACK to their world. Ultimately the two are RESURRECTED and transformed by this experience. They RETURN to their ordinary world with a treasure.
    Aside from the basic flow of the plotline, further similarities between the two characters exist. Both girls begin their journey with a move to a new and uncomfortable place. Both struggle with seemingly uncaring parents. Both girls’ quest is to save their parents and ultimately both girls earn the treasure of the knowledge that the life they have with their parents is the life that they would choose over any other.

    1. When I was an undergraduate student at UCSB, I was lucky enough to happen upon a class taught by Laurence Arthur Rickels in the Department of Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies titled “The Journey of the Superhero”. This course was an amazing departure from my usual communications major classes which delved into the collective psyche of the Superhero. I was reminded of this course, and the teacher’s affinity for the works of Friedrich Nietzche and Carl Jung, when reading Coraline and then again when reading the review of Joseph Campbell’s work.
    In the graphic novel “Coraline” our hero is the little girl, Coraline, who has recently moved to a creepy old house. Her hero’s journey begins in the “ORDINARY WORLD” of a girl moving with her family to a new home. As we see in many archetypical hero works, the hero is initially bored in this ordinary world. Coraline spends days wandering about the house and garden, seeking adventure yet plagued with boredom.
    Coraline receives the “CALL TO ADVENTURE” when her neighbor’s rats lead her to a mysterious, seemingly parallel world on other side of door which previously lead to a brick wall. In this other world Coraline meets her “other mother” with scary button eyes. The other mother is loving and kind and compels Coraline to stay in this world, promising that she will always spend time with her and make life fun. But Coraline is “RELUCTANT” and she leaves this world to “go outside and explore.” Outside she meets the black cat who is to become her “mentor”. This is the only character who transcends the two worlds.
    Coraline is motivated to “CROSS THE THRESHOLD” and return to the creepy parallel world of “other mother” when she realizes that her parents have disappeared. Soon she embarks on a hero’s journey of “TESTS, ALLIES and ENEMIES”. The rats who initially led her to this alternate world become enemies as they seek to trick Coraline, as do all of the button-eyed doubles of the real world. It seems they conspire together to keep Coraline in this world. She nearly finds a surprising would-be ally in her “other father” but he proves to be too much under the thumb of “other mother” and he too is ultimately an enemy.
    A major test Coraline encounters is trying to find the souls of 3 children with which to barter the freedom of her parents. Once Coraline collects the 3 souls she must endure the “SUPREME ORDEAL” of confronting “other mother”. Though “other mother” conspires to refuse the honest win, Coraline “SEIZES THE SWORD” when she finds her parents trapped in a snow globe. Upon her “RETURN” to the ordinary world, Coraline brings the “TREASURE” of knowledge that although it sometimes may seem boring, her world is the best place for her to be.

  5. 1.I see many connections between Coraline and Joseph Campbell's Hero Stages. We see Coraline's ORDINARY WORLD= her new home, which is boring and uneventful for her, where she receives the CALL TO ADVENTURE=the rats lead her to parallel world where everything looks perfect. She is RELUCTANT at first to CROSS THE FIRST THRESHOLD=the parallel world where she eventually encounters TESTS=finding the children's spirits, ALLIES=children's souls and ENEMIES=evil mother and rats. She reaches the INNERMOST CAVE where she endures the SUPREME ORDEAL=saving her parents. She SEIZES THE SWORD=saves the souls of the children and her parents and is pursued on the ROAD BACK to her world by the evil mother. Coraline is RESURRECTED and transformed by her experience. She RETURNS to her ordinary world with an ELIXIR=new found appreciation of her parents and realization that she is loved, to benefit her world.

    2. Chihiro and Coraline share a similar story. They both are pivotal female characters in their stories and they both undertake a journey to not only find themselves but save their parents. Along the way, they face many challenges but also meet a few allies. After the "SUPREME ORDEAL", both young girls are able to save their parents, gain a new appreciation of their parents, and discover a new part of their identities.

    3. Two characters that come to my mind are Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, from the Millenium Trilogy of books and movies(The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest). Both characters can be seen as heroes in the books and movies. Lisbeth's ORDINARY WORLD is a world that looks seemingly boring and ordinary except for the devious conspiracies and crimes that lurk beneath the veneer of her ordinary life as a talented computer hacker who works for a security company. She receives the CALL TO ADVENTURE from Mikael when he asks her to join him in his investigation of the disappearance of a business tycoon's great niece. She is RELUCTANT=doesn't know if she can trust Mikael at first to CROSS THE FIRST THRESHOLD=trust Mikael and share her knowledge and resources for his investigation, where she eventually encounters multiple TESTS=gets raped and almost gets killed, ALLIES=Mikael, Millenium newspaper staff, Mikael's sister, her hacker buddy, her old boss at the security firm, her old boxer friend, and her ex girlfriend, and ENEMIES=secret government agency, her father, her half brother, biker gang, her creepy legal guardian, and her old psychologist. She reaches the INNERMOST CAVE=confronts her father and half brother in a brutal fight, where she endures the SUPREME ORDEAL=almost dies and goes to trial for the conspiracy of trying to murder her father. She SEIZES THE SWORD= never gives up and survives and is pursued on the ROAD BACK to her freedom from the allegations against her and the prison cell. She is RESURRECTED and transformed by her experience. She RETURNS to her ordinary world as a free woman, exposes the secret government sect, and delivers justice to all who did her wrong in her life. Mikael can also be described as a hero because in his journey he helps save Lisbeth from death and from being wrongly imprisoned for a crime she did not commit after going through many trials and encountering many enemies and allies along the way.

  6. 1.I think that the big picture Joseph Campbell is talking about is that we need to appreciate everything in life in order to live life fully. The good and the bad is what makes us who we are, and while things don’t always work out the way we expect, the new paths we encounter and the forks we choose to take change our life. We have to accept and even welcome these changes. I find many connections to Coraline. We are introduced to this young girl who is basically ignored by her parents, and her wishes/feelings are never really considered. No one gets her name right. As far as we can tell, she is unhappy with her given life and constantly wants to “explore” to find better/more exciting things. She ends up in this parallel world where all her wishes come true, except there’s a huge price to pay to keep her new life. In the end she realizes that what seemed so glamorous really was depressing, lonely, and even scary. Coraline comes to accept, and I guess say “yea” to it all. She can look past her parents’ forgetfulness and lack of interest in their daughter’s interests, and comes to appreciate what they do give her, real love.

    2.There are many of the same elements in Chihiro’s story. She faces similar problems with her parents, not necessarily ignoring her, but they lose their focus and pay a price for it. As a result Chihiro must “grow up” and take on tasks to get her parents back. We all find change scary sometimes, and I think it was Chihiro’s fear to move somewhere new. By entering this new world she was faced with all new people, or spirits, demanding challenges, and when she surpassed them all, she knew she could handle anything new that came her way. She no longer feared and embraced what she didn’t know.

    3.As far as another character that goes through this, I want to say Robbin Williams character in Hook. He plays the adult version of Peter Pan who has become complacent with his life and lost all his childhood imagination. He gets pulled back into the world of Hook, the Lost Boys, and Never Never Land where he must reclaim his youth in order to save his children. In the movie “grown up” Peter is a lawyer and works endlessly hard like many of us do. He has lost his imagination and therefore does not welcome everything in life, he barely sees everything in life with how busy has become. It’s a bit of a reversal from Coraline and Chihiro who have to grow up and save their parents. In this case, Peter must embrace his inner child again to save his children. Either way, the main character gets sucked into an alternate world where they face trials to surpass. When they are successful, they become more enlightened and view the world through open eyes again.

  7. 1. There are many intersections between the story of Coraline and Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Coraline’s story starts out in her “Ordinary World”, which she finds quite boring. She receives her “Call to Adventure” when she becomes interested in the door and the noises she hears/rat she sees behind it. She continues through the other stages when she is at first reluctant to go through the door into the other world, and then when she meets her mentor, the black talking cat. Once in the other world, Coraline is confronted with tests and helpers. She is predominately confronted with tests from her other mother and other father, and the helpers come in the form of the cat and the souls of those that were trapped by the other mother in the past.
    Coraline faces the possibility of death (the supreme ordeal) when she realizes that the other mother is powerful and could possibly keep her in that other world forever. Instead, she “Seizes the Sword” by being determined to collect all of the marbles and find her parents so that she can be on her road back to what was once her “ordinary world”. She has been transformed by her experience and no longer views her boring ordinary world as a place she wants to leave.

    2. Chihiro and Coraline go through many of the same stages in their journey. Like Coraline, Chihiro starts in an “Ordinary World” and is hesitant to enter the other world when her parents do. It is slightly different that Chihiro’s parents were the ones that led her into the other world and cause her “call to adventure”. Once in the other world, Chihiro meets her mentor- the boy, who helps her throughout the story. Throughout the movie she is met with “tests, allies, and enemies” as she strives for a way to restore her parents to their natural form (not the pigs they are currently). This aspect of missing parents is once that is a similar quest for both Chihiro and Coraline. Chihiro goes through the “ordeal” of washing the trash monster and is able to make her way back to her ordinary world.

    3. The book and characters that came to mind when reading about Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, by, C.S. Lewis. It has been quite awhile since I have read this story, but the characters that pass through the wardrobe leave their “ordinary world” and enter the world on the other side. In this world they are confronted with friendly half man/half donkey who serves as their mentor. They are also confronted with tests from the witch who wants to kill them, such as tasty Turkish delight candies. However, in the end, after many ordeals, they make it back through the other side of the wardrobe to what was once their “ordinary world”
    Another story that came to mind when reading about the hero’s journey was George Pullman’s The Golden Compass. Once again, it has been quite some time since I read this novel. However, I believe the main heroine in the story follows the journey of a hero quite closely in her quest to find out who her mother and father are, and what they are doing to the children and their deamons in the other world.

  8. 1. Coraline begins by giving the audience a glimpse of Coraline's "ordinary world". We experience the reality of and the girl's disappointment with her environment, neighbors, and parents. I think there may be two different "calls to adventure". First, the family's recent move into an alienating home full of kooky old folks that call her by a different name - Caroline - were Coraline's "call to adventure". I do not think there is a "refusal of the call" stage in this part of the story. Coraline "crosses the threshold" into the other world without hesitating, and experiences the new world without fear. Unlike Joseph Campbell's guide to the hero's journey, Coraline attempts to return to the real world but is forced to go back to the other world when she realizes that her real parents have been kidnapped. This realization that her parents needed to be rescued may be the second "call to adventure". Coraline does at first "refuse the call" out of fear before embracing her anxiety: "...when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave". Coraline takes charge of the situation by proposing a game/test of finding the souls of the three children and that of her parents, in exchange for their freedom if she wins or, effectively, her enslavement if she loses. Her enemies are other versions of her dad and the tenants. Her mentor, the talking cat, is her principle ally during the test. I feel like the "supreme ordeal" is her final encounter with the other mother, in which she seems to have failed the final challenge. Coraline must confront the other mother with bravery and cleverness to prove victorious in this final meeting. Coraline "seizes the reward" of her parents' souls - a snowglobe. "The road back" is indeed a challenge. What was once a short walk through a corridor has become an unbelievably long, uphill climb. The girl falls asleep in the real world and must awake - a sort of "resurrection" - before we see the fruits of her labor. The real world is restored to its regular routine, but Coraline's "return with the elixir" enables her to see the soul of her imperfect parents and the possibilities of regular life.
    2. Both the animated movie Spirited Away and the graphic novel Coraline explore the coming-of-age experiences of pre-teen girls. In reflection, I can identify many connections between Chihiro's journey and that of Coraline. The stories are set during periods of transition and in places that are devoid of peers. For various reasons, both girls are disappointed by their parents behaviors. At the outset of their journeys, the moms and dads are transformed into real monsters and the main object of the girls' efforts is essentially to rescue their parents. During their journeys, each girl develops friendships with helpful "outsiders," and the principle partners are non-human: a river and a cat. Chihiro's and Coraline's obstacles lead them to embrace their in-born gifts (name and explorer nature) and, thus, develop a sense of self. Upon returning from their journeys, both girls do not reveal what they experienced or the changes they underwent. Two main changes do occur. First, real-life challenges are no longer a cause for anxiety - both girls are prepared for the new life that awaits them. Second, Chihiro's and Coraline's relationships with their parents seems to have matured. Since the girls developed a stronger sense of self and independence, they no longer have unrealistic expectations of their ultra-human families.
    3. Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey makes me think of Simba from the Lion King, for a few principle reasons. The audience is given a good view of what the good life is like for him, living with Pumba and Timon, and Simba clearly has "call to adventure," "refusal of the call," and "meeting with the mentor" moments.

  9. 1. I think the bigger picture Joseph Campbell is trying to convey is that we are a world made up of story-tellers. Every culture from the earliest of times has told stories either through an oral tradition, through pictures, and later through print. Although all these stories are supposedly specific to one’s culture, Campbell proves that they are all woven with the same thread. He highlights how all stories have distinct similarities like the Hero’s Journey. Most importantly, I think his lesson is that all readers want stories they can connect with and identify with; therefore, having a familiar story structure is what feeds our love of stories. We identify with it because we know how the story goes. The characteristics of a good story are deep rooted within our beings. For example, how many 3 or 4 year olds do you know that cannot read but will start a story, “Once upon a time”?
    True to the form of a Hero’s Journey, we are introduced to Coraline in her ordinary world. We see how bored she is in her new home, we witness her interactions with her parents and her neighbors, and we feel her discontent with her initial situation. When looking at the hero’s ordinary life, I believe analyzing their interactions with the people around them is the most telling; this is especially true in Coraline. Coraline is initially frustrated with her surroundings, but it is further illustrated in her interactions with her mother, father, and neighbors. We really see how upset and bored she becomes through these conversations and images of Coraline’s reactions. Coraline stumbles upon the mysterious door when the rat runs across the floor. She is slightly curious but dismisses it; this “refusal of the call” is played out because she is presented the opportunity and initially overlooks it. After her refusal, Coraline continues outside to explore the property; it is here that she meets the black cat, her mentor. After crossing the threshold into her parallel world, Coraline is faced with many tests. From trying to decipher what the black cat’s intent is when he speaks, to meeting the children spirits, to trying to find their spirits, and dealing with the other mother’s unfair games. Coraline’s road back to the ordinary world was one of the best parts of the graphic novel because as much as I wanted to believe she was home free I knew, because of my knowledge of story structure, that one more thing had to stand in her way. She uses her new found courage and wisdom to outsmart her other mother’s hand (which is so creepy!) Finally, Coraline is home in her ordinary world, but after her journey she is transformed and sees it with new eyes. She is no longer bored and sad, instead she is appreciative of the life she has, and happier now that she came to this realization.
    In one of the blogs Campbell had written “the old skin has to be shed before the new one can come” and this quote really speaks to the heart of Coraline. Coraline needed to overcome her original ideas about what love was, and what good food, good clothes, and good toys were before she could change. She is originally so entranced by the fancy things her other family has for her, but as she sheds her old skin and realizes those things do not matter, she becomes a new person—one transformed by this experience.

  10. 2. On a personal level, I enjoyed that both hero’s were young girls. It is so important that female students are able to see themselves in literature, and both Chihiro’s journey and Coraline allow for that opportunity. The girls both go through Campbell’s cycle of the hero’s journey, but another connection was the idea that both young girls had to grow up and take responsibility to save their parents. They both had to overcome their fears in order to save the people they loved. Again, I love the female hero’s in both stories because instead of being seen as the damsel in distress, both Chihiro and Coraline were the active character; they were the hero’s, and that is a great image for young girls to see. Both girls also proved how intelligent they are, another great image for young girls. Chihiro shows her intelligence because she is aware of the Master’s trick and knows that none of the pigs presented were her parents. Coraline shows her intelligence by outsmarting the hand; she laid the blanket over the well as a trick proving she was smarter. In the end, both girls saved their parents, overcame all the obstacles presented to them, and gained a new perspective on the lives they led.

    3. One book that comes to mind when I think about the Hero’s Journey is Laurie Halse Anderson’s young adult novel, Chains. Our hero is a young black slave named Isabel who, after some very unfortunate circumstances, is sent to New York City to live with the horrible Mrs. Lockton. Set during the American Revolution, Isabel meets another young slave named Curzon, who convinces her that in order to gain freedom she must spy on her Loyalist master. This is Isabel’s call to action. Originally she refuses the call because she does not care about the war; she only wants freedom for her and her young sister. When Mrs. Lockton sells Isabel’s sister, Ruth, Isobel decides to cross the threshold and enter the political world where she will become a pawn in the games between the Loyalists and the Patriots. Isobel does not enter a parallel world like in Coraline; instead she enters a different realm of her ordinary world. In Isabel’s world she is a slave, but after crossing the threshold she becomes a spy for the Patriots. Curzon and Mrs. Lockton’s mother-in-law become Isabel’s mentors because they help her along various parts of her journey. The mother-in-law even girls Isabel that final push to seek freedom and run away. Isabel is faced with many tests throughout the journey; she is publically branded for running away, she is badly beaten by Mrs. Lockton, she breaks the law by sneaking information and food to the prisoners, and Mrs. Lockton locks Isabel in a potato box to punish her for her actions. In the end, Isabel overcomes all the obstacles and frees herself and Curzon. She discovers where her sister is and she is hopeful about their future. Isabel is a perfect example of Campbell’s hero’s journey because encounters many of the obstacles he presents, and she overcomes them through her own effort.

  11. #1) After read through the blog, I found out so many connections between Coraline and Joseph Campbell’s journey. As I read, Coraline was introduced in an ORDINARY WORLD, her new house, which made her felt bored when she stayed at her new world. This new world also brought CALL TO ADVENTURE when her curiosity led her to another home where everything looked exactly the same except for the other mother and the other father. Coraline, at first, felt excited when she saw there is another home. She is RELUCTANT to PASS THE FIRST THRESHOLD, which is her another home. After she went back to her original home from the other world, she still kept thinking about the other world. Finally, she found out her parents were gone and didn’t come back home for several days. She decided to explore the other world again. Coraline realized so many things that she would never stay with the other parents (TESTS, ALLIES, and ENEMIES). When she made a deal with the evil mother in order to save her real parents (SUPREME ORDEAL), she also save the children’s souls (SEIZES THE SWORD) after she found their souls and tried to find the ROAD BACK to her real world. The hero, Coraline, is eventually RESURRECTED and RETURNS her ordinary world while she found out that she loved her parents and the world she lived (ELIXIR).

    #2 Both Chihiro and Coraline shares so many similarities by following Campbell’s journey. First, both of Chihiro and Coraline moved to a new place with their parents and also worried about their new lives. And then, they also explored to a new world that they have not seen before. For them, they also shared the same mission that they needed to complete one task in order to save their parents. During completing this mission, both Chihiro and Coraline got help from others. Finally, they saved their parents and got back to their original world they belonged with. For both of Chihiro and Coraline, they also realized how much they love their parents eventually.

    #3 The character that comes into my mind is the main character of Howl’s Moving Castle, Sophie. She was cursed to become a ninety-year-old lady. In order to get back to her own world, she worked in the moving castle and cleaned the castle. Sophie was asked to become Howl’s mother to his teacher because his teacher is going to take away Howl’s ability of mimicking. After Sophie negotiated with Howl’s teacher, she got back to her own original outlook.

  12. 1. After reading Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey I can relate all 12 stages of the Hero Journey to Coraline. When Coraline moves to her new house with her parents this is the stage where the hero is introduced in her ORDINARY WORLD. The second stage, the CALL TO ADVENTURE, is shown when Coraline is lead to a door that leads to nowhere by the neighbor's rats. This door leads to a parallel world where Coraline meets her "other" parents. But Coraline is reluctant at first (REFUSAL OF THE CALL) to stay in the house and interact with her "other" mother so Coraline goes outside to explore the surroundings of the house. Coraline MET WITH THE MENTOR when she interacts with the black cat. The cat gives Coraline advice throughout her adventure to help her navigate in the other world. Coraline CROSSES THE THRESHOLD when she realizes her parents are gone and she needs to be in the other world to free them. Coraline encounters a TEST when she meets the spirits of the three children in the closet and sets out to find their souls. The main ENEMIES to Coraline is her "other" mother who has her parents. The rats are also ENEMIES to Coraline because they try to trick her. Coraline made ALLIES with the three children's spirits as they wanted to be freed but also to help her. Coraline APPROACHES THE INTERMOST CAVE when she goes to the basement and finds her other father. Coraline endures her supreme ORDEAL when she confronts her other mother. Coraline SEIZES THE REWARD when she saves her parents and frees the souls of the 3 children. On THE ROAD BACK Coraline is chased by her other mother. Coraline is RESURRECTED and transformed by this experience and acts differently towards her parents. Coraline RETURNS WITH AN ELIXIR which is a new found love and appreciation for her real parents and home.

    2. I can make many connections between Chihirio's and Coraline's journeys using stages of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. Both start out with the girls being introduced in the ordinary world where they both have moved or are moving to a new house. Both girls are pulled into another alternate world in order to save their parents who have been captured by a woman. Both girls are offered challenges or games by the women in order to free their parents. In the end both girls win their games/challenges which results in them being freed and allowed back into the real world where they have new appreciation for their life. Along the way both girls meet mentors who help and guide them through their journey. Chihiro met Haku while Coraline meets the black cat. At the climax both girls had to fight monsters inorder to move on and save their parents.

    3. A character who comes to mind when I consider Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey is Alice in Wonderland. The story is introduced in Alice's ordinary world where she is called to adventure when she follows the rabbit down the rabbit hole into another world. Alice has to overcome test characters set out for her to do. Alice meets many allies.Alice has a mentor in the Cheshire Cat. In the end Alice realizes how lucky she is to be in her real world. I think Alice comes to mind for me because like Chihirio and Coraline Alice goes into another world. Her story and adventure is similar to theirs.

  13. #2. They have very similar stages considering Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. They have similar Stage 1 Ordinary World that they both newly moved into a new place and have little communication between their parents. They both seems dependent, a little caprice, and complain a lot at the beginning of the story. Then they experienced Stage 2 Call to Adventure, into a mysterious and unknown place—the locked door for Coraline and the gate to the Bath House for Chihiro. For the next stage they also experienced the Refusal of the Call: Chihiro seemed very reluctant to go into the gate. For stage 4 Meeting with the Mentor (Haku, Kamajii and Ling), Chihiro experienced it after stage 5 Crossing the First Threshold. In Stage 6, Chihiro experienced the test from Yubaba to rescue her parents to the real world, which is very similar compare to Coraline’s saving her parents from the snow swirl. She also have her Allies: Haku, Kamajii and Ling, and Enemy: Yubaba, who imprisoned her parents and deprived her name. As Chihiro becomes more independent and did well in her job, Stage 7 Approach to the Inmost Cave and Stage 8 Ordeal came when she found Haku was severely injured and decided to save him as well as her parents. After this she got her Reward (Stage 9) the love from Haku and their lost memory and name. For Stage 11 Resurrection, Chihiro distinguished the pigs to find out her parents. At last, she Return with the Elixir (Stage 12) of being confident, independent, and responsible with courage, which is also what Coraline gained at the end of the story.

    #3. There are a lot of characters came into my mind when I finished reading Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey: Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Ring, Sam Witwickey from Transformers, Jason Williams from The Forbidden Kingdom, and Makoto From The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, etc. It’s interesting to find out that they have a lot in common from the perspective of Hero’s Journey. All of them were in the ordinary world in the beginning of the story. And somehow, they feel the call of the Adventure and went into a brand new unknown world: the magic world for Harry, the journey of the ring for Frodo, the history and stories of Transformers for Sam, the ancient Chinese society for Jason, and the ability to leap through time for Makoto. They all have there own mentors: Dumbledore for Harry, Gandalf for Frodo, Optimus Prime for Sam, Mankey King and Sha Monk for Jason, and Auntie Witch for Makoto. They all faced very severe challenges and tests, and they all have their enemies in destiny. Consequently they will defeat their enemies and return to the real world with the Elixir: psychological strength for most of them.

  14. 1. I think there are many connections between Coraline and Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. At the beginning of Coraline’s story, she introduces her world as ordinary and boring; She also has “ Call to adventure” stage when her curiosity leads her to open that mystery door. Then, Caroline was unwilling to continue the adventure because of her fears toward her other mother “refuses the call”. After getting back in her real world, Caroline realized that her parents are in dangerous and the ensnared inside a mirror which is the other world, she realized that her parents need her help and she has to help them, she gets help from the black cat “mentor”. She decides to go back and recues her parents “Crosses the first threshold.” As soon as Caroilne start her mission over she finds some of what she thought are her friends become her enemies, such as rats “Tests Allies and Enemies”. Her biggest challenge is to find three children spirits to rescues her parents “The Hero Encounters Tests and Helpers”. Caroline “Seizes the Sword” when saves her parents. Then, She opened the door back home “ The Road Back”. Finally, Coraline goes back to her regular life but with different perspective on her live “Return with the elixir”.

    2. There are many connections between Coraline and Chihiro’s journey. Both are girls and they have a motivation and passion to explore the world. Both girls are finding themselves in a different world to help their parents. Also both girls find their mentors who help them to rescue their parents.

    3. A character that comes to my mind when I consider Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey is Shrik. His challenge comes when he wants to rescue Fiona of being a wife for someone else. In order to rescue his love, Shirk faced the adventure along with his donkey “mentor”.

  15. Question # 1

    When comparing Coraline to Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, there are many intersections and connections. Coraline’s journey fits the Hero Journey precisely with exception to the call to adventure.

    In Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, she is introduced in her ordinary world. The author paints a vivid picture of how Coraline’s reality doesn’t not fit her adventurous and exploitative personality.

    It doesn’t seem that Coraline refuses her call to adventure. She seems to actually take charge of the call and pursue it. She discovers the mysterious door, she inquires her mother about it, and she questions the brick wall and what lies behind it.

    The only refusal would be her refusal to trade her old life and parents for a new life and parents. Even this refusal is an acceptance of a call to fight “another mother for her regular life and parents back”

    I found it funny that her meeting with a mentor was a meeting with a cat that could only speak in one realm. The cat was a great encouragement to her and showed her that she had more guts that she ever thought. The cat also challenged her with his slightly indifferent personality. He seems to act as if he didn't care about her but yet still gave her "wisdom" and knowledge to get through the ordeal. The old man and ladies also give their "wisdom" to Coraline before she embarks on her second encounter with the other realm.

    Coraline crosses the threshold to find a similar yet different life. She soon comes to find how her hope for a more adventurous life may have been misguided and realizes this new life and "another parents" aren't so great.

    Coarline also crosses thresholds in her personality. I think that through the story her personality is relatively the same, she is crossing thresholds to higher levels of her personality traits. For example, Coraline shows traits of a determined spirit but its pushed to the next level when she challenges “another mother” to get her parents back.

    The story of Coraline doesn’t exist without enemies, allies and tests. The surprising thing about this part is that once enemies become allies. For example, the “another Father” seems to be just like “another mother “ trying to control her and get her leave her life but he gets into trouble with another mother because of telling her too much. He even turns out to be controlled by “another mother” instead of a partner in crime.

    Coarline approaches, like other stages in the hero’s journey, many innermost caves. She is thrown in a dark room when her “another mother” punishes her. She calls the police about her parents and realized that she is the only one that can save her life. No one else knows about this other realm except for the cat but She ultimately goes insider herself and finds the strength she always had do fight and challenge “the control”.
    Her supreme ordeal was discovering all of the souls and placement of her parents then finally fighting to get them back and leave “the another life”,

    Her ultimate reward is gaining he family and old life back. She is resurrected in the final battle with the hand of “another mother”. In this battle Coraline uses that inner confidence and power that she used in the first battle to complete extinguish the “another life”. She returns with her family life in tact, and peace about the souls being free.

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  17. Question #2

    After reading Coraline I could think of nothing but the connections between this book and the movie spirited away.

    Similarities that I found

    -The main characters where both female
    -They both come from three person family, father, mother, daughter
    - Their names start with the letter C and funny enough so does courage which these two character’s display through their stories
    - They were in a big struggle to regain their old lives back and save their parents.
    - They start out showing small signs of personality triats such as determination, courage and cowardness, and persistence that get hightened or pushed to the next level as their stories progress
    -They both enter into a different world or realm
    -They both have to enter into contracts in order to gain their desired reward
    -Both face a test that must be passed
    -They also have surprising allies that reader/watchers may not expect
    - There is a predictable nature of their stories, such as reader/watchers know at the end the main characters will triumph.
    -Also both characters go through a sense of loss of self and struggle to regain themselves back.
    -The hero’s journey is quite consistent in the book Coraline and movie Spirited away

    Differences that I see

    -Coarline is quite the explorer and adventure taker from the beginning of the book.

    -While in the beginning of the movie, Chihiro is not much of an explorer. She was more secure in her ordinary life and wanted it to stay that way.

    - Coraline was the one who seem to be foolish from the beginning of the book. She was going into doors that she should have been left alone.

    -Chihiro was quite wise and the voice of reason from the beginning and it was her parents that were the foolish ones.

    -In the book “the villain” didn’t up hold her end of the promise rather tried to deny Coraline’s rightful earnings.

    -In the move the villain was quite the opposite, she gave the test but reluctantly kept her word once Chihiro passed the test.

    Question #3

    I am an avid movie and tv watcher, not big on the books. So when I was reading the blog about the hero’s journey I pretty much can place any movie I’ve seen or show I’ve watched in this journey.

    The one that I thought about was the movie “The backup plan” with Jennifer Lopez as the main character. As I read the blog I saw her Heroic journey unfolding.

    I think this came to mind so quickly because it was one of the most recent movies I’ve seen.

    Also, I think the journey of character is simple and easy to fit into this mold. The movie wasn’t so complex that I had think of how the hero’s journey revealed itself.

  18. I want to premise this that I haven't read anyone else's blog entries yet for this question. I feel like there'll be a lot of cross- over and I don't want to unintentionally use any same ideas- so here's hoping mine is different. :)

    1) In Coraline I found the following that match with the stages.
    1)Introduction- We meet Coraline moving to her new home and realize she is bored.
    2.)Call to Adventure- There is a strange door in the home and she goes through it to see whats out there. Her boredom prods her
    3.)Call Refusal- I guess the best reflection of this is when she doesn't want to sew buttons on her eyes and she returns to her home. Then she gets a better call to adventure as she realizes her parents are gone for good. She sees them in the mirror and knows she must save them.
    4.)Mentor Meeting- She meets the cat in the other world and realizes she knows him from her true home. He also comes to her in the nigth at her home and guides her to the mirror. He nonverbally shows her the path. Once there she relives a story about her father helping her and it helps her to find her courage.
    5.)Threshold- She decided to formally cross into the other world to save her family.
    6.)Tests, Allies, Enemies- Her allies in the other world are the man and his rats,(Mr. Bobo) the two elderly neighbor women, (Miss Spink and miss Forcible)and of course the cat. One enemy- her fake father turns out to not be one in the end. Her enemy is the fake mother. She faces tests such as searching for her parents in the world and bartering with the evil mother. She gets locked in a closet with the ghostly souls of the other children taken by the evil mom. She seeks out their souls.
    7.)Innermost Cave- This is when the evil mother begins to alter the fake world to make it more dangerous. Furniture disappears and the world is foggy outside with no clear edges. The drawings become scrawly.
    8.) Supreme Ordeal- She figures out where her parents must be but knows that her evil mom will stop her anyway and go back on her deal. She must also save the cat. She also needs the key to get back through the door. The souls escape and she makes it through the door and must go through the horrible darkness again.
    9.)Seizing of the Sword- The sword here must be the key which is her gateway back to her world, as well as the snow globe holding her family. :)
    10.)Road Back- You think she is safe but instead she has dreams of the children she saves. They warn her of the evil woman's trickiness and she begins to hear the woman's hand around the house. The lady wants the key that Coraline has to go back to the world and let herself through. Coraline sets up a trap with the well by her house and destroys the hand.
    11.)Resurrection- Coraline walks back to her house from the well with the knowledge that she has won and the world is light and positive again.
    12.)Elixir Return- What Coraline has is a stone that protected her and guided her which she returns to the old women. She also has saved the souls of the children whom she often dreams of. Finally, you see she has confidence she didn't have before as she talks to the neighbors in a new way. She even corrects them on her name showing she has a good sense of identity and her place.

    2)I read Coraline quite a while ago and so when we watched "Spirited Away," I immediately saw the connections to Coraline. I think I even mentioned this to you Christine. :) The obvious one is that they're both moving to a new home, and then Coraline and Chihoro are both very motivated to save their parents. While Coraline does it from guilt since its her fault, and Chihoro does it simply because she needs them, they both cannot complete the journey without saving them.

  19. Post # 2.

    Another connection I saw is that each little girl learns a valuable lesson of appreciating what they have and learning independence. Coraline is a complainer who wishes for different clothing, someone better to play with and an adventure. Chihoro is afraid to be alone from her parents and doesn't know how to handle an adventure at all. When left to their own devices, each girl must use their own wits. Chihoro even had to do backbreaking work and each girl had to be creative to get out.
    In each story they had all the things on Campbell's hereo's journey, such as a completely different world they entered, and mentors. Coraline had a cat as a friend, whereas Chihoro ended up with the the witch's baby and the lady who trained her to do her job. Each girl had a breaking point where they didn't think they could do it, but were prodded along by fear and a mentor. Coraline had a less strong one in her neighbor man or perhaps in the cat, whereas Chihoro had a much stronger one with the little boy who could turn into a dragon and ended up being the river. A big difference I see though is that Coraline seemed more motivated for herself, with the gioal of rescuing her parents partly because she was lonely, hungry, and scared without them. Chihoro seemed to be a reasonable girl who felt that her parents were foolish and just needed rescuing.

  20. post #3.

    3)The character I connect with this hero journey is Harry Potter. It's probably because the movie just came out and it's on my mind- but he seems to fit very well in this sequence. Whether you examine each novel individually or go over all 7 books as one large story, it both fits into the hero's journey. He begins his life with his aunt and uncle where he doesn't fit into the ordinary world. From there he actually skips around a bit as he moves into the different world (step 5). Of course it can be postulated that later he enters the world fully as he realizes its true darkness from Voldemort and he has to navigate alone for the first time in book 3. His call to adventure is that Voldemort seeks to kill him and he has the need for revenge for his parents. He of course later realizes he has the ability to save the world. In each book, he has small calls to adventure, such as protecting the sorceror's stone, getting the mysterious ball from the ministry of magic, or finding horcuxes to kill off Voldemort for good. Of course he has reluctancies along the way whether its due to an interest in having a normal life complete with girlfriend Ginny, or merely in not causing more trouble for himself or his friends. At other times, he is merely afraid for his life. However his Gryfindor courage usually overcomes this and he is guided by many mentors along the way. His main mentor is Dumbledore. His obvious helpers during step 6 are Hermoine and Ron, but of course there are many others as she divided the whole story into so many books. In each story we can identify individuals, like Professor Lupin in book 3. His tests occur in each story to prepare him for later. He makes it through the tri-wizarding competition, he rescues the sorceror's stone, he saves Ginny from the memory of Voldemort, and of course, in the latest installments, he faces death of those closest to him and has to go things alone. There are mentally exhausting riddles as well.He approaches the innermost cave in book 7 as he goes off to Hogwarts to fight a massive battle and face Voldemort for what we hope will be the final time. His supreme ordeal is submitting to death and allowing himself to be killed by Voldemort's hand, thus destroying the final horcrux that he knows is within him.When we realize he is not dead it is rewarding and he is able to come back to life and destroy the evil villain. The reward is a wand that is more powerful than any other, as well as the knowledge that the world is finally safe. The road back is simply rounding up all of Voldemort's followers who might avenge his death, and to create safe world for everyone. He never really RETURNS per say to his muggle world, but the darkness of the wizarding world is left behind. His elixir is that he still has the invisible cape, and he can finally be with his love Ginny to start a life. He has learned who he is and come to terms with the death of all those closest to him. This included Dumbledore who he comes to doubt a great deal in book 7. This was another test he had to pass. Harry Potter fits very well into the Hero's Journey. :)

  21. Question # 1

    1.) I found several connections to the stages in Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey to the graphic novel Coraline. Coraline’s ‘Ordinary World’ world is the new house that her family had just moved into. She finds herself feeling very bored at her new home, and wants to explore. Her ‘Call to Adventure’ takes place when the black rats lead her to a secret door that originally was only a brick wall. She meets her mentor, a black cat, upon going through the mysterious door. Coraline eventually ‘Crosses the First Threshold’ when she goes through the strange door, and enters into a bizarre and eerie world. In this world she encounters enemies (the other mother), allies (the cat, the spirits of the children), as well as supposed allies that end up being enemies (the rats, the thing in the basement, the other father). Coraline quickly comes to realize that the other mother has done something with her parents, and that she must find a way to get them back. Coraline decides to play an exploring game with the other mother, where she will search for her parents. She makes a deal with the other mother that if she loses the deal then she will stay with her forever, and let her sew buttons into her eyes, but if the other mother loses Coraline makes her promise that she will let all of the trapped souls, and her parents go. The ‘Supreme Ordeal’ takes place when Coraline wins the game, and she and the black cat confront the other mother. Coraline ‘Seizes the Sword’ when she grabs her parents in the crystal ball, and begins her escape through the door back into the normal world. During ‘The Road Back’ Coraline encounters howling wind, and a live wet fur that were trying to keep her from escaping. However, she does make it back to her ordinary world. She is reunited with her parents, and she frees the 3 spirits that were trapped by the other mother. After her journey Coraline comes to the realization that although her world, and her parents may seem boring, she never wants to live in any other world, with any other parents.

  22. Question #2
    2.) The graphic novel Coraline, as well as the animated movie Spirited Away have several intersections in their plots. For example, both sets of parents in the book and in the movie do not seem to care about their daughters. The parents appear to be very selfish, and cannot be bothered by anything their daughters say or do. This causes both Chihiro, and Coraline to become bored, and do some exploring of their own. As both girls explore they encounter strange, new worlds, meet enemies and allies, and go through long journeys in order to save their parents, and other spirits. They were both thankful to their allies, and were not scared off by their intimidating enemies. Chihiro, and Coraline were brave, and persistent in their quests and ultimately prevailed at the end. They were both very excited to be reunited with their parents at their journeys, and learned that they should be happy with where they are, and what they have because it could be A LOT worse!

  23. Question #3
    3.) I was unfamiliar with Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey before reading this blog post, and I find it fascinating that almost every movie and book I can think of has a character that goes through this Journey. One movie and character that popped into my head was Marlin from Finding Nemo. Marlin is Nemo’s dad, and enjoys their quaint, quiet life in the Great Barrier Reef (The Ordinary World). One his first day of school Nemo ends up being scooped up by a scuba diver right in front of Marlin’s eyes. Marlin knew that he had to find his son. (The Call to Adventure). Throughout his journey to Sydney, Australia Marlin meets allies (Dory, Crush & Squirt), as well as enemies (Bruce, Anchor, & Chum). He has to go through a series of tests including swimming through a sea of jelly fish, finding his way through the EAC (East Australian Current), and even almost being eaten by a group of 3 sharks. At one point in the movie Marlin & Dory actually get eaten by a blue whale (Inmost Cave) and have to figure out a way to get out of the whale in order to save Nemo. They risk their lives by allowing themselves to be blown out of the whales’ blowhole. (Supreme Ordeal) However, they get out safely. At the end of the movie Marlin finally finds his son, and they reunite in Sydney Australia. (Reward) Soon after the father and son reunite, Dory accidentally gets stuck in a fishnet (The Road Back). Luckily she escapes by swimming downward, and after a long journey, the three fish head back to the Great Barrier Reef. (Return with the Elixir)

  24. 1. Consider your reading of Coraline in relation to Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. In what ways do you see intersections and/or connections to some of the stages of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey?
    Coraline's adventure was natural. I was able to understand her journey. Coraline's journey was not out of the ordinary. It is almost cultural in the way I understood her struggle. There was always a sense of peace inside of her despite her adversity. As the reader I was always cheering for her. I always wanted the best for Coraline throughout her journey. The story of Coraline is full of emotion. Emotions that I felt. That is why I believe her story is so natural. There was nothing foreign to the what she encountered and the manner in which she approached her challenge. Campbell write's about the psychological approach the author takes in the creation of all hero stories. I believe we, the readers, envision ourselves as heroes. It is natural for us to empathize with the hero and hope for a positive outcome. Coraline is a brave young girl. She exemplified what teachers are with her bravery and confidence. Praise God!

    2. Consider our viewing of Chihiro's journey in the animated movie Spirited Away. What intersections and/or connections, if any, can you make to the graphic novel Coraline?
    Coraline and Chihiro are brave individuals. They trust in others and believe in their hearts. They both meant well and wanted what was right for them and society around them. They both made mistakes and found solutions. Finding solutions is not always easy. Finding solutions makes my heat cheer. Both Chihiro and Coraline were met with adversity and overcame it. The same goes for us in our own real worlds. Both stories are versions of what we sometimes deal with as well.

    3. Name one other character from a book, graphic novel, play or movie that comes to your mind when you consider Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey and briefly describe why this character comes to mind for you.
    Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz comes to mind. Campbell makes a note of her in his blog. I stopped and I wondered about that example. Sure enough, Campbell's insight paralleled that story as well. Dorothy found some allies along the way and returned home. Before returning home though she went through adversity. She too learned a lesson as a result of her journey. Campbell's criteria of a hero or mythical story reflect that of the Wizard of Oz 100%. I am also thinking of Denzel Washington in "Man on Fire". There are many examples that reflect Campbell's model. I am having faint thoughts of Wall-E. I think he also saved something. A hero always saves something from complete obliteration. We have everyday heros like teachers, doctors, policemen, firemen, fathers, and mothers. I always strive to be my daughter's hero! One day maybe she will write a story about me. Heros rock!

  25. 1. Consider your reading of Coraline in relation to Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. In what ways do you see intersections and/or connections to some of the stages of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey?
    Coraline's adventure was natural. I was able to understand her journey. Coraline's journey was not out of the ordinary. It is almost cultural in the way I understood her struggle. There was always a sense of peace inside of her despite her adversity. As the reader I was always cheering for her. I always wanted the best for Coraline throughout her journey. The story of Coraline is full of emotion. Emotions that I felt. That is why I believe her story is so natural. There was nothing foreign to the what she encountered and the manner in which she approached her challenge. Campbell write's about the psychological approach the author takes in the creation of all hero stories. I believe we, the readers, envision ourselves as heroes. It is natural for us to empathize with the hero and hope for a positive outcome. Coraline is a brave young girl. She exemplified what teachers are with her bravery and confidence. Praise God!

    2. Consider our viewing of Chihiro's journey in the animated movie Spirited Away. What intersections and/or connections, if any, can you make to the graphic novel Coraline?
    Coraline and Chihiro are brave individuals. They trust in others and believe in their hearts. They both meant well and wanted what was right for them and society around them. They both made mistakes and found solutions. Finding solutions is not always easy. Finding solutions makes my heat cheer. Both Chihiro and Coraline were met with adversity and overcame it. The same goes for us in our own real worlds. Both stories are versions of what we sometimes deal with as well.

    3. Name one other character from a book, graphic novel, play or movie that comes to your mind when you consider Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey and briefly describe why this character comes to mind for you.
    Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz comes to mind. Campbell makes a note of her in his blog. I stopped and I wondered about that example. Sure enough, Campbell's insight paralleled that story as well. Dorothy found some allies along the way and returned home. Before returning home though she went through adversity. She too learned a lesson as a result of her journey. Campbell's criteria of a hero or mythical story reflect that of the Wizard of Oz 100%. I am also thinking of Denzel Washington in "Man on Fire". There are many examples that reflect Campbell's model. I am having faint thoughts of Wall-E. I think he also saved something. A hero always saves something from complete obliteration. We have everyday heros like teachers, doctors, policemen, firemen, fathers, and mothers. I always strive to be my daughter's hero! One day maybe she will write a story about me. Heros rock!

  26. 1. There are many connections between Coraline and Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. In the beginning, Coraline exists in a drab world characterized by boredom, gloominess, and a sense of sadness. This correlates with Campbell’s description of the first stage – Ordinary World. The way that this Ordinary World is presented helps the reader create a stark contrast between Coraline’s boring, mundane life, and the life that she experiences beyond that brick wall behind the door. Living life in this mundane world leads Coraline to desire more, which is exhibited in her desire to explore her surroundings. It is in this exploration that she comes across the new threshold where she discovers the that behind the dorr lies the “other” world with the “other mother”. Once she discovers what lies behind this door, she refuses the call in fear and uncertainty of the reality of this other world and other mother. However, once she realizes that her parents are in trouble, she responds to the call and enters the new threshold. Her mentor is the black cat that talks to Coraline and serves as a guide and helper throughout her journey. In trying to help her parents and the trapped souls of the children in the other world, Coraline encounters different enemies, tests, and allies. Her enemy is primarily the other mother who throws at Coraline great challenges and obstacles to overcome. Her allies are the spirits of the children and the black cat. And the ultimate test is freeing her parents and the children’s souls while ocvercoming the many obstacles that the other mother throws at her. Ultimately overcoming the challenges, Coraline frees her parents and the souls and is able to cross over the threshold back into her ordinary world. It is now that she realizes that life is not so gloomy and boring, but in reality she has two parents whom she loves, and that with this love, her world is ‘ok’. This knowledge is Coraline’s “elixir”.

  27. 2. I was glad to have watched Spirited Away before reading Coraline because as I read the graphic novel, I was able to make many connections between Coraline and Chihiro. Both Coraline and Chihiro are young girls who are struggling to find the joy in their ordinary worlds. They are lonely girls whose parents have distanced themselves from the joy of their daughters. Both Chihiro and Coraline prove to overcome the mundane and rise to the challenge of helping their parents when they are in trouble. Both girls prove that they are stronger than they ever knew. The girls are brave and courageous as they battle different enemies and challenges in order to persevere and save their parents. Chihiro and Coraline are timeless examples of overcoming adversity and finding inner strength when it matters most, teaching us all life lessons!

  28. The character that comes to mind when reading about The Heroes Journey is Mulan. Like Coraline and Chihiro, Mulan is a girl growing up in an ordinary world where she is dissatisfied with her life. Ultimately she takes on the challenge to help her family and her country by posing as a boy to fulfill the duties of her family to help the Empire. With help from her mentor, the dragon Mishu and her allies that she finds along the way, a dog and a little cricket, Mulan finds her inner strength and encounters the challenges of another world - life in the Chinese Army. She proves her strength in "seizing the sword", which was defeating the Huns. When everyone finds out she is a women, she is dejected. However, is ressurected when, as a woman, she is able to save the Emperor and defeat an invasion of the Huns during the grand celebration. Her ultimate treasure is being accepted as who she is and finally bringing honor to her family's name.

  29. 1: I read the first blog and found it interesting that the blogger paralleled the myth structure of Joseph Campbell to the thinking of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. I don't know much about psychology, but after reading this blog about "The Hero With A Thousand Faces" and reflecting on "Spirited Away" and "Coraline" I recognized something: I was just as scared, captivated and intrigued by both "Coraline" and "Spirited Away" as if I had of been a little kid instead of a full grown adult. Both the movie and the book had me sitting on the edge of my seat, creeped out, and hoping the main characters would make it back to the real world safely. Maybe I just still have the imagination of a 10 year old, but clearly the blogger is correct in stating that these types of stories "are true models of the workings of the human mind, true maps of the psyche. They are psychologically valid and realistic even when they portray fantastic, impossible and unreal events."

    I think if you truly broke down every aspect of Coraline and looked at the story through the lens of Joseph Campbell you could probably create a connection to all 12 steps of The Hero's Journey. For the sake of time, I am going to focus on 4 of the steps/processes. The first process in Coraline that is clearly evident is the aspect of Coraline's normal world. Gaiman spends time creating the scene of the normal/ordinary world with characters like Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and Coraline's annoying but seemingly normal parents. A second correlation to the 12 step processs is when Corraline gets the call to adventure when she is woken from her sleep by a noise and a shadow that leads her to the secret door. Further along in the story she is confronted by tests from the "other mother" and forms allies with the cat and ghosts/spirits of the other children. At the end of the story she returns to the normal world with an elixir in the sense that has a newfound love for her parents, an increased confidence in herself and is not scared about school one bit.

    Please See Second Post For Continuation

  30. Continuation Of Previous Post:

    2: Chihiro and Coraline's journeys are very similar as are their characters. Both are pre-adolescent girls and both struggle with having rather bossy, easily annoyed, and somewhat detached parents. Both girls are about to start school and are concerned with the anxiety and newness of what starting school means. Both are confronted with the transformation of their parents into beast-like/scary creatures. (Chihiro's parents are transformed into gluttoneous pigs and Coraline's parents are transformed into button-eyed, soul-less, evil zombies) The girls are called upon to save their parents and must pass a series of tests in order for their parents to become normal again and for each of them to return to their normal world. The tests require that both girls must be courageous and overcome evil. Each girl forms an allie/friend along the way. Lastly, both Coraline and Chihiro return to the real world with a renewed sense of strength and a fearlessness of beginning school- school seems like a piece of cake for both characters after overcoming the challenges of the other world.

    3: So many characters come to mind when I think of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. I immediately thought of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy has to overcome so many challenges in order to return home and makes many alliances/enemies along the way. (the lion, the tinman, the scarecrow, the monkies, the witches, etc). She must overcome good and evil and must rely on her own courage and strength without her family. I also thought of the character, Marty, from "Back to The Future." He gets the call to action and goes on a journey into a different/other world. Once he arrives into this other world, he must pass a serious of tests in order for his parents to live a good life and in order for him to be returned to the normal world. While Marty and Dorthy are very different characters and caste in very different settings, both face similar challenges and follow many of the 12 steps that are part of Campbell's Hero's Journey.

  31. #1: Coraline experiences all stages of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journeys.
    In the beginning of the graphic novel, Coraline is introduced in her ordinary world with her normal parents and new home. Coraline is extremely bored and just wants to go out and play or go on adventures. Coraline winds up adventuring only to find a hidden door which is her call to adventure. Coraline enters this "new world" and is hesitant of the crazy "other mother", (Refusal of the call). However, she continues to explore and adventure off to the outside world. While outside Coraline comes in contact with her metor, The cat. The cat helps give clues and lead her to her parents. Coraline crosses the threshold when she soon realizes that she can't find her parents in this world and needs to find them. Coraline experiences tests, allies and enemies. The test is finding her parents, her allies are the children's spirits she came across and her biggest enemy is the other mother along with the rats. I think her approach to the inmost cave is when Coraline comes across the body (other father) in the basement because this eas a dangerous place that she is trying to retrieve a loved one and gets sucked in by the images of this new world. Coraline endures the supreme ordeal when she finally realizes that she may never find her parents so she makes the deal with the other mother, if she wins she she gets her parents and the other souls back and if she loses she has to stay with her forever and be her daughter. Coraline seizes the sword when she creates the trap and the hand goes down in the ground. She hasn't yet won her parents back, the other mother still proceeds to chase her on the road back until finally she arrives back home with her parents. The main connection I see is that Coraline was unhappy/ bored and on a search for a "better life" however, once she realized how much she missed her old life, she winds up being happy with the life she once had and doesn't care as much to adventure off anymore.

  32. #2
    Coraline and Chihiro have very similar adventures. The main difference I noticed was that Coraline wanted adventure and led herself into it and Chihiro was afraid of adventure and her parents led her into it. Other than that these stories had a lot in common. Both characters were young girls that were only children in their families. Both girls were on a search for their parents throughout the story. They both had people against them, making it harder for them to find their parents. Both girls had to face "fake" and unknown spirits/creatures in these different worlds. (Coraline-the children's spirits) (Chihiro- her parents as pigs, the bugs/spider things). Both girls met friends/allies to help them find their parents. In the end they both beat their enemies which in return brought them back to their normal parents/normal worlds.