* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Coraline

Coraline

by Neil Gaiman

Coraline Chapter 3 Summary

  • Coraline and her mom go shopping for back-to-school clothes and supplies the next day while her dad heads off to spend the day in London on business.
  • Coraline really wants her mom to buy her some green gloves, but her mom ignores her and only buys her school uniform clothes, which are all gray and navy. Ick.
  • When they get home, Coraline asks what's in the empty apartment next door, but her mom doesn't know.
  • Coraline's mom goes to the grocery store to get some food, but Coraline stays behind. Probably a bad call because, surprise surprise, she gets pretty bored.
  • Finally, Coraline manages to get her mom's house keys and goes into the drawing room, where her family keeps their fancy old furniture.
  • Once she's there, she uses the big black key to unlock the door. You know the one.
  • But this time, the bricks behind the door are gone. Instead, there's a dark hallway. Strange. Actually, incredibly strange.
  • We might have run away, but Coraline goes down the hallway, curious as ever.
  • When she gets out of the hallway on the other end, she realizes she's still in her own house. The room is the same as the one she just left. How did that happen?
  • But wait: there's a picture on the wall that's a little different.
  • Coraline hears a familiar voice from the kitchen: it sounds like her mom.
  • Wait, not so fast. In the kitchen, there's a woman who looks like her mom, but she's taller and thinner and definitely paler.
  • Oh, and she has big black buttons for eyes. So there's that.
  • Once again, instead of running in the other direction, Coraline asks who she is. Her response? She's Coraline's "other mother." Hmmm.
  • Apparently Coraline is cool with this, so she goes out to get her other father for lunch.
  • Her other mother tells her that they've been waiting for her; now they can be a family. Sweet enough, we guess.
  • She then serves Coraline a delicious lunch that's practically a feast. Still not complaining.
  • After lunch, the other mother tells Coraline to go play in her room with the rats. Huh?
  • She goes, and sees that her other room is painted pink and green and has all sorts of weird, magical toys in it.
  • There are also some rats under the bed. Gross.
  • The rats put on a little show and sing a weird song like the one Coraline heard in her dream the night before. This is getting spooky...
  • Next up: the other version of the weird old man stops by to collect his rats. They all crawl on him and he goes home to feed them their dinner.
  • Thankfully, Coraline says no when he invites her to come with him. First good decision she's made, we think.
  • Instead, Coraline goes outside to explore, and her other parents stand by the door and wave her goodbye.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement