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Coraline

Coraline

by Neil Gaiman

Family Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

"I don't want to play with you," she said. "I want to go home and be with my real parents. I want you to let them go. To let us all go."

The other mother shook her head, very slowly. "Sharper than a serpent's tooth," she said, "is a daughter's ingratitude." (6.80)

This scene is a weird (and creepy) parody of a typical argument between a mother and daughter. In Coraline's case, it's a fight between a daughter and her kidnapper/would-be mother. Yikes.

Quote #8

She said, "You know that I love you."

And, despite herself, Coraline nodded. It was true: the other mother loved her. But she loved Coraline as a miser loves money, or a dragon loves its gold. (9.7-8)

Coraline's realization and insight here are really powerful. The other mother does really love Coraline, but in a twisted way. How is this kind of love different than familial love?

Quote #9

Then she hugged her mother so tightly that her arms began to ache. Her mother hugged Coraline back. (12.5)

The detail about Coraline's arms aching emphasizes how relieved she is to see her mother. This is much more striking than simply saying "she was happy to see her."

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