From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Neil Gaiman

Coraline Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"No," said Coraline quietly, "I asked you not to call me Caroline. It's Coraline." (1.7)

The fact that everyone gets Coraline's name wrong works as a powerful motif, or repeating theme, throughout the novel. Coraline's tone of voice here emphasizes just how fed-up she is with it. A name can really mean a lot to a person – just think about how many people change their names (especially those A-list celebs!).

Quote #2

"No," said Coraline. "I don't want to do those things. I want to explore." (1.23)

If you asked Coraline what she was, she might answer that she's an explorer. We'd agree. Exploring is central to her identity – if we took that away from her, she wouldn't be the same person.

Quote #3

A woman stood in the kitchen with her back to Coraline. She looked a little like Coraline's mother. Only... (3.44)

We love the way Gaiman trails off here with "Only...," emphasizing how subtly different the other mother is. Can someone's identity be qualified with an "only"? What do you think?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...