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 Theme of Versions of Reality

The other world in Coraline is a strange version of that reality that Coraline knows well. It has the same people, the same house, and the same garden; but something's just not quite right. This world seems so much like reality precisely because it was custom made to be that way. Luckily, Coraline is pretty discerning: she knows that if something seems like reality, but just the best version of it, it's probably too good to be true. This knowledge allows her to see what a sham, or fake, the other world really is. But there's something more to think about: if the other world really exists, isn't a reality in itself? Is it the other mother's reality? Or reality for the three ghost children? What do you think?

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. If you could create a dream "other world," what would it include? If the other mother were to create a world for you, what would that be like? (We know, it's scary to think about.)
  2. Did Coraline find anything appealing about the other world, or did the entire place just weird her out?
  3. What part about the other world did you find enticing?
  4. If Coraline were in charge of creating her own dream world, how would it differ from the world the other mother made for her?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The other world was a reality of its own.

Coraline's other mother got lazy when she just created Coraline's house and didn't create the rest of the world.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...