Post #4: Dramatistic Perspective of Coraline (2009)

Brief Overview of the Rhetorical Situation
Coraline and her family move from Michigan to Oregon. As her parents struggle to complete their gardening catalog, Coraline is often left alone because they put their work above her. Their new home, Pink Palace Apartments, has a dark history – the kids who lived there before them all mysteriously disappeared. Because of this, Coraline’s family is the first one with a kid in 50 years to live there. Coraline’s neighbor and only friend, Wybie, gives her a doll that eerily looks exactly like her. Little do they both know, the doll is a tool from another dimension used to lure Coraline to it. The other dimension is the same as the one she lives in, with a twist – she is paid attention to, fed, and loved. However, Coraline learns to discover that love comes with a cost. Her “other mother” is actually a Beldam that is trying to keep her soul in order to live. This movie’s advertised audience is children, but it’s been argued since its release 11 years ago that it should be intended for more mature audiences due to the visuals and the concepts.

Dramatistic Analysis of Coraline
According to Kenneth Burke, the ultimate goal of the dramatistic perspective is to understand what motivates people to behave in certain ways. This can be a really good away to analyze characters in a fictional text; it’s useful because it allows whoever is analyzing the text to deepen their understanding of not only plot but the characters as well. This analysis is important for my artifact because of the complexity of the plot and the characters, as well as the importance of the characters in relation to the storyline. In Coraline, there are two sets of every character except Coraline herself, and these characters have different motives in terms of either helping or deterring Coraline from saving her parents and getting back to a safe life.

The Pentad in respect to Coraline
Act: The main act of the movie would be Coraline trying to get her parents home after they are taken from the Beldam. She has to play a game with the Beldam where if she loses, she has to stay with the Beldam and have buttons sewn into her eyes, whereas if she wins, the Beldam has to set her and the other ghost children go.

Agent: The agent would be Coraline in this film, though there are many supporting characters. The other characters in the film are crucial to the plot and the development of Coraline as a character.

Agency: Some of the tools used to carry out her mission are the ghost children, the rock eye, the comrade cat, and her neighbors. The other characters in this movie act as tools to help Coraline save herself and her parents.

Scene: See video (introduces Beldam); The AU is set up with everything Coraline loves, which is what reels her in.

Purpose: The purpose she has for killing the Beldam is to save herself and the ghost children. This is justifiable because the Beldam is evil.

I see both a scene-agent (A relationship between the agent and the scene). A scene can pose restrictions on the agent; in a narrative, the person and place should have some connection) and act-agent (A relationship between the agent and the scene) ratio here in this movie.