Prof. Westengard | O628 | Fall 2022

Blog #6


Some gothic characteristics that I can find in the movie Coraline are the presence of a ghost, a parallel dark universe, grotesque beings, and a dark, gloomy setting. Some similarities between Coraline and The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether are that they use darkness and glumness to depict a sad world and mystery to lure the readers into wondering what is happening within the story. Also, both stories have main characters intrigued by the mystery and go on to try and figure out what is going on, which adds to the fear of gothic tropes. Some differences are that Coraline centered around supernatural beings. In contrast, The System of Dr.Tarr and Prof. Fether centered around madness and haunted houses, two gothic themes with different implications. Supernatural beings in Coraline represent the craving for the attention she longs for but fails to realize the danger she is because she has her needs fulfilled. In the System of Dr.Tarr and Prof. Fether, the gothic themes of madness and haunted houses represent the lengths people are willing to go to do what they desire, so much so if it drives them into insanity. The haunted houses represent the mystery that they search for, showing the projection of the unable stable mind and, ultimately, fear.
Coraline can be seen in the reading The Castle of Otranto because Manfred and the natural mother both show dominance over their families and neglect their families for their gain. Manfred uses power and patriarchy to control his family, while the birth mother uses authoritative language and dismission to maintain her family. In both cases, they have gained what they wanted and do not try to correct their behavior until it backfires for them.
The implicit message sent through these readings and movies is that parents have rights over their children, but abusing their rights can adversely impact them. Also, power and control can not win everything you want in life, and if you try to, you will face the consequences for you thrust upon people.


  1. Justice Monge

    Hello Shaneka, this was a great post. I really enjoyed your implicit message. I never really thought about it like that. You are right that power and control won’t get you all you want. As for your children, you need love and compassion.

  2. Laura Westengard

    Fantastic analysis, Shaneka!

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