Function Order: ENFJ

Other Mother is, superficially, everything that Coraline’s true mother is not—warm, supportive, encouraging, loving, attentive to her needs, and charming, and she creates a magical fantasy world that she knows will appeal to Coraline to entice her to stay, including a Whyburn without any words (“I thought you would like him better quieter”) and endless presents, cupcakes, and treats, all to convince her to stay in this fantasy world as a button –eyed girl. Evil ENFJs know how to anticipate and tap into what motivates others and what would appeal to them, what they need to hear from the ENFJ to help the ENFJ get what she wants from them. Even when she’s taking people’s lives away from them and demanding everyone do and feel what she wants them to do and feel, she is “pleasant” on a surface level (calling them pumpkin and being “sweet”; saying “you know I love you” when threatening Coraline and demanding the ghost eyes from her). She believes in others conforming to her own thinking and tries to control the emotional mood within her fantasy (“soon you will see things our way”). She tries to guilt trip Coraline into wanting to stay, but also becomes aggressive in pursuing her after she makes her intentions known. She tries to replace Coraline’s own thinking with her own—and twists things around to different perspectives to suit her agenda (she calls her husband the “better” father than Coraline’s, and sends her out into the garden to fetch him home). She has lured many children into her lair, through “treasures and treats and games to play,” so that she could sew the buttons into their eyes and eat up their lives. Her world is colorful and vivid, full of attractive sensory experiences that she knows will appeal to children, and showing her sensual side. She is willing to risk losing everything by “playing a game” with Coraline, and gives her a random “clue” that she hopes will be too difficult for Coraline to figure out.

Enneagram: 2w1 so/sp

The cat says that he thinks the Other Mother just wants something to love that isn’t her, or maybe something to eat. Indeed, it’s true that the Other Mother uses enticement, seductiveness, and giving others what they want to win over their approval and entice them to stay. Other Mother is generous at first, appearing to cater to every one of Coraline’s whims (giving her mango milkshakes at dinner, welcoming her home with a cake, offering her chocolate beetles, and affirming her every step of the way… at first). But she also has to have things exactly her way, and for others to obey her without question; she won’t allow her “husband” to talk to Coraline in her absence, and lectures Coraline for being rude (she demands an apology for Coraline talking meanly to her, and gives her to the count of three to say she is sorry, before locking her in her room as punishment). She says Coraline may come out “when you’ve learned to be a loving daughter.” Implying that she has certain high standards and expectations from her behavior—she thinks that she deserves obedience and respect for how generous and loving she is. When Coraline doesn’t do what she wants, the Other Mother becomes wrathful, resentful, controlling, and even violent—moving to the low side of 8 through her aggression.

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