MBTI Type: ESFP
Coraline drives most of the action in her own story, as an ESFP who is constantly proactive, doing things, going places, and seeking out adventures, whether that’s to use a divining rod to find water in her new neighborhood or wanting to garden in the weather or becoming part of a circus act. She wants stuff to start growing when her friends come to visit, which shows her highly impatient nature to start doing things, rather than waiting around for them. ESFPs like to get things done and be constantly busy with their activities; they seek adventure actively and don’t wait for it to come to them. She can’t wait to find out what’s downstairs or beyond the little door her doll finds, and goes down a hole a mouse finds in her house simply because she can. Coraline is easily amused by the world around her, and the alternate reality which has many things to explore, such as the gorgeous garden full of tickling flowers. Coraline especially loves the circus performance full of dazzling things to see, and the first thing she does is grab some popcorn. She’s easily offended at being called a water witch, and by others getting her name wrong, and yells at Whyborn before telling him to get lost. Coraline desperately wants her parents’ attention, but doesn’t know how to get it, and that makes her susceptible to the Other Mother’s manipulations when all of her desires are fulfilled. Coraline also thinks it’s creepy and weird that the old ladies downstairs stuffed their dead dogs instead of burying them. She’s upset that her parents do not listen to her. She likes the “other” Whyborn because he can’t talk. She feels sorry enough for the ghosts that she tries to find their eyes for them and set free their souls. Coraline is somewhat blunt at times (pointing out that her mother didn’t lock the door, just to annoy her, asking why her mother never cooks because she doesn’t like her father’s food, calling the ladies downstairs dingbats, etc). She abdicates her intuition to such things as water divination (“magic dowser”) and is very oblivious to being manipulated until the cat tells her the truth of how horrible the Other Mother is (she believes in what she sees, and what she sees is a wonderful, loving person!). It’s only when the Other Mother presents her with button eyes that Coraline realizes this is a trap and she needs to escape this world—but her response is to be proactive and attempt to find her way back, including seeking out the old well and trying to free her parents from their mirror prison.
Enneagram: 7w8 so/sp
Coraline hates being bored and actively tries to avoid it, at one point hanging off a squeaking door and driving her father nuts while he’s trying to work, because she is stuck inside because of the rain. She’s also quite assertive and forward, combative with her parents, but also aware that she has to obey them even if it’s dull to go around the house and count the number of windows. Coraline doesn’t want to dress like other people (‘everyone will wear boring clothes… no one will wear this, I want it!’) and is annoyed when she doesn’t get her way. 7s feel frustrated by being forced into things that aren’t fun, and she’s annoyed by her boring school uniforms. Coraline wants FUN things to do, and unpacking isn’t that fun in her mind. She describes everything in the house as “boring… incredibly boring.” At first, she’s excited to be in the alternate reality, but then she becomes uneasy and starts questioning and doubting the intentions of her “other parents.” As soon as she becomes uneasy, she wants to get away from them and go back to the real world. She can be bratty and self-centered, but also reactive—she is easily offended, she yells at people, she has a fit when she pours water on her head in the shower, etc. Coraline thinks it’s up to her to save the day and rescue her parents, and never shows any self-doubt in the process—she just knows on an instinctual level that she can do this, and she’s not afraid of walking into a trap. She also bargains her own fate away in a game to recover everything–winner takes all.