Sample BYON Essay

[Here’s an example of a good BYON narrative.  A couple of things to keep in mind:  the writer’s approach represents only one way to tackle the assignment; every piece of writing can be improved, and this example is no exception; in this essay, the writers uses paragraphs and examples to develop their main ideas.]

BYON: Coraline (2009)

        The film Coraline, directed by Henry Selick, is about a young girl who recently moves to Oregon that discovers “The Other World” through a secret door in her house. In the beginning of the film, Coraline is focused on herself and ignores the wants and needs of those around her. As she falls into the “Other World,” she learns about false appearances when dealing with the “Other Mother”‘s tricks. Once she returns, Coraline gains a more mature perspective of the world as a whole instead of centered around herself. The film consistently uses imagery, vision and eyes as allegories for perspective.

When the film begins, Coraline begins with a bad mood because her parents forced her to move to Oregon. At the Pink Palace Apartments, Coraline’s neighbors all seem old, retired and uninteresting. Her other neighbor Wybie, the landlord’s grandson, seems annoying and bothersome to her because he follows her everywhere like a “stalker”. The apartments and surrounding grounds are decayed, barren, dull, and bleak. Her parents seem to never pay attention to Coraline, and treat her like a nuisance. Both parents are also in bad health because of their overwhelming amounts of work.Coraline views everyone that is around her as annoyances to her life, and feels the most pity for herself for being stuck living so far away from her friends.

As Coraline explores the Pink Palace Apartments, she finds a secret door which leads her to the “Other World”. Immediately upon entering the “Other World,” the films colors become more vibrant and lively. In the “Other World,” she still seems to be at the Pink Palace Apartments with all the same neighbors and her parents; however, the building looks as if it’s new with fresh paint and the grounds are now blooming with a garden full of flowers. As Coraline enters the house in the “Other World,” she meets her “Other Mother” and “Other Father” who seem more inviting and loving than her real parents but have buttons for eyes (as does everyone else in the “Other World”). The buttons in the “Other World” both represent artificiality and a barrier to see what is real and true. In the “Other World” Coraline learns about false appearances as she realizes that her “Other Mother” is plotting to steal her soul as she has done with three previous children. Coraline learns that all the vibrant scenes and extravagant gifts are just manifestations by the “Other Mother”. The “Other Mother” kidnaps Coraline’s parents, and the only way Coraline can return to reality with her real parents is to find the eyes of the children that the “Other Mother” has stolen the souls of. Coraline is able to find the three sets of eyes around the “Other World” with the help of all her neighbors.

As Coraline returns to reality with her real parents, she becomes happy and content with the world around her. Her parents haven’t noticed that she’s been gone at all or remembered anything of the “Other World”. However, Coraline has gained perspective of the world around her through the trials of finding the lost children’s eyes. Therefore, Coraline is only able to make progression by literally seeking eyes as a way of being able to “see” the real world around her.

Coraline is able to gain a wider and more mature perspective of the world by being able to accept and appreciate the help of the neighbors who she hated in the beginning of the film. By the end of the film, Coraline gains selflessness, perspective and maturity through her tests and trials in the “Other World”.

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