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Room by Emma Donoghue

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Alina Kingston

on 15 January 2014

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Transcript of Room by Emma Donoghue

Room by Emma Donoghue
In my book, there are 3 main characters; Jack, Ma & Old Nick. The basic analysis of my novel begins on Jack's fifth birthday. Ma was abducted at the age of 19 and gave birth to Jack in the small inclosed room that Jack simply calls Room. Because it is all he's every known, Jack believes that Room is all there is and thinks that everything he sees on TV isn't real. To him, everything outside of Room isn't real and knows nothing about outside the walls. Ma and Jack devise a plan to escape and when they successfully get rescued, but after Ma has a breakdown and attempts suicide, Jack goes to live with his grandmother. After she gets herself some help, they get sent to an Independent Living environment to live their lives freely.
My Opinion
I loved the novel, I loved the entire concept of it. I strongly recommend it to anyone who looks books that have the aspects of love, tragedy, family, etc. Although the story was told from the point of view of a five year old. I found it was slighty erie or dark, at least that was when Old Nick entered Room at night. When we read this book, you imagine yourself in their positions and wonder what you would do if you were them. How would you survive? How would you escape? How would you keep healthy? It was very intriguing and got me thinking about being stuck in such a situation.
Literary Devices
Jack is a spirited young man. The novel begins with him on his fifth birthday. He is usually happy despite the situation him and his mother are in, however, because he has lived every moment of his life in Room, he doesn’t know they are being held captive. Although he may be intelligent for his age, he is oblivious to many things and seems to believe everything outside of the walls of Room are only on TV and are not real. He is very energetic and enjoys every moment he gets to spend with his Ma. He is usually curious and adventurously brave but when nightfall comes and he goes in Wardrobe, he gets frightened hearing Old Nick in Room with Ma.
Ma is an intelligent caring woman. Jack is her world; she would do anything for him and for him to be safe from anything that may hurt him. She is extremely brave considering she is raising her son within the boundaries and limits that their abductor has given her. She is a very strong woman, not only is she taking care of herself as well as Jack, but she is dealing with Old Nick’s sexual needs, with all this in mind, she is still trying her best to find a way to escape and free herself and Jack. We find out later on throughout the novel that she lost a child at birth, the baby’s umbilical cord was wrapped around its neck and Ma had sprained her wrist trying to escape before the baby was born so she couldn’t un-wrap it.
Old Nick
-Abductor - Dangerous
- Mysterious - Manipulative
- Clever - Unemployed
5 year old Jack lives with his Ma in Room, a small enclosed space containing a small kitchen, a bathtub, a wardrobe, a bed and a TV set. Most of the story takes place in Room; however we go back in time, 18 years ago when Ma was kidnapped by Old Nick when she explains the story to Jack. Although they were trapped in Room, Ma explains vividly the outside to Jack to prepare him for his life after Room. Once they escape from Room, are taken to a mental hospital to receive medical care, and when Ma begins suffering from depression and has a breakdown after attempting suicide, Jack gets sent to live with his grandparents.
* December- Snowing*
Person vs Person: The conflict of person vs person is very well shown in this novel between the character of Ma and Old Nick. She was abducted years ago and after losing her first born child, it's reasonable to say that there is quite a bit of hatred towards Old Nick creating the conflict.
Person vs self: The conflict of person vs self is very well shown in this novel with the character of Ma. Once they finally manage to escape from Room. She seems to have difficulty coping with the situation and attempts suicide. After her breakdown, Jack is taken away from her, which doesn't make things easier on her mental health.
Person vs Society: The conflict of person vs society is displayed in this novel through the TV. Since Jack doesn't know anything else but Room, society and outside is a strange and difficult place to be. He doesn't believe that anything on TV is real and has trouble coping when they manage to escape.
Person vs fate: The conflict of person vs fate is shown when Old Nick is found, and faces several charges of abduction, rape, and child-endangerment that will likely lead to twenty-five years to life in jail. In the end, this was Old Nick's fate. He may have believed that he would get away with the abduction of Ma and Jack.
Person vs nature: The conflict of person vs nature is portrayed by the surroundings that Ma and Jack have to live in. They are limited of space, food, etc... However, Ma finds ways to keep them healthy and tries her best to give Jack a childhood he deserves.
Love: Love is well represented with the aspect of Ma and Jack. Jack is Ma's whole world and her only family since she got abducted. She does everything in her power to protect him, whether it's from illness, physical pain as well as mental pain. Whenever Old Nick enters Room, she hides him in Wardrobe to protect him from the sense of fear that Ma never wants him to experience at such a young age.
Family: Family is displayed in the novel based on Jack and Ma. Jack and Ma are the only members of their family since they don't have anyone else while their trapped. However, once they escape, more members of their family are introduced, Ma's parents -now divorced- and her older brother -married and has a three year-old daughter-.
Danger: Danger is shown in the novel every time Old Nick enters Room, of course he is only there to fulfill his sexual needs with Ma but there's always a chance of danger that could occur throughout one of his visits, which is why Jack is to be hidden in Wardrobe while Old Nick enters at nightfall. Danger is also displayed when Jack tries escaping, it is very dangerous but it's their only chance of getting found. Luckily, Ajeet, a by passer finds Jack and calls the police.
Future: Future is displayed when Ma and Jack escape from Room and they have to go through these experiences. For Ma it’s a new beginning, for Jack, it’s all brand new, he didn’t know anything but Room, to him, Room is all there is.
Society: Society is portrayed in the novel throughout the entire story, even before Jack was released into the world, into the society; he saw society every day, on TV, and although he didn’t believe it was real, society was there. This makes Society one of the main themes in the novel.
Plot Summary
The story is told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, Jack, who is being held captive in a small room along with his mother. The story begins on Jack's fifth birthday and follows on from there. Now that Jack is five, Ma decides that it is now time to tell him about their surroundings, why they're there and what happened to her. She explains that she was abducted in college at the age of 19 and had a baby girl before him but she was taken away from her. She decides that now that Jack is five, that it's time to get out of Room once and for all. After she fakes Jack's death, she devises a plan with him. The plan? Get Old Nick to go bury him then, Jack will jump down from the truck when it slows and run for help. Jack follows the plan, jumping off the truck a few blocks away from Room. A passer-by, Ajeet, rescues Jack and calls the police; Old Nick is found and faces several charges of abduction, rape, and child-endangerment. Jack however, has problems coping with the suddenly much larger world and wants to return to Room. Ma suffers a mental breakdown and attempts suicide. Jack goes to live with his grandmother for several days. Eventually, Ma and Jack move into an Independent Living residence. They go on a last visit to Room where Jack says goodbye to the items that used to make up his world. Room now seems small and cramped to him, and no longer has the meaning it once held. He is able to bid Room goodbye.
Room: Room is the main symbol in the story. Room is everything and anything to Jack, everything in that room is everything he’s ever known. He was born and raised in Room, even within their boundaries; Ma still finds ways to keep Jack healthy and active. I believe Room represents the character of Jack because Room is where he became who he is, but it will not however determine who he will be.
TV: TV is a symbol in this novel because Jack sees everything from the outside on TV, although he doesn’t believe the things he sees on TV are real, he has knowing of them. TV represents the character of Ma because it is the utility to enhance Jack’s mental capabilities.
Wardrobe: Wardrobe is a symbol in this novel because at night Jack hides in it to avoid Old Nick, Wardrobe is like Jack’s safe haven. I believe Wardrobe represents the world outside of Room because although Jack doesn’t know it yet, Wardrobe is not his safe haven, anywhere but Room is safe.
Foreshadowing : "Now that I'm 5, Ma says Room is too small for me. She says there's things outside the walls''. The foreshadowing in this phrase is that Room has gotten too small for Jack and that it is time to see the things outside, therefore foreshadowing their inevitable escape.
Simile : “I look back one more time. It's like a crater, a hole where something happened.” This is a simile because Jack compares Room to a crater, a hole where something happened.
Alliteration & Repetition : “It’s called mind over matter. If we don’t mind, it doesn't matter. When a bit of me hurts, I always mind.” This is both an alliteration as well as a repetition because not only do many other words repeat themselves –such as mind and matter-, many words also begin with the same sound –mi, ma, me-.
Representative Quotes
“In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time...I don't know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well...I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter all over the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.”- Jack
This quote is important in the novel because Jack is talking about the people outside, how the people seem to forget what’s important in life and just worry about their jobs. And because they create so much stress, they don’t realize their lives passing them by.
“There's not a thing wrong with you, you're right the whole way through.”- Ma
The importance of this quote is that Ma is letting Jack know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with him, that he is perfect and nobody can say otherwise.
“Everybody's damaged by something.”- Ma
I believe this quote follows well with the quote above said by Ma, she tells Jack that he is perfect and there is nothing wrong with him and this quote says why; because everybody is damaged by something but they are all perfect.
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