A Review Of The Book Room By Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue’s stunning novel ‘Room’ tells the story of motherhood and sexual abuse. Jack is a young boy aged five years old who is kept captive in a small room by his mother. The book’s beginning shows that the ‘Room” is a tiny jail cell. Jack prefers to call his mom ‘Ma.’

This is definitely a book I like and it is my favorite category. I think the main purpose of the book is to explore the experiences that women can go through. These restrictions are instantaneously presented as we enter this book. Jack’s point of view is the only one we hear. The first part of the book was full of drama. I loved the confusion and the sense of helplessness that it gave me. Donoghue shows Jack’s mother actions by setting up a routine. This includes exercises, drawing, and bed. Donoghue creates an atmosphere of real parenthood through the characters of Ma, who gives Jack rules like you can’t watch too much TV because it “rots your brains”.

One of the most striking aspects of the book was Jack’s role as the narrator. It’s very enjoyable to listen too. Donoghue uses simple language to help us understand Jack as a child learning. Jack doesn’t feel trapped or deprived. He is a child who has been brought up believing that this is the best way to live.

Ma’s story is different. Ma was kidnapped (or taken) by an old man Ma named Old Nick when she was just a teenager. Jack was born after Ma was locked away and raped. Jack grew up knowing little about the horrors he’d been exposed. Jack would not have been a victim if Ma had not offered to give her life. This contrast creates the vast abyss of Room and its complications. Room can be both paradise or hell.

Jack says “but I am a Ma and me too” which expresses his love for his mother. Through the confrontations with Jack and Ma, Donoghue exacerbates the cruelties of childhood and adulthood, according to my opinion.

The novel opens with Ma nursing her son. The reader is left feeling insecure. Jack considers room a refuge. But where is the line? The boundaries between mother and son? Why does she continue to breastfeed her son at the age of five? That is a mistake, I think.

My opinion is that it’s wrong to write about the sufferings of someone else. While I don’t deny that creativity and imagination are possible, the problem arises when an author doesn’t know how to appropriately address the suffering of another person simply because they have never experienced it. In this case, the author may be using stereotypes rather than actual facts. Many articles focus solely on the captor of the victim and their terrible experiences. Donoghue focuses on Ma and Jack’s captors and creates characters that are relevant, tough, and perhaps most importantly, human. Jack and Ma are primarily established by their courage to endure pain.

Donoghue does more than just write about ‘Room’. She guides her novel to a satisfying conclusion that both the reader as well as the characters enjoy. I think this novel is truly memorable. It offers a unique way for people to talk about sacrifice and devotion, as well as a broad view of the world we live in.


  • rosewebb

    Rose Webb is an educational blogger and volunteer who also studies for a degree in law. She loves to write about her experiences and share her knowledge with others, and is passionate about helping others to achieve their goals.

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