Room by Emma Donoghue

First Quarter:

The book Room is a very unique book that truly deserves all the awards that it has received as it is incredible. The perspective of this book is very interesting as it is told through the eyes of a five year old boy named Jack who has lived in a small room for his entire life.  This perspective is what I think makes this book very special since it is very unique and adds another level to this book.

I personally really enjoy this kind of perspective since it shows the innocence of a child which makes a terrible situation not seem so bad. The innocence really brightens up this book since if it was told by the mother then the amount of negativity would be doubled and the book would seem rather dull and just over all very negative. This perspective also shows the reader all the things that they take for granted such as having windows or being able to shower everyday which Jack and his mother can’t experience in this book, this in a way humbles the reader. Even though the perspective is again through a five year old boy the reader can see the struggles that the mother goes through being trapped in a room for years and years with a child who has endless amounts of energy. Anyone who has ever babysat someone who is around the ages 4-7 understands what it feels like to have someone who just wants to run and play for hours and hours which is what this mother in the book is dealing with throughout the book.

This book is amazing, however the characters do not seem 100% believable. Being trapped in a room for years certainly takes a tole on a person, which makes it seem weird and unrealistic how the mother seems so calm in the room and remains caring towards her son. As well since the mother did give birth to Jack in the room with no medical help it is unlikely that she is in near to perfect health which is how she is portrayed in the book. As well the mother continues to breastfeed her son even though he has not been a baby for several years, which makes her not very believable in my mind. Continuing while Jack is five years old he seems both above and below how smart he should be at his age. For example He can read extremely well even though he only has had access to a few books yet he does not believe that there is an outside world. While these characters do have a few flaws the book is beautifully written.

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18 responses to “Room by Emma Donoghue

  1. gemmapleas

    I completely I agree with you Ashley! The perspective was one of the things that instantly stuck out at me when reading this book. It’s what makes this book one of its kind. The choice to have Jack a five year old boy allows different perspective that most readers don’t have, and allows readers to infer and figure out what Jack is too young to comprehend, which keeps us engaged and makes us feel like we have somewhat of a role in the book.
    What I did not like, was the vast descriptions that came with every tiny task that Jack preforms. He explains everything, and I have to admit it gets a bit tedious after the 50th page. Day after day he explains what he and his mom do, with plenty of seemingly unnecessary details. Although, I do feel like it helps readers really get to know his personality and his life. He explains his everyday activities because this is all he knows. He has knows nothing besides the 11 by 11 room and the activities and, these are the only things he can truly comprehend. He believes the reader will not understand the things he’s saying because he (at least used to) think he’s the only one who experiences these activities. These are the only things he interested in and passionate about, and although we may see them as just everyday task of boring little games, they are his world.
    I also appreciate the age the author chose to make Jack. five seems the perfect age to truly capture the innocence and intelligence of a boy who simply loves to play and sees his mother without flaw. At this age he can articulate his somewhat naive thoughts to the reader and he can be appreciative of Room without showing signs of frustration. Jack is a unique character with a perspective that truly makes the book Room interesting.

  2. dalialiu

    When you read Room by Emma Donoghue, it’s definitely safe to say that it’s unlike any other book. Like Ashley and Gemma explained, its unique perspective told through five-year-old Jack instantly gives the reader a different feel than any other ordinary novel on your bookshelf. In addition to the point of view, I found the characters in Room particularly interesting.

    Jack and his Ma are prisoners, confined to the 11 by 11 feet room. Everything inside is characterized, including Table, Bed, Lamp, Toothpaste, and even Room itself. Jack and Ma share everything, down to Toothbrush. Jack believes that mountains can’t be real, since they cannot fit in Room. Ice cream is only TV, and so are men and women. I have always felt privileged, I have an iPhone, a laptop, and countless things I can call my own. Reading this novel makes me feel just a whole lot more, and in a different way, privileged. I’m sure most of us know of a toddler with their own cell phone, so the fact that Jack doesn’t have any possessions of his own and shares everything with Ma is heartbreaking. It’s an even sadder world when ice cream is just TV.

    In the night, Old Nick visits Ma to bring them what they need to survive while Jack is supposed to be asleep in Wardrobe. However, I did not find it believable at all that Jack didn’t seem afraid of Old Nick. Sure, he is their only connection to the outside world, but when I was five, I was scared of the darkness in my closet, so shouldn’t he be afraid of this mysterious creepy man who comes in at night and “creaks Bed” with Ma (aka, takes advantage of her)?

    Even though reading through his perspective is a fresh take on literature, waiting for a five-year-old to connect the dots can be a little tedious. Like Gemma said, he describes everything is such detail that sometimes made me question why the passage was included in the book. However, despite the minor faults, Room is a beautiful novel with an infectiously innocent character worth reading about.

  3. gemmapleas

    2nd Quarter
    Something in this quarter that particularly interested me was the way that the mother acted. It was a strong contrast from what the readers observe about her in the first quarter of this book, and as much as I love the book from Jack’s perspective, it was nice to see their situation in a different light.

    Jack’s mother is a bit of a confusing character. Since we originally see the book in the first quarter through Jack’s perspective, we don’t really get to look inside the mother’s mind. We can infer that that they were kidnapped, but we don’t get the proper reactions and thoughts from Jack or the mother that we need in order to truly understand and sympathize with their situation. When Jack talks about his mother and how she will stay in bed for the whole day, their whole situation becomes very real. Readers can see for the first time that she is tired, and she is sick of being here. When she gets up from bed to care for her son, it gave me a new respect for her and how, despite her sadness, she is resilient. She is willing to work to provide the best life for Jack no matter the circumstance.

    What gave me contradicting thoughts toward her, was how she treated Jack when trying to escape. Although we know her circumstances, I could not help feeling bad for Jack. He was being tossed from plan to plan, vommited on by his mother and was very confused and lacked a true understanding for what was happening. He was being forced to do things he obviously did not want to do, and was being put under pressure he shouldn’t have to go under. I somewhat resented the mother for what she was doing to him. How could she sacrifice jack like that? When I looked at the situation after they escaped, I was able to see how her actions were ultimately fueled by selfless reasoning. I also remembered that these were not perfect characters, She was doing this to help Jack, to save him. She was putting his life over hers when she ultimately chose him to escape Room instead of her. She would rather her son escape and her be killed by Old Nick than them live in that room the rest of their lives.

    Her causing Jack to do this can be seen in two ways; an act of heroism and selflessness or an act of selfishness and cruelty. It is these two views that cause me to be confused by her. Knowing this,I am curious as to how her personality will evolve in the following quarters now that they have escaped Room.

    • ashleypiccolo

      The second quarter of this book was very different from the first quarter yet still similar. Like Gemma said the mother is a very confusing character since she acts so differently throughout the book especially dealing with Jack. At times she is very sweat and nurturing however when its time to escape she is very harsh and puts Jack in an uncomfortable position. As Gemma pointed out the escape can be seen as an act of heroism and selflessness or an act of selfishness and cruelty which is absolutely true. The idea was very selfless however the way that the mother executed it took a turn towards cruelty. I understand that the situation that they were in is very stressful and no character is perfect but Jack is only five years old so putting all this pressure on him and changing plans every few minutes was very cruel for him.

      While the mother has her own flaws, I think that Jack also has some character flaws. For example at the age of five it is very unlikely that he could have remembered all the steps for escaping the room and remained quiet at the same time. In the first quarter of the book Jack is very rambunctious and energetic however in the second quarter when it is time to escape he is able to remain quiet and extremely still. Those actions just seemed very out of character for Jack based on what we already knew about him from the first quarter of the book

      Moving on from characters, I thought the mood of this section of the book was really good. While the first quarter of the book’s mood was more laid back with the characters being introduced and the setting being told. The second quarter of the book dealt more with the intense mood since escaping was the number one priority. The section where Jack was working to escape was very suspenseful for me since the man who captured them was present more and can only be seen as a feared character. The idea that Old Nick was present more often and even took Jack to bury him just stressed me out while reading this.

      Even though there are a few flaws here and there I look forward to continuing this book and learning about the characters and how the mood continues to change; as well what happens in the end of this.

  4. dalialiu

    2nd Quarter

    In the second quarter of Room, the plot takes a much more exciting turn. We are able to further understand the characters’ situation, as Jack and Ma devise plans to escape from Old Nick’s prison. As the story progresses, the theme of innocence and evil in the novel is highlighted by Jack’s realizations.

    Ma finally explains to Jack how they are trapped inside Room, but he still expressed desire to stay even after learning of Old Nick’s vile acts towards Ma. He doesn’t understand why Ma would want to leave, and fights the idea of there being an “Outside.” Despite knowing how badly his mother needs to leave, Jack prefered to keep being a prisoner. I found it very interesting how innocence versus maliciousness is portrayed in this novel, as usually they are set in opposition to one another, but Jack’s innocence causes him to want to abide by an evil situation.

    Unlike the first quarter, the characters are much more realistic in this section. Jack grows afraid of Old Nick after stories Ma told him, which is believable as the first section glossed over any fear Jack would definitely have towards their kidnapper. Ma is less calm and put together, as one would be when locked in a room for seven years. The more I read the novel, the more I find the characters realistic, which eliminated one of the only negative aspects of the book.

    Room is a novel that is definitely a must-read. It is packed with emotion and told with an eye-opening plotline, driven by the indestructible bond between Jack and his Ma. Although connecting the dots through the perspective of a five-year-old is sometimes a tedious task, it is one worth doing to read the book.

  5. dalialiu

    Quarter 3
    While the first two quarters offer a lot in giving the readers an understanding of Jack and Ma’s dynamic, the third quarter was when the characters were really shown and developed. After finally escaping their capture, Jack and Ma have to learn to live in the real world, or what Jack refers to as “Outside.”

    As Ashley and Gemma discussed in the last quarter, Ma is brought into a different light when their plan of escape could be seen as heroic or somewhat selfish because of the harm it caused Jack. Furthermore, in this quarter, Ma’s character is given some contradictory qualities different from what she seemed to be the first half of the novel. First of all, she is extremely defensive when she is questioned about Jack, snapping towards the nurses and doctors and getting impatient with him. Earlier on in the book, she was always nurturing and patient to explain what he does not understand, instead of asking him to leave her alone. It’s not a bad quality, however, since I believe that her doubts about mothering makes her a more believable character. We can see how deeply she was impacted by the situation, which makes the story that much more eye-opening.

    One thing that does not change throughout the entire novel so far is Ma’s fierce love for Jack. Although reporters, other people, and even Jack’s own grandfather have immediate opinions on Jack because of his biological father (Old Nick, who raped Ma, resulting in Jack), Ma stands firm in her beliefs. She had done her best to prevent any relationship between Jack and Old Nick, shielding him from any harm. I admire her for the strength she’s shown in order to survive and keep her child safe in the midst of such evil.

    Even though there are few flaws that could be found, I still find it difficult to see through the eyes of a five-year-old when the novel deals with very adult topics. Again, it takes work to connect the dots and figure out what Jack is trying to describe. So far, it has proven to work perfectly fine to relate the ideas in the story to the readers, but sometimes it can take away from the depth of a moment, like when Ma is interviewed about their situation but we cannot fully experience her emotions. However, Room is still a unique, enjoyable novel that everyone needs to read at one point or another.

  6. ashleypiccolo

    Quarter 3
    Beginning the third quarter of this book I was very excited yet nervous. It begins with Jack planning to escape and eventually does. When he escapes and the book changes to how him and Ma are living in ‘Outside’ which was very different from the beginning when they were in Room. The dynamic between Ma and Jack started to become very unique compared to how it was in the first half of the book.

    As Dalia discussed now in the book Ma is very impatient and defensive compared to how she was when they were back in Room. It is not a bad quality as Dalia has said, however it could be bad for Jack. Since this whole experience is new to Jack having his Mom is the only thing that has remained the same for him. By having her act this way Jack is being hurt since now the one thing that he has from Room is being different.

    I think that the characterization of Jack in the third quarter of this book is done very well. For example in the past section of this book Jack has been able to cook and get ready for the day all on his own, however now in the book he is having a lot more trouble with certain tasks which is how most five year olds are. Jack truly acts like a five year old in this section as he keeps more toys than he wants and gets very emotional when his mom has to leave. Almost all five year olds act this way since they are so used to being with their parents so by the author include this part where he clings onto her legs into to prevent her from leaving is very realistic. As well the way that Jack describes things seems very similar to how a five year old would describe things. In this section of the book Jack is characterized extremely well which strengthens the novel.

    Something that is really unique about this novel is how it is broken up into little sections such as ‘Presents’ ‘Unlying’ ‘Dying’ ‘After’ and ‘Living’ . This interests me quite a bit since the section titles don’t really reflect what is actually happening in the story. The titles of these sections are just a little piece of what makes this book extremely interesting and unique.

  7. gemmapleas

    As Ashley discussed, Jack and MA’s relationship was very strange in this quarter. I think this may be because of the affect the adjust in environment has on them. They are so used to being together and their system was so set that when they are taken out of that environment their cycle is changed and their relationship is heavily adjusted. However, like Dalia said, even thought their relationship is a little rocky, Ma’s love for Jack is still strong and she tries her best to keep it strong through the adjustment.

    The third quarter discusses Jack’s first reaction to the real world. In the third quarter jack is first entering the real. World after his mother, Ma becomes depressed and he decides to go to the mall for the first time alone with some of his family. I think this scene was meant to show the slow evolution of Jacks adjusting to the real world. He wants to change and adjust to the real world, but he has isn’t given enough opportunities to try and adjust. This trip to the mall was an opportunity for him to adjust.
    Jack changes a lot from this quarter from the last. In the second quarter Jack was hesitant to adjust to the real world and wanted to go back inside to room. But when jack is forced to go out of the hospital, he actually enjoys it and we find that jack is not as hesitant as we thought he was. He is a dynamic character and adjusts to change easily. His comfort level is adjustable and as time moves on he learns to embrace the world. However it takes longer for Ma to adjust to the real world as she struggles outside Room, possibly because she is older and has been in world longer. I thought it was interesting how Ma was so excited to leave Room, but takes a harder time to adjust than jack. I think it goes to show how much age is a factor in ones adjustment level.

  8. laineychi

    Room by Emma Donoghue #1
    The perspective of this novel is what makes this novel particularly interesting. A five-year-old boy named Jack narrates the story and shares about his happy life with his Ma. Together they live in a 11 by 11 foot space he calls Room and go about their day cooking, playing games, singing songs, and watching TV. However, the glimpse of the outside world they have is the Skylight and TV because they are locked in Room, only a mysterious character named Old Nick knows the password to the door. He brings groceries for them and presents for Jack. But when night falls, Jack is forced to hide in Wardrobe before Old Nick comes into the room, so he never sees his face.

    Donoghue uses Jack and Old Nick to juxtapose purity, innocence, and curiosity with mystery and bitterness. Jack has a deep love for his mother and a passion for learning new things within the walls of Room. Old Nick, in contrast, is grouchy and violent towards Ma. This book feels relatable because of the references to everyday things such as oatmeal, Jeep, Dora the Explorer, and singing songs. However, I have never known the feeling of being trapped physically (except during Geometry class) and the restrictions that bind Jack and Ma such as entertainment, food, technology, and freedom from Room. I can not grasp the concept of two people being locked in a small room and living a seemingly “normal” life (in the perspective of Jack) while one person controls them. It does remind me of the book The Giver, because like Jack, protagonist Jonas is blinded by his own oblivion that he leads a regular life, when really, he is trapped in a fake world. Also with the novel The Maze Runner, Thomas is shut in a fully-functioning environment of teenage boys who are working to escape the Maze without memory of their past lives.

    Not only is this an interesting and intriguing novel so far, I think it would make a great book to read for class. A young boy learning new things about himself and the world around him relates to the theme of coming of age and growing up. Other themes we have explored this year are innocence and world of children versus adults, and Jack is innocent in his brief exposure to other people and ideas, and we can clearly see this from his narrating. We can also compare his life to the life of Ma and how different they really are despite them living together. I think this book has some very creative pieces to it and I can not wait to read more!

  9. laineychi

    Room by Emma Donoghue #2
    At this point in the novel, Jack has been exposed to the true cruelty of Old Nick. While hiding in Wardrobe, Jack turns on his remote-controlled Jeep toy and it falls on top of Old Nick. Old Nick, thinking that it was Ma trying to attack him with a heavy object, retaliated by leaving bruises on her neck. Ma explains to Jack that there is a whole world outside of Room, outside of the sturdy locked door and firm walls that cage them. Jack is amazed but confused, why are some things real and others stuck in TV? Old Nick cuts off all power in the room and so Ma tells Jack about her family: her mother, father, and brother Paul. Ma explains that Old Nick tricked her into his truck and kidnapped her, and that she had been living in Room for seven solemn years. Eventually, the power is turned back on.

    I think that Emma Donoghue uses Ma’s rotten tooth (Bad Tooth) for a symbol as well as foreshadowing. Like the tooth, Ma and Jack are barely clinging on to life inside of Room, and it gives them great pain to suffer within the walls. But finally, Bad Tooth gets pulled out, and Ma is relieved. However, she notices her other rotten teeth much more now with the absence of the first. I think this foreshadows an escape for Jack and Ma, but after they find freedom, they because swept up with the problems and difficulties of the outside world as opposed to the terrors of “living” in captivity.

    I also found that the author used the mouse in Room as a symbol for Old Nick. Old Nick brings presents and treats for Jack, but in reality, he is abusive and inflicts pain on Ma. The mouse may look cute and harmless, but it could cause serious destruction if you let your guard down.

    Emma Donoghue juxtaposes light and dark to give meaning to the two. In the daytime, Jack is free and can play, sing, and have fun. Ma can be care-free without having to worry about Old Nick’s wrath. When night falls, it means that Jack must hide away in Wardrobe and Ma must hope that Old Nick does not get mad at her. Therefore, contrasting light and dark is the same to comparing peace and fear.

  10. ashleypiccolo

    Quarter 4
    The 4th quarter of this book started out with a huge shock that I think really changed the book. It begins with Jack finding Ma next to several empty pill bottles and not waking up. This is a very predictable yet still surprising thing to have happen in this book. While I did say that it was a shock it did seem semi predictable since in the previous sections the reader could see how Ma was changing as well how hard it was to adjust back to normal. It seemed as if Ma was becoming sort of overwhelmed from this whole new life especially with her relationship with Jack changing after they escaped Room. This did come as a semi shock however, since there was still some length left to the book and it would be a very awkward and hard section to read if it was simply about Jack finding out that his Ma died and he is left to discover the world around him alone.

    In the fourth quarter I found that Jack became a character that I really liked since he seemed very similar to an actual five year old, as well some of the other characters did seem very believable as well. Throughout the section Jack was found doing things such as playing with legos, going to parks, getting his hair cut, etc. that a typical five year old would actually do. As well he is slowly getting away from all the things that he was used to in Room. However at times he does want certain things to stay the same such as how he bathes, where he sleeps, and the toys that he keeps. He even keeps the rug that he snuck out of Room with him near his bed. Jack’s grandmother is another character that I believe was very believable in this section. She is seen taking care of Jack and helping him experience life the best that she can. Even though she is dealing with the shock of her daughter trying to commit suicide she acts like an adult and works to take care of her grandson. Her husband is also a very believable character, even though he is not largely present in this story. When he is there he is very believable since he is found in his den, watching sports, spending time with his wife, or playing with Jack. He is a very simple character however he is very believable. The characterization grew a lot from the first quarter to the last quarter.

    Overall I really enjoyed this final quarter and I believe that the ending suited it very well. The ending was very peaceful and seemed to wrap up the book very well. With Jack and Ma returning to Room requested by Jack they say goodbye to Room and goodbye to their life back in Room. The ending was not too long and did not seem to drag on which was a huge plus since in some books the ending is not the best part. This book was truly a very good book with a great setting and plot.

  11. dalialiu

    Q4

    “Donoghue brings her story to a powerful close that feels exactly right. This is a truly memorable novel…It presents an utterly unique way to talk about love.” –Aimee Bender, The New York Times Book Review

    This review, prominently featured on the back of the novel, makes some bold statements that I was very skeptical about when I was first reading the back of the novel. A powerful close? As told by a five-year-old? Yet, as I finished the novel, Emma Donoghue’s book completely shatters any doubts I had. It completely fulfills, if not exceeds, the words of the New York Book Review.

    Throughout much of the last quarter, Ma is hospitalized due to a medicine overdose because of depression. Jack is sent to live with his Grandma and Steppa, where he is without his Ma in the strange world of the “Outside.” Like Ashley said, it was nice to see Jack become a regular kid and do things most 5-year-olds do. Since he is with Ma the entirety of the novel, it was a welcome change to see him on his own. He finally starts to let go of the life they had in Room, and enjoys the freedom of the Outside world.

    As much as he was enjoying his freedom, it was also clear that he still held on to their life in Room. He kept Rug, which was returned to them by the police, as a reminder of their time in Room. In the end, Jack and Ma revisit their prison, and he is finally able to see that the life in the “home” he thought he wanted was only a prison where his Ma had suffered for seven years. It was what made the ending so memorable, as Jack and Ma are able to move on and start a new life.

    There’s really nothing negative I can find in this book. Yes, the point of view as told by a 5-year old was tedious and difficult to comprehend at times, but it does get better throughout the novel. It took some adjusting, but I think that it as part of what made the book so authentic and original. It still blows me away how Room could be so optimistic yet terrifying at the same time.

  12. laineychi

    Room by Emma Donoghue #3
    In the third quarter of the book, Jack is exposed to the Outside. Despite being 5 years old, his knowledge of the world beyond his TV is comparable to one of an infant. He does not understand the “unsaid rules” and social norms that pertain to interacting with others. For instance, he touched Bronwyn’s “private parts” because he was not aware that it was seen as vulgar and bizarre to do so. It was eye-opening to see how he reacted to being scolded for doing something he saw as normal. I also agree about what Gemma mentioned in her comment, Jack and Ma’s relationship was definitely affected by this major change in their life. Usually, they depended on each other to survive, but now that they are free, Jack has a whole family that can take care of him. The lack of dependence weakens their relationship because they are not spending nearly as much time as they usually would together. Jack comes in contact with untrustworthiness. Before, he knew everything in Room and could be safe. However, now he has an idea of how many more people there actually are in the world and he is not used to a crowd. He also sees that people do not trust him, adults scold him where Ma would teach him the proper way to behave. Jack breaks away from his normal routine in Room as well. As opposed to eating, bathing, watching TV, and exercising in a specific order, he can do what he wants pretty much whenever he wants to. Jack finds out many painful truths, such as Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are all made up, his grandfather wishes he had never been born, and that the world thinks he is a freak.
    It is also mentioned in this section that Ma has had trouble with her pills…again. It seems like this has been a problem for a while and it makes the reader (or at least me) question her reliability. If she really loved her son and wanted to protect and nurture him, wouldn’t she have Old Nick purchase food or clothing instead of more and more medication? I also thought that her escape plan was a little risky, even if it did mean freedom, she was endangering her child beyond the cruelty of Old Nick.
    I am excited to see how Jack reacts to the world and how affects him, his relationship with Ma, and how people perceive his situation before he escaped.

  13. laineychi

    Room by Emma Donoghue #4
    In the final quarter of the book, I was shocked to see that Ma’s constant pill consumption finally caught up to her. It was not too much of a surprise though, because the author noted multiple times in the novel that she swallowed the pills everyday, and who wouldn’t want some relief from the harsh reality of being caged in a tiny shed? Her hospitalization took a toll on their mother-son relationship, because Jack did not see Ma for many days, the longest they have been apart.
    I agree with what Dalia said, Jack is still very connected to Room. But to defend his somewhat odd relationship, that is where he spent his whole life and from the perspective of a five-year-old, life was seemingly normal. Rug, Bed, and the other objects bring back memories. For instance, Rug was where he was born, complete with a large stain. Jack had no idea that he was being held captive and was lacking freedom.
    Again, Jack is learning about fear. Grandma thinks he is too trusting as he gives autographs to complete strangers and hugs children at the playground. But it warms the reader’s heart to see that he is interacting with other kids and growing into his new life.
    Looking back at Room after he escaped, Jack sees it more clearly because he can compare it to what he has now. I would compare this situation to the story “Flowers for Algernon” because before Charlie became more intelligent he was oblivious to the fact that his “friends” would make fun of his mental capacity. Ignorance is bliss. But after he gained intelligence, Charlie learned of the evil in the world and how stupid everyone thought he was. That’s how I imagine Jack felt then. Or perhaps he gained a greater appreciation for the love that Ma gave him despite the hardships that were thrown at them constantly.

  14. gemmapleas

    I completely agree with Dalia and Ashley. I really enjoy how Jack developed. He had worked hard and pushed himself to gain independence. I also agree with what Lainey said about Ma, as it wasn’t surprising she was found to not be adjusting to Room as well as Jack.
    What I found interesting in the fourth quarter of Room was the aspect of family and other supporting people and how they helped Jack adjust to the real world.
    This section of Room has Jack spending time with his family; Grandma and Step grandpa after his mom has issues adjusting to the Outiside mentally. This is his first time being away for his mom for anywhere longer than four hours, and he ends up staying there for two weeks. Two weeks away from the woman he had spent every moment of his life with. Things are different outside, and Jack must adjust to the real world. The people he is now surrounded by, especially his grandma help him adjust.
    I think being away from his mom was something good for Jack. He developed the indepence he really needed. Living with his Grandma was an excellent decision, because she pushed him to do things that his Ma would not allow. She gave Jack “Tough Love” when need be, but at the same time knew Jack’s boundaries. Ma was not in an adequate enough situation to do this. Jack also takes his trust Rug with him, an object that was just enough to comfort him in his times of trouble, but does not make him want to leave Room.
    The ending of Room was good as they offered some closure to Jacos situation. I just wished they’d done an epilogue so we can see what happens later.

  15. dalialiu

    Room by Emma Donoghue 8.5/10

    I guess you can argue that any book is unique, but Room is especially unique. It discusses the extremely sinister side of humans through a pure and innocent perspective, giving a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Room tells the story of Jack and Ma, prisoners confined to the inside of an 11-by-11 foot shed in the backyard of their captor, Old Nick. Ma has been held prisoner for seven years–assaulted, raped, and desperate to make a life for her 5-year-old son Jack.

    I came into this novel fully expecting to be wowed by its exploration of human nature. However, there wasn’t as much oomph as I had hoped for. Not that it was disappointing, but there is not much depth you can explore through a 5-year-old’s perspective. While the point of view is a large part of sets this novel apart, it comes with a lot of baggage. Like I said, there is only so much of a topic that can be explored through Jack’s perspective. You can really only dip your feet into the pool, and while that might be realistic to his character, it leaves the reader wanting much more. In addition, reading through the perspective of someone so young was extremely tedious at first. There is so many irrelevant sentences put in for authenticity that got distracting and confusing. I found myself questioning the author for writing from his perspective multiple times, and in the beginning of the novel, I had to take breaks from reading because it got so tiring. However, it’s not something that stopped me from finishing the book, as I was able to finally get used to reading the novel fluently.

    Room is the wakeup call that everyone needs, since this sort of situation is very much present in the non-fiction world. In a real life case, Josef Fritzl locked his daughter, Elisabeth Fritzl, behind eight doors in a cellar, where he abused her and raped her more than 3,000 times. She was imprisoned for 24 years, and gave birth to seven children as a result of rape from her own father. The plot of Room is very similar to that of the Fritzl case, although Donoghue denies part of the similarity in her novel compared to Fritzl’s in an interview. She states that her book is different from the Fritzl case, but anyone capable of a simple Google search and see that it is basically the same storyline, with a little more heart. However, I saw myself way more impacted by reading an article on the Fritzl case than Room. As fun as it was to read, I do wish that it had just a little more content.

    Even with all its hiccups, I still think that Room is a novel worth reading. Its unique perspective, with all its baggage, still deserves to be experienced. It was suspenseful, shocking, and frightening, as well as sweet, innocent, and loving all at the same time. I can’t think of any other work of literature like this one, and it does deserve to be discussed about. I would recommend this novel to teenagers and anyone older, as it was a good novel, just not the smoothest or most polished one.

  16. gemmapleas

    Room by Emma Donoghue 7.8/10

    Room is story of a 5-year old boy name Jack, who knows nothing but the Safe Haven of his 12 feet by 12 feet Room where he and his mother live. Jack knows nothing of the outside world or of the dark reality of his situation. Jack’s mother has been kidnapped, raped and has lived as a prisoner in Room for seven years. Jack was born into this alternate existence, and when he and his mother successfully escape, Jack must learn to adjust to a world he would’ve otherwise never known.
    The book Room is broken into four quarters. The first half of the book deals with life in Room and the second part deals with life outside of Room. The first part of the book was a bit monotonous to read. Since Room is told from the perspective of a five- year-old Jack, no particularly interesting voice or literary devices is used to draw the reader in. Jack’s thoughts, while unique, lacked depth to draw readers in. The whole half is basically Jack explaining their daily life in Room, which as you’d imagine is not too interesting to read, Although this does give the reader a deeper understanding of their situation. However his perspective works better in the 2nd half of the book, because we get to see the raw, unique, and somewhat naive reactions from a individual who has never seen the world all of us have seen every second of our lives. It gives readers a new perspective on the world they live in.
    One interesting writing strategy I really enjoyed was the way the author chose to write about objects. Things in Room became personified. Jack would say something like, “I enjoy Bed. She is very comfortable.” Through this we see Jack’s attachment and the connection he feels to these objects. However when he escapes room, he no longer personifies the object and we see the discomfort he feels towards objects outside room.
    The ending of Room was a bit dissatisfying. I was proud of Jack when he was finally able to let go of his attachment to Room and adjust to life in the real world, but the ending was a bit abrupt. It made me question what the plot of the book was and seemed to have no conclusion. Just as you’re really starting to get into the book and it seems to be getting interesting, it just ends. I would’ve at least added an epilogue to conclude it.
    But with all its mishaps and criticism, Room is truly a great read. It captivates a unique situation and tackled from a rare perspective. It truly makes readers think. If you wish to start to think about life and the world in we leave in in a new way, Room is definitely a read for you. It is a book for all ages that anyone can enjoy.

  17. ashleypiccolo

    Room by Emma Donoghue 8/10

    Room is a story about a five year old boy named Jack who lives in a small shed with his Ma who are both held captive by Old Nick. Jack has only ever lived in Room as his mother gave birth to him during the seven years that she lived there. Old Nick the man who captured Ma also raped and beat her while she was held captive. This book does not only focus on the two being trapped, but also what they go through once they escape the room and how they adjust to the world around them. The story is told through the eyes of innocent five year old Jack who knows nothing about the outside world except what Ma has told him over the years which is very little.

    While reading this book the first section of was rather difficult for me to read as the perspective was through a five year old boy who knows nothing of the outside world so some of the things he said was very hard to understand. As the book progressed I realized that the unique perspective of this book really made it special and helped the book remain light at times when a very dark heavy subject took place. By having a young boy tell this deep story it becomes a lot easier to read as some humor is added here and there with what Jack says. Even though the perspective takes a little time to get used to it really helps shape the book and Room would definitely not be the same without the perspective.

    A writing technique that Donoghue uses in this book that I noticed throughout the book was how child like the language was, which is completely understandable since the perspective was through a five year old boy. There were times when Jack would over exaggerate things that he would do and he would personify inanimate objects like a typical five year old boy. As well since Jack is so innocent due to his age some of the horrific events that are occurring right outside the closet that he sleeps in is left to the reader’s imagination. If Ma was the one to narrate this book I believe that the book would have been a lot more serious and hard to get through since the heavy deep topics would be out in the open rather than hidden here and there.

    Anyone who wants to read about some heavy topics without being attacked by the topics and horror that could occur should read this book. As well anyone who enjoys really different perspectives and books having sections to them would also enjoy this book. This book would be very good for teenagers to young adults however I think as long as the reader is mature enough and ready for a heavy topic they should read this book. This is a book that everyone should read sometime in their life in order to start seeing the world in a new light.

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