Room Emma Donoghue Analysis

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Room by Emma Donoghue is a dramatic novel focusing on the lives of Ma and Jack. The author explores the idea that physical confinement is not the only form of imprisonment. Donoghue relates to wider ideas of imprisonment, such as the responsibilities of motherhood, social expectations and mentality. Characterization, motif, symbolism, theme, narrative perspective, imagery, and allusion are all manipulated effectively within the text to explore different forms of imprisonment. The views shown relate to current society, thus allowing readers to interpret Donoghues intentions as familiar.
Within Room, Donoghue explores the maternal bond as a form of imprisonment. The dependent relationship between mother and child, as shown through Ma and Jack,
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The author explores how the society around people influence what they consider ‘normal’. By isolating Ma and Jack from the society around them, Donoghue emphasizes the contrast between two environments and how conformity to expectations confine behavior and beliefs. Television is a symbol used to represent how the isolated environment Jack grows up in warps his beliefs in regards to reality, ‘Bunnies are TV but carrots are real’. Jack only knows what he has seen in Room, his expectations completely disregard what is believed to be imaginary. By exploring this, Donoghue encourages the audience to view imprisonment as beliefs molded through environment. Theme is also used by the author to explore imprisonment through social environmental influence. Distinct gender roles are explored within the characters of Room, particularly Ma, Jack and Old Nick. Ma is shown as depending on a male savior, both through having Nick provide food and by relying on Jack to escape, ‘If I could do it for you, I would’. Donoghue relates widely through this social expectation as it is a current social issue, thus it creates emotions of understanding and upset of within the reader. The idea that women need men is influenced by society, and thus imprisons people in their behavior and the gender roles they are expected to …show more content…
Jack is plagued by innocence, and the carefree mindset he has prevents him from understanding the negatives of his situation. A limited narrative perspective is used to show this by using undeveloped language and phrasing to allow the reader to gather knowledge from a child’s perspective. Through this technique the audience are able experience situations through Jacks mentality and understand the confinement he faces due to his age. Donoghue explores Jack’s content with Room as due to his mindset, as a child he fails to understand the real damaging nature that room is, addressing it happily within his storytelling ‘We have to be in the world, we’re not even going back to Room, Ma says that’s how it is and I should be glad. I don’t know why we can’t go back just to sleep even’. Literary allusion is also used by the author to explore how a child’s mentality restricts their capabilities through comparison within Alice in Wonderland ‘I'm from somewhere else, like Alice’. Ma uses the novel to explain their predicament in a manner that Jack can understand. By regarding a horrific situation in an innocent way, Donoghue shows the audience how vastly different a child’s mind is and how the innocence prevents Jack from truly being able to understand how damaging Room was. Unlike Jack, Donoghue explores Ma as an emotionally tainted character. Her

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