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'Room' Novel and Screenplay by Emma Donoghue Review

Updated on January 9, 2016

Keeping Jack

To Protect Jack from anything that was happening to them, Ma created a whole new universe for him within the room. She made sure that Jack will be able to live a complete and fulfilling life. She introduced the real world to him. She told him that what he sees in the television and what reads in the books are unreal. She let Jack understood that not all he believed in for a really long time were real, like how he believed that Old Nick gets their food by magic from television.


The problem Arise

Inevitably, as Jack's curiosity about their situation grew, Ma started to devise a very risky plan to escape. Ma knew she can't kill Old Nick because, if they do, they would still end up being locked in the Room, just like how she attempted before Jack was born. The first plan was that she will pour the boiling hot water on Jack’s face telling him that he must pretend to be sick, very sick. She would then force herself to vomit and spread it around Jacks pillow. Old Nick came in and Ma pretended to be hysterical, insisting that Jack must be taken to an Emergency Room. But still, Old Nick refuses.

Jack and his Mom

The Psychological effect of them being locked-up in the room

To cut the long story short, Jack and Ma wakes up in a hospital. They were treated and given many tests to take. They were taken to Ma’s childhood home where her mother lives with her new husband. Sooner, Jack heard some noises coming from the bathroom. He entered to find his mom unconscious on the floor. She swallowed pills in a suicide attempt. This was caused by depression the interviews of the journalists have brought her. She was brought to the hospital and was later relieved. To movie ended with Ma and Jack returning to the shed which had its door already blasted off. It looked completely different to them by that time. Jack even thought it was shrunk and that it was different with the door opened. Jack says good bye to the things in which he used to say hello when they were still isolated in that Room. Ma and Jack walked away from the shed with police escorts in the distance. From then they said goodbye to their years of captivity.

At 5 years old, Jack wasn’t able to experience the normal process of growth and development. Jack has grown in an isolated shed; they call Room, with only him and her mom. He was brought up not absolute but only close to being a feral child. He was not able to interact with other people, but good for him; he has his Ma who introduced him to the world. He was confused with what seems to be real and not. His world revolves only around her mom and the Old Nick, who visits them sometimes.

He wasn’t good at interacting and conversing with people other than his mom. And that was the reason why he was hesitant to answer the Police Officer when he was asked. He wasn’t exposed to the real environment. That’s why when he unroll himself in the rug when he was at the back of the Old Nick’s truck, and saw the real wide sky, his eyes seemed to be blinded by the light. And also when he came close to a fallen brown leaf, it seemed new to him, because his only perception of a leaf was what he used to watch in cartoons.

Sigmond Freuds Theory

Sigmund Freud's Psychodynamic Perspective tells us the psychological force that underlie in Jacks behaviour, feelings, and emotions when he and his Ma were freed from the Room, was all of his early experiences. Living in isolation without the knowledge of the real world was never easy. And so, when he was exposed to the real environment, everything was new to him. It was hard for him to adjust to the crowd, to recognize what and how things are for. It was even hard for Him to use the telephone to call the hospital to rescue her mom from her suicidal attempt.


Carl Jung's Analytical Psychology

It was Carl Jung's Analytical Psychology that explains why it wasn’t just personal consciousness that’s working on Jack’s coping up process when he was interacting with the real environment. Since Jack is expected to grow and develop, and the world is evolutionary, his way of thinking, reacting and behaving would inevitably be changed. This change in collective unconsciousness Jack was caused by the continuous interaction, experience, and exposure he had after their captivity.

Karen Horney's Theory

Karen Horney’s Psychoanalytic Social Theory explains how easily Jack was able to cope up with the anxiety created by their captivity. Horney said that a child is born into this world with a sense of basic anxiety. But, with Jack’s case, the anxiety was made greater due to what has happened to them. With Jack’s Ma and family it was easier for him to resolve this anxiety because of the love, affection and security being poured into him.

Erik Erikson's Concept

Jack clearly showed how necessary it is for a person to undergo the stages of psychosocial development, according to Erik Erikson’s concept. With Jack’s lack of interaction and socialization, he was blinded with the reality of the world. He wasn’t able to establish a little sense of identity in society, well except for his Ma. And he also wasn’t able to have the basic foundation he might need to prepare for the future.

© 2016 Christian Mejia

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