Mother-Child Dynamics and Freedom in Room

Mother-ChildDynamics and Freedom in Room

Inthe novel Room, the development of the plot and the characterizationcome into play to communicate the intentions of the author throughthe context of the storyline. Set in a context of a room, from wherethe novel gets its name, the plot of the novel seeks to bring out themajor themes that the author communicates to the world. Top of thesethemes are mother and child dynamics and freedom. The mother andchild dynamics are presented by the interaction between the motherMa, and the child Jack. Freedom is illuminated by the essence of thetwo lacking another world as each other is locked in a world lackingspace. The discussion on the novel will illustrate that mother andchild dynamics and freedom are the main themes that drive the plot ofthe novel.

Inthe novel, Donoghue brings out theme of mother and child dynamicsbroad manner. In the room, Ma and jack have a well knit bond that ischaracterized by sacrifice, love, and care. Despite the fact that Maand jack have no freedom, they relate in a way that makes the roomhabitable as it is the only world they have. When jack is old enoughto learn, Ma makes him understand and believe that existence andreality is defined by all that is in the room. The rest of the worldall exists on television. At one time, Ma asks, ““You’ve chosensuch a tricky one. . . . Did you hear it on TV?” (Donoghue7). However, Ma seeks for him to learn, by telling stories. She says,““CanI have a story?” (Donoghue23). When she seeks to tell it, she knows how to convince by saying,“Justa quick one.” Thisshows how willing she wanted children to learn.

Maknows that the world and the situation is not safe and friendly butshe makes jack feel comfortable. She ensures jack lives a happyhealthy and enjoyable life. To make it enjoyable, she sings, ““Row,Row, Row Your Boat,” Ma guesses that right away (Donoghue6). Theyspend their day singing, reading and playing guessing games. Thiskind of life creates a bond between jack and his mother. This bond ismainly triggered by loneliness in the room and lack of freedom.Donogues outlines this theme further and broader describing theimagination games they played. Ma and Jack often made objects fromavailable waste, for instance they made a snake from egg shells. Thisshows that there existed a close mother-son relationship.

TheBond between Ma and Jack

Amajor dynamic of mother to child is the love bond between the two ofthem. The author presents a special type of a bond that is based ontrust and love between the two the mother and the child. To Ma, thesafety of the child is the number one priority that surpasses allother aspects of life. To jack, the warmth of the mother’s love iswhat means the world to him, apart from the room. The author uses therelationship between Ma and jack to illustrate how the bond between amother and a child should grow.

Freedomis presented in the way the characters live with the lack of it,rather than enjoyment of freedom. The lack of freedom for the twocharacters, mother Ma and child Jack is what the author uses topresent the value and importance of freedom in the world. The worldin this case is relative in meaning as ach of the two characters seea different world. To jack, the room is his world, and it is the onlyspace that can be termed to be the reality of his freedom. He islocked in the wardrobe, just to be safe. Ma assures Jack not to besacred by saying, ““Scaredis what you`re feeling. Brave is what you`re doing” (Donoghue56). At this point, his safety becomes the source of his freedom.

Donoghueelaborates the theme of freedom in every aspect of the novel. Shebrings out the dark side and the bitterness of loss of freedom. Mawas kidnapped at a parking lot at the age of 19. She was enclosed ina room with no one to interact with and the only being she met everyday was her kidnapper and rapist. Deprival of freedom is fatal bothphysically and psychologically. The concept of freedom comes whenJack states “Goodbye,Room.&quot I wave up at Skylight” (Donoghue276). Thisshows his desire to leave the room. He further repeats “I wave upat Skylight.&quotSay goodbye,&quot (Donoghue276).

Whenjack is born, Ma makes an agreement with Old Nick. The agreement wasthat Old Nick can have all he wants as long as he provides food andkeeps away from jack. Ma made this agreement so as to protect jack.Ma did not want jack to know or even feel that they lived in aninsecure world. In the novel, Donoghue successfully delivers thetheme of freedom. This is seen when he says, Itell Ma. &quotGoodbye, Room&quot (Donoghue276).

Freedomof the child, Jack from the room

TheComparison of different lives before and after gaining freedomsuccessfully outlines and describes the theme of freedom. In theroom, their world revolved within a television, a wardrobe, a rug anda plant. After gaining freedom, Ma becomes independent and they bothlearn to interact with people. They gain freedom to medical attentionas well as freedom of movement. The novel depicts the change inenvironment and lifestyle. These changes are motivated by gain offreedom.


Donoghue,Emma. Room.New York: HarperCollins,2011, print