‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue
When you watch the news, don’t you ever wonder what happens to those children who have been locked up in a room since they’re born? The kids who’ve never seen daylight in their entire life? Who have never breathed fresh air? ‘Room’ tells us a story about Jack, a boy who’s born in ‘Room’. To him, his best friends are objects like ‘Lamp’, ‘Wardrobe’ and ‘Cornflakes’.
Jack’s mother is a woman who was kidnapped at the age of 19 by a man Jack calls ‘Old Nick’. Jack’s mother gives birth to Jack in ‘Room’. Room is a locked place and measures eleven feet by eleven feet, it’s only place Jack has ever seen. Room is to him his own little planet. He does watch TV but doesn’t know that anything on the screen could actually be real. He lives a very peaceful life thinking that he, his mother and Old Nick are the only people on the world. But then his mother admits something. Everything he sees on TV is real. Everything he sees on the screen is outside Room. Jack is in shock. That means that dogs exist, the zoo exists, Beyonce from the video clips exists, even clouds are real! His mother tells him that Room is getting too small for them. They need to escape. But Jack doesn’t want to go: he’s happy in Room and doesn’t need to go outside to the actual world. But what he doesn’t know, is that everything is better in the real world. He can make actual friends, and eat pancakes every day if he wants to. That convinces him. He and his mom think of an escape plan and they succeed. Jack cannot believe what he’s seeing… still, he wants to go back.
This is a good book. It’s a good book, because you cannot relate to Jack. Not at all. Very often books are called ‘good’ when you can put yourself into the position of the main character. A book is called good if you feel the same things that main character does. Room is new. Jack is a five-year-old who calls his penis ‘little Baby Jesus’ and his best friends are in the TV. To him, having an ice-cream is as crazy as a dog who bites his fingers off. His reality and fantasy are so messed up, all he wants to do is to go back to Room behind locked doors, where he’s safe and warm. He meets his grandmother: he doesn’t want her. He has to wear shoes: he doesn’t want to. He has to go to school: he never asked for that. This book shows us how sane life can sometimes be. This book shows us how a fiction book can actually be the reality for a young boy. You never realise how painful a young child’s future can be when a kid doesn’t have the opportunity to have a youth. The news shows us a very flat image of what happens to all those kids, locked up in basements by crazy mentally sick men. Room shows us how those kids experience the world, for the very first time.
by Kiriko Mechanicus V5H