Room by Emma Donoghue
Room is a novel written through the perspective of 5-year old Jack. This novel tells the story of the “Room” where Jack was born, and where he and his mother eat, sleep, play and learn. Jack has always known the “Room” as home, but for his mother it’s the prison where she has been trapped for 7 years. Her ferocious love for her son has been the driving force to creating a life for him in this tiny room, but her desperation to escape is taking over. This novel was published in 2010 and is set in the 21st century.
Ma is the mother figure in the novel and is the mother of 5-year-old Jack. Ma is one of the fiercest and most devoted mothers I have ever seen portrayed in a novel. Although Jack is a product of her rape and capture by Old Nick, she still loves him unconditionally and does her best to create a normal life for him in this 11 by 11 foot room they are confined in. She raises Jack to believe that the real world does not exist beyond the room, in order to avoid disappointing him with a life she can’t give him. Even though they are confined to such a tiny space, Ma still teaches Jack the things a 5-year old should know and does her best to keep him healthy and happy at all costs. Every moment of Ma’s life is devoted to Jack. She spends 24 hours a day with him playing, teaching and taking care of him, with no outside help. Jack is Ma’s entire world and she will let nothing get in the way of being a mother to her child. She sacrifices her freedom and her body in order to keep her son safe from harm. Ma no longer attempts to escape after Jack is born out of fear that he will take her son away and kill him. When Ma finally gets the courage to attempt an escape once again she sends Jack out first so that if the plan fails, Jack will be safe. She continues to protect Jack throughout the entire novel, from Old Nick, the outside world and anything that could hurt him. Ma is also a real depiction of a mother. There are times when she gets frustrated and Jack pushes her to her limits. But through it all she makes sure that Jack feels loved and protected, no matter what that means she has to suppress or sacrifice.
Ma is a supermom in every sense of the word. Despite the traumatic experiences Ma faces for 7 years in captivity, she fights to stay alive for her son. Ma is a mother who refuses to give up and makes the best of being a mother in the worst possible situation one could imagine. Throughout the novel we see Ma’s flaws and her strengths, and the greatest strength she has is being a mother. No matter what challenges life throws at Ma she always conquers them in order to be a phenomenal mother to a child who needs her.