Room Room question

Terri Terri Jul 06, 2011 04:49PM
How do you feel about the way Jack's mother raised him? In the first half and in the second half of the book?

This book delves into the psyche of a captive...from the view point of a 5 year old. It is because of her love for him that we know by the end of the book they will both be okay - that they will triumph. Jack needed to be separated from her - to see himself as an independent person apart from her. The growth for them both could not have happened other wise.

There is a part of me that wondered if she only had Jack as a way of escape. I felt like she was just waiting all those years for him to be old enough to help in an escape. I can't imagine the amount of lonliness she must of felt either and the horror of loosing that first child.

I thought she did a great job of keeping Jack healthy and safe. She used what she had wisely, I would never have thought to ask for cloth diapers instead of disposable just so she would never have to ask for them twice.

People who comment and call her a horrible mother for being impatient with him when they escaped have obviously never been parents. EVERY parent has faced a time when they just want their child to understand things, and act helpful instead of clingy or useless, and gotten frustrated because of it. Children are the most unhelpful beings on the planet, because they inherently don't have the capacity to make reasoned decisions. And when parents are trying to heal themselves, or set things straight, as Ma was trying to do, that lack of ability can be too much to handle. It's impossible to heal two people completely at one time. She had to focus on herself first to be there for Jack later, even if he suffered a bit in the meantime. All mothers make that decision at some point, whether it be to secure their future by going back to work and leaving the child in daycare, or perhaps sharing custody with the father more often. It's a sacrifice all moms make in some capacity, and the author illustrated that very well.

I agree with Kelli. She made Jack's life a happy as she could, and I was impressed with the inventiveness of their play, their phy ed time, etc. I probably couldn't have done that well. Tasha, I'm wondering what you mean that she "only had Jack as an escape."? She certainly didn't have any say on being raped repeatedly, and he wouldn't have been kind enough to provide birth control. She had no control on having a baby or not.

She didn't necessarily want to be a mother in Room, she was raped repeatedly and is lucky she only got pregnant twice. She was still young when she had Jack (23) and she had been captive since she was 19. I imagine part of her was still naive to the world. I think given her age, her limited life experience and her situation, she did a great job. He was a smart boy in Room. Maybe in the outside world he needed help but she did her best given her situation.

I think what she did was extraordinary. She was under so much pain, yet she managed to keep him safe from Old Nick, and when they were freed, she kept trying to give him a better life than her own. She has some superpowers!

In the first half of the book, I think she did a great job with what she had. They were confined to such a small space, but she tried to come up with activities for them to do. She taught him things and even figured out ways to have physical exercise. She also tried to protect him from Old Nick.

(view spoiler)

Adriana I was also a little angry by what Ma did. But I was able to justify it. She had been through hell and managed to completely hide it from her son. When ...more
Jul 07, 2011 12:09PM
Carla I share your opinion a 100%, Terri.
Jul 18, 2011 12:49PM

I just finished watching the Diane Sawyer interview with Jaycee Duguard - the real life story of Room. After watching that I believe we never know what we are capable of until we are put in impossible situations. I can only hope that I would have been able to be as brave as Jaycee and Jack's mom.

I thought she did a fabulous job of teaching him about his world w/o freaking him out about their situation. Once freed, I can only imagine how overwhelming that would be for both of them. As a reader, I felt very invested emotionally in their story...

Her mothering was the best she could do in that shed and I give her props. And although I understand her wanting to get back to normal once free. But I still didn't like the change towards Jack once they were out. As it seemed like she was trying to put/force him in the mold of a normal child. I.e. no clinging, come out and do this, do that, stop doing this or that. And I know eventually he would have to get over being so clingy and adapt to the outside world. But she was rushing it to me. And I totally hated when she had to do that interview with the reporters and when she was getting ready to go and Jack wanted to go with her and wrapped himself around her. She got so mad at him that she caused him to hit his head. I think that was so uncalled for, she should have known he wouldn't want to be alone like that. Should have just let him sit in the corner and played with his toys. Stuff like that is when she started being a bad parent to me.

I think she was a wonderful mother. I was appalled at how people critiqued her mothering after the escape. She did an amazing job with what she had, sadly, far more inventive than I think I would have been.

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