Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ROOM by Emma Donaghue

  1. Why do you think the author chose to tell the story of Room through Jack and not through an omniscient, third-person narrator?
  2. Which elements of Jack's developmental delays and/or his integration issues surprised you most?
  3. When Ma is interviewed, the interviewer implies that perhaps not everyone would agree with Ma's decisions regarding Jack - first, her decision to keep him in Room when she could have tried to have Old Nick abandon him at a hospital, and second, to teach him that Room was all there is, that things in TV aren't real, etc. What are your thoughts regarding these decisions?
  4. Have you ever gotten into a car with someone you don't know, as Ma did? Did you find this to be a believable way for a 19-year-old to be kidnapped?
  5. Did you find yourself wanting to know more about Old Nick? If so, why do you think this is? Describe the dynamic between Old Nick and Ma. Why does the author choose not to tell us Old Nick’s story? 
  6. Jack often wishes he were back in Room. Is there any way in which he would be better off back in isolation with only his mother? Why or why not?
  7. What sort of problems do you think Ma will face now that she and Jack are out on their own?
  8.  What would you do differently if you were Jack’s parent? Would you tell Jack about the outside world from the start? 

    9. If Ma had never given birth to Jack, what would her situation in Room be like? 

    10.. What does joining the outside world do to Jack? To Ma?

    11. In a similar situation, how would you teach a child the difference between the real world and what they watch on television? 

    12. Why are we so fascinated by stories of long-term confinement? 
  9. 13. What were you most affected by in the novel? 

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