Jack’s Search for His Identity
Identity can be defined as the fact of being whom or what a person is. Internal and external factors shape a child’s concept of their own identity. These factors include the environmental setting, family, community, and the media. In the novel Room by Emma Donoghue, the 5-year-old narrator/protagonist Jack learns his identity through exploring the familiar space he occupies, the close relationship between he and his mother, and watching television. It is clear that Jack faces many challenges, which lead him to discover how his identity is shaped; this is evident through the exploration of him forming personal attachments to his mother, the room he lived in, and the problems he encounters to the new outside world.
First, Jack forms personal attachments to his mother, which leads him to how he discovers his identity. This quotation demonstrates how much his mother means to him. “‘What’s humankind?’ ‘The human race, all of us.’ ‘Is that me too?’ ‘Oh yeah, for sure, you’re one of us.’ ‘And Ma.’ Dr. Clay nods. ‘She’s one too.’ But what I actually meant was, maybe I’m a human, but I’m a me-and-ma as well” (Donoghue, 274). This quote describes a very close relationship between the child and his mother. Jack is already able to identify himself as an individual, but he is also aware that his mother plays a crucial role in the development of his personality and ways of coping with his emotions. Moreover, Jack already identifies his dependency for his mother. “‘You know who you belong to Jack? Yourself.’ He’s wrong, actually I belong to Ma” (Donoghue, 257). This is another quote displaying how a young boy is strongly attached to his mother. She provides love, care, knowledge, and understanding of the entire world to him. As you can see, Jack discovers his identity by forming personal attachments to his mother.
Secondly, Jack forms personal attachments to the room, which bring him to learn his own identity. He says last goodbyes to...
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