Study Guide

Room Part 3: Dying

By Emma Donoghue

Part 3: Dying

  • Good news: power's back. It's warm. There are bananas and cereal for breakfast.
  • Bad news: Plant dies. R.I.P. Plant. Ma has to explain to Jack that she can't make Plant be alive again.
  • Ma is a little distant because she's thinking. She tells Jack that she's trying to think of a new escape plan.
  • She and Jack brainstorm until Ma comes up with an idea: she'll tell Old Nick that Jack is really sick and needs to go to the hospital. Once there, Jack can tell the police that he's been kidnapped and they can find Ma.
  • Ma tries to get Jack to pretend to be sick, but he keeps giggling. She's upset that he's not taking this more seriously. Jack says he'll be braver when he's six but Ma doesn't want to wait that long.
  • Later, Ma tells Old Nick that Jack is getting sick so that he'll fall for their plan in a few days.
  • Jack still doesn't like the plan, but Ma tells him, "I'm your mother. […] That means sometimes I get to choose for both of us" (3.287).
  • The next day, Ma is ready to put the plan into action. Jack is feeling "scardybrave" (3.309) or "scave" (3.310).
  • She gets Jack's face hot with a hot water bag and hides him in bed.
  • When Old Nick comes in, she says that Jack's been puking and sick for thirty hours.
  • Old Nick touches Jack's cheek, which freaks Jack out, but he won't take Jack to the ER. He says he'll just get him something at the drugstore.
  • Jack feels like he did something wrong, but Ma assures him that he didn't.
  • Ma decides to enact Plan B. They'll pretend that Jack is dead.
  • Ma and Jack practice at Jack being dead: stiff and quiet wrapped up in Rug, like a big ol' burrito. A big ol' burrito of death.
  • Here's the plan: Old Nick will take Corpse Jack to bury him. When his truck stops, Jack will jump out and run for help, telling people that he's been kidnapped. Then the police will find Ma.
  • Jack puts Ma's Bad Tooth in his sock for safekeeping, so he has something of hers close to him at all times.
  • Ma gives Jack a note, and she almost gives him a knife, but she's afraid he'll cut himself.
  • When Old Nick comes in, Ma tells him that Jack died.
  • Ma tells Old Nick to take Jack far away: "If you bury him [in the backyard] I'll hear him crying." (3.697)
  • Old Nick agrees and takes Jack away. He drops Rug in the truck, and even though it hurts, Jack stays silent.
  • Jack is scared and having a hard time getting out of Rug, but after a few stop signs, he manages to escape. Old Nick sees him jumping out of the truck bed and chases him.
  • Jack runs into the woods and finds a man pushing a stroller and walking his dog. The dog bites Jack, which scares him even more. He's too paralyzed with fear to talk.
  • The man grabs the dog, whose name is Raja, just as Old Nick catches up to Jack and grabs him.
  • Raja's owner wonders aloud why Jack's knee is bleeding. He thinks the whole situation is weird (he also thinks Jack, with his super long hair, is a girl), so he calls the police.
  • Old Nick carries Jack away, but the man follows him. The man gets Old Nick's license plate number, and Old Nick drops Jack and drives away.
  • The man, whose name is Ajeet, asks Jack is name, and Jack manages to tell him. He can't really understand or answer any of his other questions, though.
  • Jack tries to find the note that Ma wrote, but he lost it.
  • A police officer named Officer Oh arrives. She asks Jack a lot of questions, and eventually figures out what's going on. It takes a while.
  • She also finds out that Old Nick stopped at three stop signs and made a turn.
  • Jack manages to tell her that Room is not part of a house; it's in the backyard. With this much information, the police are able to find the house with Room in the yard and rescue Ma.
  • Jack wants to return to Bed, inside Room, and go to sleep, but Ma says "we're never going back." (3.1001)