Study Guide

Room The Home

By Emma Donoghue

The Home

There are tons of sayings about the home. It's where the heart is. It's where you hang your hat. It's where your kidnapper and rapist keeps you locked up for seven years.

Um, wait. That last one is not a popular saying about the home… and we hope that it never is.

But for Ma and Jack in Room, Room is their home—because that's where they're held prisoner. Thing get a little more complicated after Ma and Jack leave Room, though. Jack believes Room is his home. He was born there, and for five years Ma has told him that Room was the world. His whole world was inside those four walls. It's no wonder he starts to miss the place.

For Ma, though, it feels like she no longer has a home, in Room or anywhere else. Room was never her home, but even her childhood bedroom is gone now. Both Jack and Ma have to find a new home in the Outside to hang their hat and any other belongings they accumulate along the way.

Questions About The Home

  1. Room is where Jack grows up for five years. He sleeps there every night, and his height chart is tracked on the wall. Does that make Room his home?
  2. Even though she calls it a prison, is Room Ma's home too?
  3. How has Ma's home changed when she escapes from Room?
  4. What difficulties do Jack and Ma face in trying to find a home Outside of Room?

Chew on This

Room is a home to Jack. It's where he was born, where he was raised, where he learned everything that will shape his entire life. Room can be different things to both him and Ma.

Room isn'ta home to Jack. It's just a place. It never had a heart or soul the way a real home has. He's been forced to live there by a kidnapper. He and Ma can make a home for themselves elsewhere.