Feminism In The Locked Room

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The locked room can metaphorically signify the social control and restrictions put by the patriarchal society on women and children. And coming out of the room “entails coming out into a different space of power and knowledge” (An extraordinary act of motherhood: a conversation with Emma Donoghue, Tom Ue). By giving Ma the ability to comprehend and use the limitations to her benefit, Donoghue has shown how women despite having the limited scope do try use the conventions of the society against itself. In order to avoid her perpetrator from interacting with her son Ma uses her body as a tool to distract him. Jack on the other hand is doubly marginalized. He is not even given the space to move and is forced to live in a Wardrobe.
Both Ma and Jack reacts to the environment of the room differently. Jack was born in the room. He was told that the room was the only place left on the earth and the Outside (the society) was just
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Ma is supposed to share her story, despite her being in the initial recovery phase. The media beleaguers her and Jack for the sake of them being the “hot topic”. Media’s heartlessness doesn’t limit to Ma recounting her story again and again, it also wants her to narrate her story either as a victim which Ma refuses to consider herself or a triumphant mother. To this Ma aptly replies “But the thing is, slavery’s not a new invention. And solitary confinement—did you know, in America we’ve got more than twenty-five thousand prisoners in isolation cells?” (Donoghue, 2010: 232) “There is an uncomfortable voyeurism to these interactions, made even more visible by Ma’s resistance to the puffy-hair woman. The blatant fixation that the puffy-hair woman has:on crafting—and thereby controlling—Ma’s story uncovers the tensions between mass media and subject.” (Closet Children: Growing Up in Confinement in Twenty­First Century Memoirs and Fiction, Xiao­Fang
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