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Lewis, K. (2018). Moving Between Subjective Omnipotence and Objective Reality in Room, a Novel by Emma Donaghue. IJP Open, 5:28.

(2018). IJP Open, 5:28

Moving Between Subjective Omnipotence and Objective Reality in Room, a Novel by Emma Donaghue

Katherine Lewis

The role of reciprocity between mother and child in early human development is carefully demonstrated by Emma Donaghue in her fictional book Room, published in 2010. Readers follow Jack, a five-year-old boy, as he and his Ma leave Room for the outside world, moving from a state of subjective omnipotence to objective reality through the use of a transitional object. Jack’s isolation in early life, while traumatic for Ma, presented her a unique opportunity to develop primary maternal preoccupation. This fostered a rich internal life in Jack. Ma’s good enough parenting supported Jack to resolve the trauma of his delayed separation and differentiation from Ma. Donaghue provides rich examples for understanding key concepts of human development proposed by Donald W. Winnicott, Melanie Klein and Erik Erikson.

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