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Room Vs. Lullabies For Little Criminals

2186 words - 9 pages

Wounds and Wisdom
Rianna Alli
ENG4U1-03

Stereotypical remarks are often made of people who come from a broken family, are living in an un-safe, un-stable environment, and are in any way, different. These remarks typically suggest that those who fall into any of the categories above, are of less value to society. It isn’t uncommon that emotional distress can cause an individual to have trouble preforming to society’s standards. However, those who have gone through dramatic and life changing experiences at a young age are not any less likely to grow into being a successful and well-rounded individual. In both novels, Lullabies for Little Criminals written by Heather O’Neill and Room ...view middle of the document...

In Lullabies for Little Criminals, Baby finds herself constantly moving from one scummy, run-down apartment to the next with only her addict father by her side to help her endure a city full of drug dealers, addicts, and prostitutes. This makes it all the more difficult for her to live a safe, innocent and normal life. She is exposed to the crime in her society at a young age, and knows that “St. Laurent Street [isn’t] an ideal place to raise a kid….It [is] also the red-light district…There [are] always prostitutes around” (O’Neill, 84). This quote shows how she was exposed to the red-light district and her acknowledgment of its’ poor qualities, but ultimately the book continues on to tell the reader how she becomes a part of it. Despite her age, Baby’s so-called home is warping her into a part of society that she does not belong in. She becomes a child prostitute, making money for a pimp named Alphonse, and becomes lost to a world of crime and violence. This turn in her life ultimately leads the privileged portion of society to believe that she has no potential but to live on as a homeless addict; however, when faced with the decision to continue her life as a prostitute or to return back to her father—who is, for the time being, homeless and penniless—she chooses her family. When asked where she is going, she simply states, “I’m going home.”(O’Neill, 4715) Baby understands that currently neither she nor her dad has a house, but simply being with her father is home enough for her. The love and bond she shares with her father is unbreakable and stronger than what most unfortunate children feel towards their drug addicted parent, but because of the poor environment and lack of shelter, her bond to her father is what always remains constant throughout the struggles that she faces.
Similarly, in Room, Jack is confined to a one room shack throughout his childhood until his escape. He is shut out from the world and hidden to be left with no outside contact but with his mother. Although it is be thought that the four walls around him would slowly drive both his mother and himself to madness, the two remained a strong unit, staying positive by using the other as a source of stability. As the years in their cramped space restricts Jacks’ social development and learning, his knowledge grows because of his mother’s love. As Jack’s mother puts it, they are in solitary confinement but, “Neither of us was ever alone for a minute” (Donoghue, 3764). This shows their dependence upon each other, and because of the situation they are in, their relationship develops to the extent that they are inseparable. Any outside force that questions the love that they share for one another would be proven wrong. Jack is aware of this bond and he understands how much he means to his mother as he states, “’They’re still fiddling with my dosage, trying to figure out what I need.’ Me, she needs me” (Donoghue, 4705). Ultimately, being constricted and confined to a limiting...

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