Monday, July 31, 2017

Discours de la Méthode - Résumé et Extraits


Dans « Discours de la méthode », Descartes ne s’intéresse pas à un sujet philosophique ou scientifique particulier. Il y dévoile plutôt sa méthode de recherche, de réflexion et de raisonnement et explique comment il a adopté cette méthode. Le livre est composé de 6 parties. Dans ce qui suit, on va donner un aperçu sur le contenu de chaque chapitre et on va en citer quelques extraits.

Partie I

Dans cette partie, l’auteur clarifie l’objectif de son livre, celui de présenter sa méthode de raisonnement, et explique les différentes études et recherches qu’il a menées et les matières qu’il a apprises et qui lui ont permis de déduire cette méthode. En même temps, il insiste que son dessein est juste de partager sa méthode et non pas de l’enseigner pour que tout le monde la suive.

La diversité de nos opinions ne vient pas de ce que les uns sont plus raisonnables que les autres, mais seulement de ce que nous conduisons nos pensées par diverses voies, et ne considérons pas les mêmes choses. Car ce n'est pas assez d'avoir l'esprit bon, mais le principal est de l'appliquer bien.
*****
La lecture de tous les bons livres est comme une conversation avec les plus honnêtes gens des siècles passés, qui en ont été les auteurs, et même une conversation étudiée, en laquelle ils ne nous découvrent que les meilleures de leurs pensées; que l'éloquence a des forces et des beautés incomparables; que la poésie a des délicatesses et des douceurs très ravissantes; que les mathématiques ont des inventions très subtiles et qui peuvent beaucoup servir, tant à contenter les curieux, qu'à faciliter tous les arts et diminuer le travail des hommes; que les écrits qui traitent des mœurs contiennent plusieurs enseignements et plusieurs exhortations à la vertu qui sont fort utiles; que la théologie enseigne à gagner le ciel; que la philosophie donne moyen de parler vraisemblablement de toutes choses, et se faire admirer des moins savants; que la jurisprudence, la médecine et les autres sciences apportent des honneurs et des richesses à ceux qui les cultivent; et enfin, qu'il est bon de les avoir toutes examinées, même les plus superstitieuses et les plus fausses, afin de connaître leur juste valeur et se garder d'en être trompé.
*****
Mais lorsqu'on emploie trop de temps à voyager, on devient enfin étranger en son pays; et lorsqu'on est trop curieux des choses qui se pratiquaient aux siècles passés, on demeure ordinairement fort ignorant de celles qui se pratiquent en celui-ci.
*****
J'estimais fort l'éloquence, et j'étais amoureux de la poésie; mais je pensais que l'une et l'autre étaient des dons de l'esprit, plutôt que des fruits de l'étude.
*****
Je me plaisais surtout aux mathématiques, à cause de la certitude et de l'évidence de leurs raisons; mais je ne remarquais point encore leur vrai usage, et, pensant qu'elles ne servaient qu'aux arts mécaniques, je m'étonnais de ce que, leurs fondements étant si fermes et si solides, on n'avait rien bâti dessus de plus relevé.
*****
Considérant combien il peut y avoir de diverses opinions, touchant une même matière, qui soient soutenues par des gens doctes, sans qu'il y en puisse avoir jamais plus d'une seule qui soit vraie, je réputais presque pour faux tout ce qui n'était que vraisemblable.
*****
Mais après que j'eus employé quelques années à étudier ainsi dans le livre du monde et à tâcher d'acquérir quelque expérience, je pris un jour résolution d'étudier aussi en moi-même, et d'employer toutes les forces de mon esprit à choisir les chemins que je devais suivre.


Partie II

Descartes détaille dans cette partie les quatre lois qui constituent sa méthode, comme expliqué dans le passage suivant :
Le premier était de ne recevoir jamais aucune chose pour vraie, que je ne la connusse évidemment être telle : c'est-à-dire, d'éviter soigneusement la précipitation et la prévention; et de ne comprendre rien de plus en mes jugements, que ce qui se présenterait si clairement et si distinctement à mon esprit, que je n'eusse aucune occasion de le mettre en doute.
*****
Le second, de diviser chacune des difficultés que j'examinerais, en autant de parcelles qu'il se pourrait, et qu'il serait requis pour les mieux résoudre.
*****
Le troisième, de conduire par ordre mes pensées, en commençant par les objets les plus simples et les plus aisés à connaître, pour monter peu à peu, comme par degrés, jusques à la connaissance des plus composés; et supposant même de l'ordre entre ceux qui ne se précèdent point naturellement les uns les autres.
*****
Et le dernier, de faire partout des dénombrements si entiers, et des revues si générales, que je fusse assuré de ne rien omettre.

En se basant sur cette méthode, Descartes a décidé de mettre en cause plusieurs opinions qu’il avait reçues auparavant et d’aboutir à ses propres conclusions.


Partie III

En attendant qu’il bâtisse ses propres idées à propos des différents sujets qu’il voulait étudier, Descartes a adopté une morale constituée d'un ensemble de maximes.

La première était d'obéir aux lois et aux coutumes de mon pays, retenant constamment la religion en laquelle Dieu m'a fait la grâce d'être instruit dès mon enfance, et me gouvernant, en toute autre chose, suivant les opinions les plus modérées, et les plus éloignées de l'excès, qui fussent communément reçues en pratique par les mieux sensés de ceux avec lesquels j'aurais à vivre.
*****
Ma seconde maxime était d'être le plus ferme et le plus résolu en mes actions que je pourrais, et de ne suivre pas moins constamment les opinions les plus douteuses, lorsque je m'y serais une fois déterminé, que si elles eussent été très assurées.
*****
Ma troisième maxime était de tâcher toujours plutôt à me vaincre que la fortune, et à changer mes désirs que l'ordre du monde; et généralement, de m'accoutumer à croire qu'il n'y a rien qui soit entièrement en notre pouvoir, que nos pensées, en sorte qu'après que nous avons fait notre mieux, touchant les choses qui nous sont extérieures, tout ce qui manque de nous réussir est, au regard de nous, absolument impossible.

Après avoir défini ces maximes, Descartes entama un voyage qui dura neuf ans dans le but d’examiner le monde de plus près et d’étudier plusieurs sujets sur lesquels il a des doutes.


Partie IV

Dans cette partie, Descartes présente les fondements de sa philosophie. En premier lieu, il introduit le fameux principe du Cogito :
Et remarquant que cette vérité : je pense, donc je suis, était si ferme et si assurée, que toutes les plus extravagantes suppositions des sceptiques n'étaient pas capables de l'ébranler, je jugeai que je pouvais la recevoir, sans scrupule, pour le premier principe de la philosophie que je cherchais.

Puis, en partant du fait que l’Homme est un être imparfait car dirigé par le doute, il conclut qu’il y a une nature parfaite qui sait tout et ne doute de rien. C’est être est Dieu, même si aucune démonstration de géométrie ne peut le prouver.
Faisant réflexion sur ce que je doutais, et que, par conséquent, mon être n'était pas tout parfait, car je voyais clairement que c'était une plus grande perfection de connaître que de douter, je m'avisai de chercher d'où j'avais appris à penser à quelque chose de plus parfait que je n'étais; et je connus évidemment que ce devait être de quelque nature qui fût en effet plus parfaite.
*****
Au lieu que, revenant à examiner l'idée que j'avais d'un Etre parfait, je trouvais que l'existence y était comprise, en même façon qu'il est compris en celles d'un triangle que ses trois angles sont égaux à deux droits, ou en celle d'une sphère que toutes ses parties sont également distantes de son centre, ou même encore plus évidemment; et que, par conséquent, il est pour le moins aussi certain, que Dieu, qui est cet Etre parfait, est ou existe, qu'aucune démonstration de géométrie le saurait être.
 *****
D'où il suit que nos idées ou notions, étant des choses réelles, et qui viennent de Dieu, en tout ce en quoi elles sont claires et distinctes, ne peuvent en cela être que vraies. En sorte que, si nous en avons assez souvent qui contiennent de la fausseté, ce ne peut être que de celles qui ont quelque chose de confus et obscur, à cause qu'en cela elles participent du néant, c'est-à-dire,  qu'elles ne sont en nous ainsi confuses, qu'à cause que nous ne sommes pas tout parfaits.

Partie V

Cette partie est consacrée à la présentation de plusieurs principes physiques concernant la lumière, le mouvement des astres, la pesanteur de la Terre et le feu, mais elle s’intéresse également à la théorie des animaux machines. Selon cette théorie, les animaux même s’ils partagent avec les Hommes les mêmes fonctions organiques, ils sont des êtres qui agissent machinalement et sont dépourvus de la Raison. Ainsi, l’Homme selon Descartes dispose d’une âme singulière entièrement indépendante du corps et immortelle.

Car, au lieu que la raison est un instrument universel, qui peut servir en toutes sortes de rencontres, ces organes ont besoin de quelque particulière disposition pour chaque action particulière; d'où vient qu'il est moralement impossible qu'il y en ait assez de divers en une machine pour la faire agir en toutes les occurrences de la vie, de même façon que notre raison nous fait agir.
*****
C'est aussi une chose fort remarquable que, bien qu'il y ait plusieurs animaux qui témoignent plus d'industrie que nous en quelques-unes de leurs actions, on voit toutefois que les mêmes n'en témoignent point du tout en beaucoup d'autres : de façon que ce qu'ils font mieux que nous ne prouve pas qu'ils ont de l'esprit; car, à ce compte, ils en auraient plus qu'aucun de nous et feraient mieux en toute chose; mais plutôt qu'ils n'en ont point, et que c'est la Nature qui agit en eux, selon la disposition de leurs organes : ainsi qu'on voit qu'une horloge, qui n'est composée que de roues et de ressorts, peut compter les heures, et mesurer le temps, plus justement que nous avec toute notre prudence.
*****
Au reste, je me suis ici un peu étendu sur le sujet de l'âme, à cause qu'il est des plus importants; car, après l'erreur de ceux qui nient Dieu, laquelle je pense avoir ci-dessus assez réfutée, il n'y en a point qui éloigne plutôt les esprits faibles du droit chemin de la vertu, que d'imaginer que l'âme des bêtes soit de même nature que la nôtre, et que, par conséquent, nous n'avons rien à craindre, ni à espérer, après cette vie, non plus que les mouches et les fourmis; au lieu que, lorsqu'on sait combien elles diffèrent, on comprend beaucoup mieux les raisons, qui prouvent que la nôtre est d'une nature entièrement indépendante du corps et, par conséquent, qu'elle n'est point sujette à mourir avec lui; puis, d'autant qu'on ne voit point d'autres causes qui la détruisent, on est naturellement porté à juger de là qu'elle est immortelle.

Partie VI

A cause de plusieurs raisons, Descartes a décidé à un instant donné de ne publier aucun traité qui puisse divulguer ses idées ou les fondements de sa Physique.

Si mes écrits valent quelque chose, ceux qui les auront après ma mort en puissent user ainsi qu'il sera le plus à propos; mais que je ne devais aucunement consentir qu'ils fussent publiés pendant ma vie, afin que ni les oppositions et controverses, auxquelles ils seraient peut-être sujets, ni même la réputation telle quelle, qu'ils me pourraient acquérir, ne me donnassent aucune occasion de perdre le temps que j'ai dessein d'employer à m'instruire.
*****
Ce qui est si véritable, en cette matière, que, bien que j'aie souvent expliqué quelques-unes de mes opinions à des personnes de très bon esprit, et qui, pendant que je leur parlais, semblaient les entendre fort distinctement, toutefois, lorsqu'ils les ont redites, j'ai remarqué qu'ils les ont changées presque toujours en telle sorte que je ne les pouvais plus avouer pour miennes. A l'occasion de quoi je suis bien aise de prier ici nos neveux de ne croire jamais que les choses qu'on leur dira viennent de moi, lorsque je ne les aurai point moi-même divulguées. Et je ne m'étonne aucunement des extravagances qu'on attribue à tous ces anciens Philosophes, dont nous n'avons point les écrits, ni ne juge pas, pour cela, que leurs pensées aient été fort déraisonnables, vu qu'ils étaient des meilleurs esprits de leurs temps, mais seulement qu'on nous les a mal rapportées.

Cependant, l’auteur explique dans cette dernière partie d’autres raisons plus fortes qui l’ont poussé à publier ce livre ainsi que d’autres essais incomplets, à savoir :

La première est que, si j'y manquais, plusieurs, qui ont su l'intention que j'avais eue ci-devant de faire imprimer quelques écrits, pourraient s'imaginer que les causes pour lesquelles je m'en abstiens seraient plus à mon désavantage qu'elles ne sont. Car, bien que je n'aime pas la gloire par excès, ou même, si je l'ose dire, que je la haïsse, en tant que je la juge contraire au repos, lequel j'estime sur toutes choses, toutefois aussi je n'ai jamais tâché de cacher mes actions comme des crimes, ni n'ai usé de beaucoup de précautions pour être inconnu…. Et parce que, m'étant toujours ainsi tenu indifférent entre le soin d'être connu ou ne l'être pas, je n'ai pu empêcher que je n'acquisse quelque sorte de réputation, j'ai pensé que je devais faire mon mieux pour m'exempter au moins de l'avoir mauvaise.
*****
L'autre raison, qui m'a obligé à écrire ceci, est que, voyant tous les jours de plus en plus le retardement que souffre le dessein que j'ai de m'instruire, à cause d'une infinité d'expériences dont j'ai besoin, et qu'il est impossible que je fasse sans l'aide d'autrui, bien que je ne me flatte pas tant que d'espérer que le public prenne grande part en mes intérêts, toutefois je ne veux pas aussi me défaillir tant à moi-même, que de donner sujet a ceux qui me survivront de me reprocher quelque jour, que j'eusse pu leur laisser plusieurs choses beaucoup meilleures que je n'aurai fait, si je n'eusse point trop négligé de leur faire entendre en quoi ils pouvaient contribuer à mes desseins.

Amal


Friday, June 23, 2017

Lion (A Long Way Home) – Movie vs Book


"Lion" is an Australian movie based on a true story. The author of the original book Saroo Brierley is an Indian young man who was adopted by an Australian couple after he lost contact with his family at the age of five. After 20 years, he decides to come back to his home country and look for his family.

When I first saw the trailer of "Lion", it was hard, shocking, and heartbreaking. And since the movie wasn’t yet released on DVD, I decided to read the original book "A Long Way Home", and thank God I did. The story was really inspirational and profoundly emotional. The long journey followed by the author in search of his origins and his past was a real lesson of patience, perseverance, hope and love. The book encouraged me more to watch the movie, which I did in February 2017.

Characters

Main Characters

Saroo: The author and protagonist
Kamla (Fatima): Saroo’s mother
Guddu and Kallo: Saroo’s older brothers
Shekila: Saroo’s little sister
Sue Brierely: Saroo’s adoptive mother
John Brierley: Saroo’s adoptive father
Mrs. Saroj Sood: A woman working in the Indian Society for Sponsorship and Adoption (ISSA)
Lisa: Saroo’s girl friend
A teenager: who helped Saroo when he was living in Calcutta streets.
An old man: who saved Saroo twice from drowning.

Secondary Characters

Mantosh: Saroo’s adoptive brother
Asra: Saroo’s friend from the orphanage
Saroo’s father.
Amreen: Saroo’s Indian friend from college
Saleen and Jacob: The Brierley’s neighbors
Cheryl: An interpreter
Julie and Joseph: Sue’s parents
Mary and Christine: Sue’s sisters


Summary

In his memoir, Saroo Brierley tells readers about his life story between his home country India and his adoptive country Australia. Saroo was born in India in a poor family. He had two older brothers and one little sister. When he was very little, his father got married a second time and left them, so his mother raised him and his brothers by herself. To feed her children, she endured carrying heavy rocks and stones on her head for an insignificant salary. Guddu and Kallo, Saroo’s brothers, felt also responsible for their family and did everything to bring food; begging, asking for leftovers, stealing, and working in marginal jobs.



One day, when Saroo was only five years old, he insisted on accompanying his brother Guddu to look for food, but when it was night, Saroo felt too tired that he fell asleep. His brother tried to wake him up, but in vain, so he left him in a train station and told him to wait for him. When Saroo woke up, he looked everywhere for his brother and didn’t find him, so he got into a carriage and felt asleep again. When he awoke, it was broad daylight and the train was already moving. After a journey that seemed to be an eternity, the train arrived to its final destination, Calcutta, one of the most dangerous cities in the world, a megacity known for its over-population, pollution and poverty.

This day was the beginning of a long nightmare. Finding himself alone in this scary city, Saroo had to use his survival skills to find food, to protect himself from dangers, to look every day for a safe place to sleep. He tried repeatedly to come back home, but he didn’t manage to do so with his little experience. So, he decided to accept his new reality and to live on his own. After several months spent in the Streets of Calcutta, fighting hunger, kidnapping, abuse and death, Saroo was moved to a juvenile detention center, and then to an orphanage, which gave him the chance to be adopted by an Australian couple, the Brierley’s.

Twenty years later, Saroo’d never forgotten his home country and his family, but once at college, he met new Indian friends who awakened in him memories from his childhood, and made him remember his mother and brothers whom he’d missed very much. When he knew about new software called Google Earth that could view the whole world from above and search for place-names, he decided to search home based only on Google Earth and his memory of child. The author described in this book the difficult moments he lived during his long search and expressed his feelings, his emotions and his thoughts during this tough period.


Review

Early maturity

While some parents are spending their time on learning how to feed their children in a healthy way, how to choose their clothes, how to provide them useful activities and fun games, and what schools are the best for their education, a large number of children around the world are struggling to find something to eat, something to wear, and a place where to sleep safely. These children who are forced to live on their own most of the time develop more skills than other children. Saroo for example had a strong personality and a fighting spirit that enabled him to face hard tests. His remarkable intuition and prudence helped him avoid dangerous situations. His autonomy and his sense of responsibility made him find food and survive hunger. But what really impressed me was his very strong memory; I was astonished by his capacity of remembering, after twenty years, very small details from his childhood, such as some events when he was three years old, the names and appearances of some places in his hometown, the way home from the train station, and even the smell of some meals prepared by his mother.

The World’s dark side

Living under grinding poverty and then in the Streets of a megacity was a hellish experience for Saroo, but thanks to Allah then to his survival skills and intuition, he could go through all the challenges without being damaged. However, Saroo’s story sheds light on a large number of children all around the world who suffer from the horrors of poverty and violence or live under war. This story reminds us of all those children who are obliged to live in the Streets, who are sexually abused, forced to work or to beg, who are exploited by criminal gangs or even violently killed.

Missing Home

This book is about that human need of belonging to something, a country, a religion, a nation. Even if we live in good conditions, even if we are surrounded by people who love us and take care of us, we still feel an inner need to know our origins and to link our present with our past. In Saroo’s case, this need was even stronger because first he loved his family of origin very much and second because he was forced to live away from them; his breaking-up with them wasn’t planned, it was abrupt, unexpected and tough. That’s why, he always missed Home and repeatedly imagined his mother and his brother Guddu suffering because of him and waiting for him to come back. He needed to see his family again and explain to them what happened to him so that he can go on with his life. Finding Home wasn’t thus a luxury, it was a necessity.



Lessons

This memoir is truly inspirational and teaches us a number of lessons:
Love: Money is not everything, the bonds between Saroo and his family, were unbreakable thanks to the love, protection, and sacrifice of his mother and brothers.
Hope/Optimism: Since he was a child, Saroo has been optimistic; he could have been depressed because of all the horrors he’d seen, but instead, he continued to hope and dreamed always of a better future. Even in his search process, he was quasi-sure he would achieve his objective and find his family.
Perseverance/Patience: Saroo’s journey to find Home was a true lesson of perseverance. With all the possibilities of keywords he had to try and the roads and connections he had to verify everyday stuck to his laptop, he couldn’t give up. Deep inside he knew it was a question of time; he just had to keep trying even if it would take the rest of his life.
Discretion: When Saroo started his search, he decided to keep his objective for himself and not to tell all people, except the ones that can help him achieving it. Maybe he just didn’t want his adoptive parents to worry about him or be disappointed in case the search isn’t fruitful. But personally, I think discretion is a good attitude for everyone trying to achieve an objective. Based on my own experience, I noticed that when you keep a dream for yourself, your motivation remains strong, but once you reveal it to someone, the motivation decreases and you lose half the energy you had before. I don’t know what the secret is, but I know that even the Prophet “PBUH” incited us to be discrete in our projects, so there is surely a good reason behind.
Technology: Some aspects of technology could be very harmful to people (e.g. spying, hacking…), but it could also be of a great interest if used correctly and for the good of humanity. Without technology, Saroo would never have met his family again, but fortunately he did, and his experience inspired many people to use new technologies to find their families or to pursue other dreams.

Comparison between the book and the movie

The main story of the book is maintained in the movie, but some details concerning events, places and characters were changed.

In the book
In the movie
The author focuses a lot on his life in India before he gets lost.
The period before he gets lost wasn’t given a great interest.
In Calcutta, a man pretended to help Saroo while he was intending to sell him to a child abuser.
This character is played by a woman.
Saroo has two brothers, Guddu and Kallo
Kallo is not mentioned.
The author describes in details his new life since he arrived to Australia till he started looking for his Indian family.
The movie doesn’t focus a lot on this period.
After Saroo gets lost, his family converts to Islam.
This detail is not mentioned.
The author focused on two key words in his search: Ginestlay and Berampur.
The second word is not mentioned even if it’s an important detail.
A whole chapter in the book is dedicated to Sue’s life story.
This story is ignored.
Saroo’s girlfriend has a secondary role
We focus more on Saroo’s relationship with his girl friend


Evaluation

Personally, I think both the book and the movie were good, but the book touched me much more because it contains more details.



The Book: 4/5

1. "A Long way home" isn’t a literary book, it’s a personal experience written in simple words and easy language. However, its style is still beautiful because it’s sincere, deep and realistic. Maybe the only thing I didn’t like about the writing is that the author used basically narration, I think it would have been more interesting if he had used dialogue in some scenes.

2. The author describes all the periods of his story with the same sense of details. He let us feel all what he had gone through; he made us smile when he is safe or happy, cry when he is sad, lonely and lost, panic when he is scared or in danger, he made us live every moment with him and let us unconsciously pray for him to survive when he was a child and to find home when he was grown-up.

3. The author in the book devoted great attention to the process of finding Home. He explained all the search details, the means he used, people he asked for help, the keywords he considered, all the possibilities he tried. All these details made us share with the author his moments of joy and sadness, hope and desperation, motivation and exhaustion.

The Movie: 3/5

1. The movie was in general good, the actors did great job, the music was beautiful and the original story was broadly respected.

2. Many important details from the book were ignored in the movie, especially the period before the author gets lost. This period is crucial to the story because without it, we can’t understand the harsh conditions where Saroo’s family was living, how they suffered under grinding poverty, how they spent days and days without food and how they had to learn to survive in an early age, but most importantly, how much they loved each other and remained united and cohesive despite their challenging life.

3. The search journey was also given less attention compared to the book, which didn’t help understand and feel all the difficulties encountered by the author during his search.


A Tribute to two people

I couldn’t finish the article just like that without paying tribute to two characters in Saroo’s life for whom I have great respect, the Brierley’s. The first thing that comes to our minds when we know a couple adopted a little child is that they can’t have babies. It’s something normal and usual. But the Brierley’s were able to have children themselves, and yet they choose adoption. They thought there are already enough children in the world who need love and care, so they decided to adopt children from poor countries and to give them a caring family and a better-life. On top of that, they didn’t specify any preferences of the adopted child, neither age nor sex, they just wanted to offer help to whoever needed it. For them, even if the adoption of one child could be a drop in the ocean, it could at least make a big difference for this child.

Personally, I’ve never heard before of a young married couple who deprive themselves of having children of their own and choose adoption instead unless they have health issues or psychological problems. Especially if we know that the procedure for formal adoption is very complicated; interviews, document preparations, police checks, etc. Moreover, bringing a child from a completely different background and with probably a painful past, helping him adapt to his new life and taking the risk to endure his bad character and deal with his mental and physical issues, all this requires patience, a huge effort and an exceptional courage.

Amal


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Room - Movie vs Book

 

When I first saw the movie trailer, it showed a young woman and a long-hair child living in a small room. I couldn’t understand who they are and why they are living there. So even if it stimulated my curiosity, I thought it would be a boring movie, but I decided to watch it anyway.  At my surprise, I found the movie very interesting. Although the story is simple and contains few characters and events, it’s very deep and full of emotions and describes the relationship mother-son in a wonderful and unprecedented way. That’s why, I decided to read the original book to live the experience from the author perspective and understand more what she wants to express.

Summary
The book tells the story of a young woman and her son enclosed in a room without windows. The only thing they can see of the outside is the sky through a small skylight in the ceiling. The story is narrated by the little boy who is five years old, and it’s divided into two main parts. The first part describes in details their life inside the room, the environment where they live, their routine, their habits, their feelings and their relationship. The second part focuses on their life outside the room, how they interact with people, how they adapt with the new world and how they deal with the new challenges.

Main Characters
Jack: A 5-year old boy
Ma: Jack's mother.
Old Nick: The kidnapper
Grandpa: Ma’s father
Grandma: Ma’s mother
Leo (Steppa): Ma’s step father
Uncle Paul: Ma’s brother
Deana: Paul’s wife
Bronwyn: Paul’s daughter, Jack’s cousin
Dr. Clay, Dr. Kendrick: Doctors working at the hospital
Noreen: The nurse
Mr. Morris: The lawyer

Review
Environment
In this book, the space seems to get wider and time becomes eternity in that small room. For Jack, Room is not like any other room, it’s a big planet where everything has a name, a life, a meaning, a role and a place. He considers Room as Home and he is attached to everything in it. I'm really impressed of the capacity of the author to create a story for every little thing in that room.

Relationship Mother-son
The relationship between the little boy and his mother is unique. It seems like a tale from an imaginary world, but the feelings inside are very deep and realistic. When I started reading the book, I felt a little bored at the beginning, but once I got deeper in the story, I became attached to the two characters; I loved their relationship, their complicity, and their attachment to each other. And although I sympathized with their situation, but I liked the way they live and feel. Especially in the first part, it was hard for me to choose between reading fast to know how they will get out of Room, and reading slowly to enjoy every moment between these two people.
This book taught me a lot about education and changed my perception of things. It made me realize that children can be happy with little and simple things, they don’t always need new clothes, new games, new activities, what they really need is love, care and trust. These things make them hope, fight and survive.
Our children need us to play with them, to sing with them, to create games and activities together based on simple things, and sometimes they just need to sit in our laps or to lie next to each other and stare at the ceiling. They need to feel loved and safe; they just want to be with us.


Emotions
The story is heartbreakingly beautiful and sweet, especially because it’s told from the perspective of a little boy. Although the way he describes things is naïve, simple and innocent, but it’s still logic and deeply emotional. Jack is like any other child, he is sometimes wise, sometimes annoying, but what’s special about him is the way he understands his mother, the way he trusts her and gives her excuses, the way he deals with her moments of depression and the way he respects sometimes her need for privacy even in this small room.

Another thing I really liked about this book is that the author didn’t choose to make Ma a heroic character. On the contrary, she considered her as a normal mother trying to protect her child, she is not perfect, she makes mistakes, she feels tired and depressed sometimes; she is human after all.

Below some extracts that express these points.
"Ma who lies but doesn't lie, she’s not mean but sometimes she does mean things."
"I don’t have a bath on my own, I just get dressed. There’s hours and hours, hundreds of them. Ma gets up to pee but no talking, with her face all blank. I already put a glass of water beside Bed but she just gets back under Duvet. I hate when she’s Gone, but I like that I get to watch TV all day. I put it on really quiet at first and make it a bit louder at a time. Too much TV might turn me into a zombie but Ma’s like a zombie today and she’s not watching even."
"I tell all the things it’s OK because Ma will be back tomorrow. I read the five books all myself only just bits of Alice. Mostly I just sit. I don’t do Scream because of disturbing Ma. I think it’s probably OK to skip one day."
"Yeah, but I thought he was going to punish us too." I try to imagine. "Like if there were two Rooms, if he put me in one and you in the other one." "Jack, you’re wonderful." "Why I’m wonderful?" "I don’t know," says Ma, "that’s just the way you popped out."

Values
The book focused a lot on the volatility of values. During the Room period, Ma did her best to teach her son good values; she forbade him to watch more than a show on TV, she made him brush his teeth after each meal, she ate the rest of his meals because otherwise it would be a waste, she told him not to lie, she made him go to bed early, etc. But once they are outside the Room, she’s changed completely. Instead of maintaining these values and habits, she started ignoring them and lost interest in applying them, even when Jack reminded her, which makes the latter very confused.
This shows how we, humans, can sometimes easily change our values depending on situations and constraints. This attitude if taken lightly could have a very harmful effect on our children’s perception of morals.

Room vs Outside
When Ma was inside Room, she was longing for freedom, for coming back to her home, her family and her old life, and she was sure she would be happy again if she escapes. As for Jack, he already felt free based on his own perception, and satisfied with the little things he has in Room. He never lived outside, so doesn’t belong to it and doesn’t feel a need to leave Room, he even felt frustrated because Ma insisted to escape.


When they come out, both had difficulties to adapt to the new world, but it seemed as if Jack was more able to do that. Even shocked with the large amount of new information he has to deal with, he easily got used to it, he became ready to learn and discover new things, and he was even trying to enjoy the new world. Ma, on the contrary, was the one who struggled to recover, she couldn’t handle all the changes that had happened in her world, and couldn’t face the new challenges, she felt sadder than Room even if she wouldn’t want to come back to it.
"Ma sings me songs but there’s no more of them anymore. She smashed my head on the table in Room Number Seven. She took the bad medicine, I think she was too tired to play anymore, she was in a hurry to get to Heaven so she didn’t wait, why she didn’t wait for me? "
"When I was four I thought everything in TV was just TV, then I was five and Ma unlied about lots of it being pictures of real and Outside being totally real. Now I’m in Outside but it turns out lots of it isn’t real at all."
"In Room me and Ma had time for everything. I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter over all the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there’s only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.Also everywhere I’m looking at kids, adults mostly don’t seem to like them, not even the parents do. They call the kids gorgeous and so cute, they make the kids do the thing all over again so they can take a photo, but they don’t want to actually play with them, they’d rather drink coffee talking to other adults. Sometimes there’s a small kid crying and the Ma of it doesn’t even hear."

Comparison between the book and the movie
Like any movie inspired from a book, there are many differences between « Room » the movie and « Room » the book. Some of these differences are presented in the table below.
In the book
In the movie
Jack starts asking questions about people in the TV, and "Ma" was obliged to explain to him that what the TV shows is real and exists outside the Room.
When Jack is five, "Ma" decides to tell him about the world outside the Room.
Jack’s curiosity and endless questions remind "Ma" of her old life and give her hope to come back to it.
"Ma" has always been thinking about escaping, she has just been waiting for her child to grow up so that he can help her escape.
The evasion plan was inspired from a discussion with Jack.
The evasion plan was the idea of "Ma".
"Ma" has a brother and his brother is married and has a daughter
"Ma" doesn’t have brothers
"Ma" and Jack stay at the hospital a long period. Most events happen there.
"Ma" and Jack don’t stay a long time at the hospital. Most events happen in Grandma’s house.
Jack decides to cut his hair suddenly.
Jack decides to cut his hair and sent it to his mother at the hospital to help her overcome her illness.
"Ma" and Jack decide to have their own house.
"Ma" and Jack stay in Grandma’s house.
"Ma" still breastfeeds Jack at the age of 5.
Breastfeeding is barely mentioned.


Evaluation
Despite the differences between the book and the movie, I give them both the same rating 4/5 even if the reason for each is not the same.
When I read reviews about the book in goodreads.com, many people didn’t like it, first because it’s narrated by a 5-year old boy and second because the whole first part was inside the Room, which they considered simplistic and boring at the same time. Personally, even if I found the way of simplifying things, as perceived by Jack, too exaggerated sometimes, but most of times, it was funny, emotional and realistic. Moreover, I think the author is a genius because she could create a whole world in a tiny room based only on two characters and few objects, it demands wide imagination, a remarkable sense of detail and high sensitivity. The second part outside the room was less successful for me because it breaks the spell of the first part, it describes situations from normal life, situations that every little child actually faces.
In the movie, the pace of events was fast, especially in the first part, which didn’t give the opportunity to understand the deep relationship mother-son and the transition between Room and Outside. However, some modifications decided by the author were good to the movie, such as the scene where Jack cut his hair and sent it to his mother to give her strength, and the fact not to focus on breastfeeding, because otherwise it would have been somehow shocking.


Amal