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The Room Summary
Conrad Aiken

Everything you need to understand or teach The Room by Conrad Aiken.

  • The Room Summary & Study Guide
  • 4 Literature Criticism
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The Room Summary

Introduction

Conrad Aiken's “The Room,” collected in John Deth and Other Poems and published in 1930, symbolically remembers and transforms Aiken's parents' deaths. It focuses on the dark and troubled struggle between chaos and order that was, for Aiken, the source of his creativity, and it proclaims his conviction (as quoted by Catharine F. Seigel in her article for Literature and Medicine) that “death and birth [are] inseparably interlocked.” The poem also reflects the intellectual currents of its time. It presents aspects of psychological phenomena described in Freudian literature, like repression and displacement, and it uses mythic, or archetypal, imagery and a theory of recurrent cycles like those that were explored by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Aiken represents emotional states and psychic phenomena using images that suggest those states. “The Room” is available in Aiken's Collected Poems (1953; 2nd ed., 1970), published by Oxford University Press.

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The Room Study Pack contains about 53 pages of study material in 10 products, including:

The Room Study Guide

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