Introduction & Overview of The Room

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Room.
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The Room Summary & Study Guide Description

The Room Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on The Room by Conrad Aiken.

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.

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