The Mars Room Symbols & Objects

Rachel Kushner
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Cages

Cages in The Mars Room represent isolation, confinement, and the harsh limitations of personal freedom present throughout the novel. For a work that examines and critiques life in contemporary American prisons, the presence of cages is not surprising, but they are more ubiquitous than one might first suspect. In the first chapter, Romy notices Sanchez sequestered in a cage on the bus on the way to Stanville, isolated from the rest of the prisoners. Romy herself is caged as punishment when she defies the orders of the guards and goes to assist Sanchez when she goes into labor. Kushner is interested in exploring the various degrees of isolation inside prison, which range from solitary to sharing a yard with 3,000 women. Cages are the tools used for the most severe forms of isolation, and represent the harsh conditions of confinement to which prisoners are subject more generally...

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This section contains 1,180 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Mars Room Study Guide
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