In Emma Donoghue's novel "Room," Jack and Ma struggle to adapt to an unimaginable new world that evokes fear, anger, and confusion. Jack learns to adjust to Outside through his new relationship with Steppa, his struggles with Ma, and the closure he receives from revisiting Room. Ma battles with returning to her old life before the kidnapping, but she learns that she has to adjust with Jack to begin a new life rather than returning to her old one. Ma's suicide attempt gives Jack and her separation to help them evolve on their own. Both Jack and Ma struggle to grow accustomed to Outside, but with the help of each other and their return to Room, they slowly transition into their new lives. .
Jack is thrust into Outer space and is forced to adjust to the world that is inconceivable for a child who has never stepped foot out of a shed. His initial dependency on Ma hinders his ability to adjust to the Outside. At first, Jack is disoriented by the world: the sun's too bright, he keeps hitting into things, and people talk all at the same time. When Ma tells Jack "we don't have to do the same as we used to we can do what we like," (172) we learn that Jack still doesn't understand life without Room. Ma's suicide attempt gives Jack space and time to adjust on his own. When living with Grandma, Steppa, Jack's only male influence, plays an important role in Jack's development. Saying "want to have pie on the couch and watch the game," (297) Steppa calms down Jack by treating him as a five-year-old boy rather than as an alien or a nuisance. When Steppa teaches Jack to play with Legos and hides the incident with the matches from Grandma, Steppa demonstrates empathy towards the boy. The separation between Ma and Jack and his new relationship with Steppa allows Jack to grow accustomed to his new surroundings without the help of Ma. .
Ma's adjustment to Outside is hindered by her ability to open up to the people that want to help her and the fact that she has to lean how to adjust with Jack.