Room at the Top Questions and Answers
by John Braine

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What is the psychology behind Room at the Top?

The psychology behind Room at the Top is that a person, living only once, cannot know what it is that they want. Only upon attainment can a person confirm if they have acquired what was actually desired. The author uses the character of Joe Lampton to illustrate this psychology in the way that Joe’s attainment of his life’s goal leads only to misery and unhappiness.

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The psychology behind Room at the Top is that a person, living only once, cannot know what it is that they want. A person may guess at what they want and feel as though they know exactly what they want, but only upon attainment can a person confirm if the thing they have acquired is actually what they desired. Living only once, every decision one makes is a new decision leading to an unknown outcome. There is no chance to start over, to confront the same decision with the foresight of knowing the outcome. In John Braine’s Room at the Top , the character of Joe Lampton has decided that he wants Susan Brown, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. He is attracted to the social status which a relationship with Susan would confer, and he doggedly pursues her despite her...

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