The Freedom Writers Diary

The Freedom Writers Diary


Erin Gruwell

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Tony Character Analysis

This young Croatian boy, whom the Freedom Writers meet when Zlata comes to Long Beach, was shot at point-blank range by Serbian soldiers. He was able to come to the United States to undergo surgery on his jaw. The student in Diary 48 compares her/his circumstances to Tony’s, as s/he explains that s/he, too, carries the scars of war within her/him after fleeing terrorist violence in Peru and adapting to life in the United States.

Tony Quotes in The Freedom Writers Diary

The The Freedom Writers Diary quotes below are all either spoken by Tony or refer to Tony. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Race, Ethnicity, and Tolerance Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Broadway Books edition of The Freedom Writers Diary published in 2009.
Part IV: Diary 48 Quotes

When Zlata wrote about Bosnian children becoming the “soldiers” and the soldiers becoming “children,” at first I didn’t get her meaning. After hearing Tony’s story, I understood. In war the innocence of a child is lost, and though the soldiers fee I theirs is a worthy cause, they behave like children when trying to achieve their goals. Knowing that a grown man entered a child’s bedroom stealing his innocence makes me sad.

Related Characters: The Freedom Writers (speaker), Zlata Filipović, Tony
Related Symbols: The Diary of Anne Frank
Page Number: 95-96
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Freedom Writers Diary PDF

Tony Character Timeline in The Freedom Writers Diary

The timeline below shows where the character Tony appears in The Freedom Writers Diary. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part IV: Diary 48
Race, Ethnicity, and Tolerance Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon
When this student meets Tony, a young boy at the Croatian hall who was shot at point-blank range by Serbian... (full context)
Race, Ethnicity, and Tolerance Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon
...until s/he met some Mexican children who talked to her/him in Spanish. Like this student, Tony cannot communicate in English, but he was certainly capable of communicating his pain. After Zlata’s... (full context)