The Freedom Writers Diary

The Freedom Writers Diary

by

Erin Gruwell

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Freedom Writers Diary can help.

The Freedom Writers Diary: Part I: Diary 1 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In this diary, the student wonders on the first day of school how Ms. Gruwell could have been chosen to teach this class. S/he doubts that this white, upper-class woman will ever succeed in teaching this difficult group of students, in whom no one believes. Despite Ms. Gruwell’s initially open and warm attitude, the student concludes that she will ultimately give up on them, just like everybody else. S/he notes that the class seems particularly undisciplined, and that many of the students come to school with guns in their pants.
The student’s belief that Ms. Gruwell’s motivation will soon die out reveals a deep distrust in adults’ care and commitment, which seems to be the result of past disappointment. Her/his sharp awareness of the teacher’s race and economic status, as well as the violent attitudes with which some students come to class, highlights her/his immersion in a world of racial division and lethal violence.
Themes
Race, Ethnicity, and Tolerance Theme Icon
Education and Healing Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon
When s/he notices a white student in the class, s/he sees that he seems completely lost, hoping that he has been assigned the wrong schedule. S/he notes that, for once in his life, this white student is going to have to learn what it means to be the minority. Anticipating boredom and noting that even s/he wants to leave this classroom, s/he sardonically concludes that Ms. Gruwell will last only a month in this class.
This student’s comments about the white student reflect a desire to see the racial inequality s/he has experienced reversed. Her/his cynical comment suggests resentment at the way in which minorities are usually treated in society, thus evoking an entrenched feeling of racial inequality.
Themes
Race, Ethnicity, and Tolerance Theme Icon