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 III: Diary 37 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
This student reflects that she has a lot in common with Anne Frank and Zlata Filipović. Like these two young girls, she feels trapped in a cage: her house, where her father is uncaring and tyrannical. She compares the war in her home to Hitler’s reign in its blind embrace of stupidity, hatred, and violence. While this student does not live in a concentration camp, she has seen her father almost beat her mother to death, leaving her face unrecognizable, and sell their belongings for drugs.
This student uses what she has read as a tool to understand and describe her own reality. Her comparison of World War II to domestic violence—two completely different situations—highlights the fact that violence, fear, and injustice are universal elements of human experience, however differently they might express themselves in one situation or the other.
Themes
Education and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Home Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon
She ironically comments that it is to this brutal, ignorant man that she is traditionally supposed to turn for advice. She trusts that her mother has the strength within her to leave her father, and vows never to tolerate such abuse herself in her life. She tells herself she will wait for the end of the war but will remain strong and not let herself die or be abused.
This student compares her situation to a war, but does not lose trust in her and her mother’s ability to find the strength within themselves to survive and escape the violence. She holds her father accountable for his actions and thus rejects the traditional idea of family relations and its hierarchy between child and parent.
Themes
Family and Home Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon