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 40 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
This student has just transferred into Ms. Gruwell’s class and doesn’t understand the conversations students are having about Zlata, nor their confidence that they can understand what it feels like to live through a war. When s/he realizes that many of the students are indeed living through an undeclared war, s/he begins to understand that society doesn’t care about these children, who are bound to grow up in an atmosphere of violence and hatred.
This student’s surprise at hearing about her classmates’ violent environments demonstrates the huge gap that exists even between people who go to the same school and live in the same city, but whose social and economic situations are vastly different. S/he is angered at the injustice inherent in the media’s focus on one type of experience over others, which makes certain people’s lives invisible.
Themes
Education and Healing Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon
Ms. Gruwell gives the students an assignment to write a letter to Zlata inviting her to come to Long Beach. The student is shocked to note that when someone asked if Zlata was actually going to come, Ms. Gruwell actually takes the question seriously and discusses logistical issues that would come up. Ms. Gruwell reminds her students that she has never let them down, and this student feels hope at the thought that Zlata might actually come.
This episode demonstrates yet another moment in which Ms. Gruwell adapts to and learns from her students, taking their intellectual interests and personal desires seriously, instead of immediately writing them off as unfeasible. Her considerations about inviting Zlata reflect her optimistic belief that all ideas are potentially feasible, through hard work and passion.
Themes
Education and Healing Theme Icon