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 V: Diary 66 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When this student hears classmates tell their stories at a National University seminar, s/he is reminded of her/his little brother Kevin, who died after undergoing surgery for a misdiagnosed tumor. S/he remembers the shock at seeing him wake up, almost unrecognizable, and learning that half of his body was paralyzed. S/he would go to the hospital every day and would run up to the roof to think about Kevin, noting how everyday life seemed to go on normally for everybody else.
Like other students who have seen their friends die of violence, this student is confronted with the injustice of death, as innocent people are forced to suffer while others keep on living, unaware of the pain of the people around them. The description of her/his brother’s illness shows how much s/he cared about him, and the difficulty of knowing that a beloved family member is ill.
Themes
Education and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Home Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon
Kevin left the hospital after a few months but it became clear that Kevin was going to die. No one knew how much Kevin was aware of what was going on. The day before he died, the student saw him sleeping peacefully at the hospital, and felt that he finally seemed fine. The next day, s/he and his/her mother came to the hospital to find that Kevin was dead, and the student stood there in disbelief, unable to process what had just happened.
While the student seems to take comfort in Kevin’s tranquility before death, s/he still finds the moment of death difficult to imagine or understand. This disbelief highlights the surreal nature of death as well as the sharp difficulty of accepting that someone who formed such an integral part of her/his life is now gone forever.
Themes
Family and Home Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon