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 VIII: Diary 138 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Upon waking up, this student frantically searches for her/his special necklace before realizing that her/his parents must have stolen from her/him again to buy drugs. Ever since her/his parents have started smoking crack cocaine, they have stopped caring about their child and don’t buy food or pay for electricity. When the student was younger, they used to lock her/him up in the closet while they physically fought each other. S/he became so used to it that s/he put snacks and a television in the closet. The closet was a safe haven from which, at the same time, the student yearned to be free.
This student’s family situation seems to have reversed the traditional roles. Here, the parents are behaving like children and the child is forced to think as an adult, noticing the lack of food and the need to pay electricity bills. This student’s yearning to be free can be understood not only as a desire to exit the confined space of the closet, but also as a more general desire to be given the freedom that s/he deserves as a child and an adolescent.
Themes
Family and Home Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon
While graduation is only in a few days, her/his parents are still taking drugs. This student decides that, unlike her/his parents, s/he wants to give to others. Her/his parents, unfortunately, are happy receiving more than they give, and have demonstrated that they care more about drugs than about their child.
This story highlights the deep effect that such drug usage can have on an entire community, as it affects not only its users, but also the people who depend on those users, generating violent abuse and destroying family ties.
Themes
Education and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Home Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon