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 140 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
This student remembers leaving his house after an argument with his mother and having to live in the street. He became addicted to drugs and was arrested after assaulting someone while under the influence of drugs, but was condemned to one year of rehabilitation, which he recognizes saved his life. In the end, the grueling process of rehabilitation allowed him to find himself and realize that his family loves him.
This student realizes that it is an effort to reform and heal him—not to punish him for his wrongdoings—that succeeded in making him a better person. This example demonstrates that trust and accountability can be infinitely more powerful than mere punishment.
Themes
Education and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Home Theme Icon
Violence, War, and Death  Theme Icon
When he finally reintegrated into ordinary society again, he had a new appreciation for the world and his family and, while he struggled with many aspects of life, he was committed to becoming a better person. Now, after maintaining excellent grades and even receiving an award, he is deeply moved by finally graduating. After four years of struggling, he feels that he has finally found that the purpose of living is not drugs, but his own self.
This student has learned to appreciate the external forces in his life, such as his family, as well as his own sense of personal worth. His graduation serves as proof that hard work and commitment pay off, and that difficult times do not necessarily last. Now, he trusts in his potential and knows that he can be the leader of his own future.
Themes
Education and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Home Theme Icon