SELF-DISCOVERY, SELF-EXPRESSION, AND ART MELINDA’S OWN SELF-DISCOVERY THROUGH NATURE AND GEOMETRIC DESIGNS
ALIENATION • Alienation is a state of being isolated or withdrawn either by external or internal forces. • Melinda is alienated by her peers, former friends, and family. • Melinda also withdraws from everyone and physically and emotionally hides.
IDENTITY • Melinda has lost the idea of who she once was and through being isolated, art, and a few people that reach out to her, she is able to create a new sense of self and identity. However, the process is full of emptiness, pain, and acceptance.
FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS VS • Positive family love and support has been proven to strengthen or establish self-confidence, independence, and individuality in a person.
Other Themes: Depression & Emotional Withdrawal • Melinda is suffering from depression due to a “secret” that is eating her up from the inside out. She is showing physical symptoms of depression as well as withdrawing socially and emotionally through hiding and silence.
ARTISTIC EXPRESSION • Mr. Freeman gave Melinda the project of crafting a tree using all mediums of art such as drawing, painting, linoleum blocks, sculpting, etc. • From Melinda’s first drawing to Melinda’s last masterpiece, her own artwork represents a symbolic timeline of Melinda’s withdrawal, emotional pain, being ostracized from her peers and family, and her difficult path to finding herself and acceptance.
Symbols in the Novel • A symbol is an object or person that represents something of deeper meaning.
The four seasons show change that represent Melinda through the course of her freshman year The Seasons of Melinda
The Abandoned Janitor’s Closet This closet represented Melinda’s escape from reality, from her pain, and from herself in some ways. This became her sanctuary, her comfort, and eventually her “security blanket” that she could finally leave behind and move forward.
The Changing of the Mascots These represent the loss of identity and the search for it
Symbols that Speak without Saying a Word The frog dissection in the novel represented Melinda’s rape. She was pinned down, cut open, and silenced, even though she wanted to scream.