Melinda escaped her tough times by going to her art class. She was assigned to draw and sculpt trees. Her art had a really strong connection with her personal feelings throughout the book. Melinda goes through tough times and her problems show in her art. In her first phase (the confused phase) she really isn’t sure of her art assignment. This is similar to her life, because on her first day of high school she wasn’t sure of what clan she was going to be in. She is just getting used to her tree making assignment in art class. Also as she starts high school she is just getting used to how things work. The scariest period of Melinda’s art was the “dead period”, where all of the trees she made looked dead or dying. This is the most traumatic part of the story because here Melinda’s spirit starts dying. Some big examples are her constant truancies, her in school suspensions, her lack of words, her falling grades, and her lack of respect for authority. Melinda really doesn’t care about her life here and it shows through her art. Her final stage is the feelings stage, where she really lets her feelings pour into her art giving her a much better project. In this part of the story she tells Rachel that she got raped. She shows her feelings, when throughout the entire story she never could. This stage is the climax of the story and is where Melinda really shows that she is going to make it through this difficult time. Finally at the end of the book Melinda makes her masterpiece and overcomes bad times and heals. Symbolism-Trees
In art class, Melinda learns how to express her emotions. Her art teacher, Mr. Freeman explains, “Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.” He helps her to communicate her emotions through art instead of keeping them inside of herself. The tree is symbolic of Melinda’s personality and life and is one of the main things that helps Melinda...