Why do you think Melinda is having difficulty talking?
I think that Melinda is having difficulty talking because she doesn’t know how to actually express her feelings. She isn’t sure how she wants to phrase certain things or who she wants to truly say them to. She’s been mentally abused so much about past events that she doesn’t know who to turn to or where to start. Melinda is also very wary of how people will react when she tells them what happened to her. She doesn’t feel as though there are many people that she can trust with the information, that won’t judge her. There are many factors as to why she is having such a hard time communicating with people.
What might be significant about the words Melinda decided to conjugate for her Spanish homework? Why do you think she chose these particular words?
I believe that there is a specific reason that Melinda picked the words “translate, flunk, hide, escape, forget” for her Spanish homework. The first two are very clear. She is translating English words into Spanish and she is very close to flunking her classes. The last three involve her inner feelings. Melinda is constantly hiding her feelings and herself from others, escaping from everyone and everything she can, and keeps trying to desperately forget the things that have happened to her. The words she uses in her homework are sending a silent message about what she does every day in her life.
What is Melinda’s home life like? What is her mother like? Her father?
Melinda does not have the best home life. Her parents are very seldom home and even when they are, there isn’t much conversation or “family time”. Melinda’s mother manages a clothing store and is always working or thinking about her work. Her father sells insurance and is also at his job most of the time. Melinda and her parents communicate through sticky notes and very rarely have full on conversations. Neither her mom, nor her dad, truly pay attention to her or realize the hard times she is currently going through. Melinda feels as though she can’t talk to her parents or tell them much.
Describe Melinda’s turkey bone project. What mood does Melinda’s art project provoke in Mr. Freeman? In Ivy?
Melinda’s turkey bone project consists of various items, including turkey bones, a Barbie doll’s head, knives, forks, and a Lego set palm tree. When completed, Mr. Freeman is delighted by the sudden interest and creativity that Melinda is taking in her art. He gives his interpretations of it and says that he senses much pain from the project. Ivy praises Melinda on how, even though her creation is a bit scary and creepy, it came out very artistic and it was full of meaning. Melinda is happy that so much thought is being put into something that she had made.
How do you think Melinda’s art project symbolically reflects her inner feelings? Explain your answer.
Melinda’s art project causes Mr. Freeman and Ivy to think of pain and suffering. Ivy explains that it is even a bit scary and you wouldn’t want to look at it for too long. Inside, these are the same feelings that Melinda is dealing with. In truth, she doesn’t want to see her own reflection for too long either. When she placed a piece of tape over the Barbie doll’s mouth, it also symbolized how she can’t talk about the things that had happened to her. The entire turkey project that Melinda had created was based off of her true inner emotions. It was another silent message of her thoughts that she was unable to speak.