What is a Symbol? Anything used to represent abstract ideas or concepts Objects Characters Figures Colors
What is a Metaphor? Metaphors are direct comparisons made between characters and ideas. IT, Beast, Wolf are all metaphors for Andy Evans, the rapist
The Rabbit Motif The rabbits, are metaphors for Melinda They do not speak and they stand still in hope that their predators don’t see them This is what Melinda does every time Andy is in her presence Melinda must become more like a predator and attack (deal) with her problems (Andy Evans and Silence)
The Tree: Pruning The tree which Melinda struggles over in Art class all year is a metaphor for her. As she grows and breaks the silence the tree grows as well. This is further emphasized by the old oak in her front yard which her father has pruned so it can grow and flourish even more. Like the oak tree, Melinda is pruning away the damaged parts which have kept her from growing.
Seeds and Seedlings “Germination” (ch. 60) Metaphorical for Melinda She can now focus on being a seed that will continue to flourish. When she is damaged, like a plant, she can grow a new limb, leaf, etc. Seeds represent Melinda’s new growth and the discovery that she can survive.
Hester: The Scarlet letter Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter represents Melinda who also remains silent about the truth. Both Hester and Melinda are outcast Melinda decides that she and Hester are a lot alike and imagines them living in the woods, Hester wearing her A for adultery and Melinda wearing an S for silent, stupid, scared, silly, and shame.
The Changing School Mascot The changing of the school mascot represents the search for identity experienced by all (most) members of the school community. The changing of the school mascot is an outward comparison for how inept the entire authority system of the school district really is. Also a comment on political correctness taken to the extreme
The Clans: Search for Identity The clans are metaphors for the terrible need to belong and be accepted that every high school student faces. The clans symbolize the importance of fitting-in during the high school years.
The Suffragettes: Speak Up Melinda decides to give an oral report on women who, ironically, used their voices to earn the rights they should have had all along. The suffragettes report is a metaphor for Melinda’s need to speak the truth and fight against what is wrong.
Mr. Freeman and David Petrakis David Petrakis and Mr. Freeman are metaphors for the necessity of speaking up for what is right. “When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time…” p.122
Birds = Freedom The birds represent freedom to Melinda—they signal the freedom to speak and personal growth. Melinda continues working on her final tree, adding birds with chalk, drawing flight, flight, feather, and wing, the birds seem to bloom in the light, “their feathers expanding promise.” Melinda fills in her final sketch with the wings of the birds, because she, like them, has great promise.