How is Mr. Freeman Unconventional?
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Mr Freeman, as his name implies, is indeed unconventional. He works on a task alongside the students and gives them plenty of space to breathe. Melinda is struggling with her past experiences and speech becomes impossibly difficult. She is able to express herself in his class - as she does with her turkey sculpture
' I place a piece of tape over Barbie's mouth.' (p64)
More importantly, Mr Freeman understands that she is troubled-
"This has meaning. Pain."
but he allows her to grow through it, like the tree she is creating. It is not surprising that at the end of the novel, it is Mr Freeman Melinda begins to talk to.
'Speak' - Laurie Halse Anderson