Study Guide speak section 4

Describe melinda's day at her mother's workplace

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Melinda's parents feel that she should get out of the house. Melinda goes to her mother's work at Effert’s, where she is put to work folding shirts in the basement stockroom. After folding a few shirts, Melinda stops working so hard: this gets her the approval of the employees. In the car home, however, Melinda notices her mother’s stress and feels bad that she did not work harder.

Why does the gift of charcoal mean so much to melinda?