Symbolism : ' The Next Time You Work On Your Trees '

1173 Words May 25th, 2016 5 Pages
“’The next time you work on your trees, don’t think about trees. Think about love, or hate, or joy, or pain – whatever makes you feel something, makes your palms sweat, or your toes curl. Focus on that feeling.’”(122) In the book speak there are many examples of symbolism. The one that stands out the most is the tree as it is mentioned very frequently in almost every chapter of the book. It represents that growth that she goes through as a character from the beginning of the book to the end and her mental recovery after the traumatic event of being raped. The different representations we see of the tree correspond with the state she is in and the emotions she is feeling at that part in the book. When she is struggling with her life she struggles to draw the tree. As she gets worse and then better the tree is following the same pattern. When Melinda is first instructed to draw a tree by her art teacher, the tree she draws is lifeless and plain. It is similar to her mental state at that time; she is in pain and is a shell of her formal self. As she continues to fall into this hopelessness the trees she draws follow. Her deepest depression was right after she was knocked down at the pep rally. On page 30 she says, “For a solid week, ever since the pep rally, I’ve been painting watercolors of trees that have been hit by lightning. I try to paint them so they are nearly dead, but not totally.” She tries to communicate her feelings of defeat through her art. The tree represents…
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