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Back at school Melinda's and her partner David must dissect a frog. David places the on it back and pins its feet to the dissecting board. Melinda raises the knife to make a cut down the length of the frog's belly when her mind is flooded with a flashback to that summer night. She hears a scream deep in side her and feels a pain,. Then she passes out. As she falls, she hit her head against the table and thus must go to the hospital. As a doctor flashes a light into her eyes, checking for signs of a concussion, Melinda wonders if the doctor can see her thoughts. She wisher he could cut out all her memories.
One day in social studies,Mr. Neck, says the borders of the United States should have been closed to new immigrants in the year 1900. A student, David Petrakis, protests against the xenophobic tone of the lecture. When Mr. Neck tells David to sit down or go to the principal. David Petrakis sets up a tape recorder. Melinda finds out why when she overhears a secretary saying that David’s parents have hired a lawyer. The tape recorder and later a video camera are allowed in class to record “potential future violations” of students’ civil rights.
Melinda feels unsafe and isolated in high school; and she responds by isolating herself even further, making an unused janitor's closet into a hiding place where she can cut class and avoid seeing the peers who mock and despise her. Melinda’s closet represents the double-edged sword of her loneliness; on one hand, she makes the environment rich and creative, adding a picture of Maya Angelou, a blanket, and her own turkey sculpture. On the other hand, the closet symbolizes her inability to deal with the real world, and her own immaturity. Andy Evans violates this safe space just as he violated her body a year earlier. He attempts to rape her in the closet but Melinda, newly empowered, and on her own turf, fights back. By fighting him off in the closet and screaming for help, Melinda retakes ownership over her own body and her own space. At the end of the novel, she no longer needs the closet to feel safe, because of her newfound voice and autonomy.
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