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Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper

By , Norridge, IL

Everyone grows up in life. You start as infant starting to sit up and start crawling. When you are a toddler you start walking and talking. You can’t move or talk. You just sit there in silence. Everyone else is talking and smiling. You want to respond, but you can’t.  Do you think anyone should live this life? In Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper, Melody has never been able to do any of that. Melody is an eleven-year-old girl that has a disease called Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a disease that disables you so you can’t walk, can’t control your body movements or talk. All she wants is to be normal. Draper uses author’s craft to show how Melody’s life was challenging. Draper used many types of author’s craft such as symbolism, similes, and flashbacks throughout the whole novel.


In the novel, Draper used symbolism many times. For the first part of the novel, the symbol was a wheelchair because Melody cannot walk. The wheelchair helped Melody to go everywhere. Towards the middle of the novel, there was a new symbol., the Medi-Talker. Since Melody can’t talk as well, the Medi-Talker helps her talk. A Medi-Talker is basically a computer where you type what you want to say and the tablet says whatever you wanted it to say. The final part of the novel is plane tickets. Plane tickets are another part of symbolism because at the end of the novel Melody has a chance to go on vacation with kids from school. Fortunately, she was able to go and it was one of the best things she ever did in her life.


Through the novel, Draper also used many similes. Melody compares objects to her childhood. In the text, it states, “But then Dad would do something funny, like try to jump like the frog we were watching Sesame Street, and it would make me giggle” (Draper 11). Melody always loved her childhood. She didn’t really have to go through anything. She didn’t have to deal with bullies at school or deal with fake friends. Her life is challenging now because she wants to talk, but she can’t. Her disease controls her body and there is nothing that she can do now. She is always being bullied by girls from school because she can’t talk and the computer is doing everything for her. They make fun of her and Melody hates it. That’s why she misses her childhood. She didn’t have to go through that.


Draper also uses flashbacks. Melody’s memory is like a photo book. She always looked back into her childhood when she was little and how her life was different. Her life was so much better than it is now. She is constantly being bullied all the time at school. In the text, it states, “For a long time, it was just me, my mom and dad, and my goldfish, Ollie. I was five years old when I got him, and that’s him for almost two years before he died. I guess that’s old for a goldfish. Nobody knew Ollie's name but me, but that’s okay. Ollie had been a prize from a carnival Dad had taken me to, and I think Ollie’s life was worse than mine.” (Draper 61). Melody’s childhood always brought happiness to everyone. Everyone loved it when she smiled, her smile lit up the room. But everyone hates it when she didn’t respond. They just sit there in silence.


In conclusion, Draper used many author’s craft such as symbolism, similes, and flashbacks throughout the novel. Draper uses author’s craft because to describe Melody’s life. Even though Melody’s life is challenging, Draper describes it so perfectly. We know that Melody wants a normal life, but no one has a normal life. There are so many things that people go through every day. Nobody is perfect, but Melody doesn’t understand that. Hopefully, she will understand that later in the future, but she is only eleven-years-old. She is going to learn more and find out more about her disease.




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