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In order to effectively answer this, we have to capitulate to a stereotypical view of rabbits. While the observations made might not be true at every single moment about rabbits, they will help to bring out Melinda's behavior, which ends up becoming the primary purpose. In seeing how rabbits interact with their environment, they are submissive and not very dominant. They are not the predators like other animals, and they are often times very concerned with being prey. Melinda is like this as she walks through the halls of high school. Melinda is not a predator and she is constantly afraid of being prey. Rabbits have to seek out an area of their own, something that is away from the prying eyes of others. Melinda does this in finding the abandoned janitor's closet. Rabbits must seek out who is around them, oftentimes having to be still and silent while a predator passes by them. Melinda has these feelings when she sees "IT" walk past her, or blow in her ear in detention. Like the rabbit, she sees a predator and cannot do much about it. Rabbits are of the earth, oftentimes feeding off of that which grows from the ground. For Melinda, her desire to "replant" herself as well as wishing to plant the seeds into the ground helps to reaffirm a link to rabbit- like behavior. The point where she differs greatly from a rabbit would be when she confronts "IT" and reclaims her voice with her defiance. At this point, she is not prey. She is not in hiding. She "speaks."
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