A Person's Identity In Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

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Klaire Kulas
Speak Essay

A person 's identity can be affected by many things, loss, pain, and the people around them. These things could not be more evident, in Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Melinda is a 15 year old girl who has experienced a series of traumatizing events, that cause her to change completely as a person. The summer before her freshman year she was raped. Drunk, dazed and violated she called the police on the huge party she was at. She soon developed a case of post traumatic stress disorder. Melinda became closed off and stopped talking. She never told anyone about her rape. All of her old friends rejected her after the call to the police. Desperate for friends, Melinda meets Heather. Heather craves popularity that Melinda can far from provide. Heather, like so many other abandons Melinda. Rachel her ex best friend became someone totally different, she even started dating Andy Evans. The boy who raped Melinda. Things get progressively worse for Melinda before she decides she needs to tell
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In contrast, when Melinda decided to tell Rachel about Andy raping her, it is a turning point in her life. “Rachel writes in a heavy hand. WHO DID IT??? I turn the page. Andy Evans” (184). This moment is a huge turning point in Melinda 's life. This marks the moment when she finally speaks up about what happened. This event shows so much about who Melinda was and is becoming. Prior to telling Rachel, Melinda decides to send Rachel a note warning her about Andy. “I groan and rip out a piece of notebook paper. I write her a note... ‘Andy Evans will use you. He is not what her pretends to be’”(152). This shows the contrast between the old Melinda and the new one. The old Melinda knew she had to try to protect Rachel but she was afraid, so she sent an anonymous letter. The new Melinda sees that she needs to say something and she works up the courage to help her once-friend. This really shows Melinda development as a person. She is overcoming her pain and
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