Melinda Sordino has a difficult life. She has been casted out of her social group, is failing her classes, and is ignored at home. In the novel SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda is greatly impacted by her relationships with the people in her life. Even though Melinda isn’t communicative, the people in her life influence her through their actions and words. Her art teacher, her pseudo-friend, and lab partner all affect her in different ways.
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
Painting is like keeping a diary on canvas. Art expresses ones feelings in ways words cannot. This is true for protagonist Melinda Sordino in the Laurie Halse Anderson novel about teenage rape, Speak. Anderson uses trees, mainly Melinda’s paintings and sculptures of trees, to chronicle Melinda’s growth in the novel. Instead of Melinda saying exactly how she felt all the time in the book, Anderson uses Melinda’s paintings to keep a diary of her emotions. With the trees, any reader can see Melinda transition from feeling lifeless with no hope and nothing keeping her going to accepting herself and having hope for the future.
Figurative language has a tremendous influence on literature because it enlivens the words and makes them jump off the page. This allows the reader to visualize the scene in a unique, explicit way. Laurie Anderson’s Speak demonstrates an abundant use of figurative language. Figurative language appears in various forms; this includes simile, metaphor, personification, symbol, hyperbole and more. Speak is a book written about the internal and external conflicts that protagonist, Melinda faces after being raped by Andy Evans (“IT”) and hated by her peers for ruining an end-of-summer party. This has traumatized Melinda and she is too afraid to speak up. Anderson enhances the big theme of sadness and depression through similes, metaphors,
Another element in this novel is Melinda’s inner conflict, man vs. self. What Melinda has been through greatly affected her everyday life. She struggles with depression, dislikes her appearance, and feels ashamed of herself for something that isn 't her fault: “I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else...even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me” (Anderson 51). Andy Evans, the senior who raped her, made her feel worthless. This situation is much like the one in the novel The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. The main character, Rachel Watson, had recently divorced her husband, Tom, and found herself missing the seemingly perfect life she had with him. Much like Melinda, Rachel feels worthless and disapproves of her appearance as well after the divorce. Her becoming an alcoholic over time was the main cause of the split. When she was under the influence, she could be extremely aggressive and violent and then black out; at least according to Tom. After she would sober up, he would tell her all the horrible things she said and did while she was drunk, like the time she attacked him with a golf club. She feels ashamed and blames herself for not being a good enough wife for Tom, just as Melinda feels guilty as though the rape was her fault, even if it really wasn’t. It is later revealed that in reality, it was actually Tom who had done all those atrocious things. He would lie to Rachel, blaming her for all the things he had done, just to make her feel guilty, weak, and worthless. Just how Andy had made Melinda feel after he raped her. With this connection, I can better understand Melinda’s character through Rachel’s in The Girl on the Train, which I read and enjoyed before I read
Melinda 's first symptom, self esteem issues, appears frequently in the book. One notable example is on page 34, when she bluntly tells her friend Heather that she doesn 't think very highly of herself. The text says, "Heather asks why I don 't think they would let us in
Helen Keller once said "...although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." This quotation means that in life, you come to find yourself in many struggles, but there is always a sense of accomplishment over such problems. The reason I agree with this quote is because such triumph can only be accomplished after the fact of the occurrence of a struggle. The realistic fiction book, Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is a perfect example of my interpretation of the quote. The author uses conflict, figurative language and characterization to show that this quote is true.
Symbolism is the practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character. In Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson uses literary devices to help the reader better understand Melinda’s personal changes and growth. Trees, lips, and coldness are all symbolically used to represent the changes of Melinda. Throughout the novel, trees play a big part in symbolizing Melinda.
Art is way of expression. People can use actions and art or express themselves in ways other than speaking. In the book Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, symbolism holds a big significance. The trees mentioned throughout the book symbolize Melinda’s changing “seasons” (her “growing” as a person). People, like trees, go through phases, they freeze in the winter, becoming nothing but lonely limbs without leaves covered with white slush. Melinda, in a lot of ways, starts out like that it the book. She becomes a shell of herself from before the party happened and because no one else was there, she is lonely and doesn't have anybody to go to and to make matters even worse, she’s covered by the reputation that she has formed. In the book, Laurie Halse Anderson uses symbolism to convey exactly what Melinda can't say.
Melinda is a dynamic character as she meets the sole requirement— going through substantial character change. At the beginning of the book, Melinda was a social outcast. She had no friends, nothing to look forward to everyday, and fear of interacting with her former friends and classmates. As the story progressed, Melinda changed gradually. She found solace in art class and drawing trees. She learned to place trust in a few special friends including the art teacher, Mr. Freeman. At the end of the book, Melinda does several things to indicate that she has changed. First, she befriended Rachael and told her about the evil of Andy Evans. Second, she resisted another rape attempt from Andy. Finally, she gained popularity and new friends along the way. Overall, Melinda changed vastly throughout the book as evidenced by her newfound courage.
Melinda 's silence is triggered by different causes. The tragic event of the summer scars her deeply. By being raped she feels something has been taken away from her, as would any rape victim. The silence helps her avoid the memories that will always haunt her. I believe she is afraid of people’s perceptions of the truth. Would they believe her or would they think it’s a desperate cry for attention? Accepting what has happened is more difficult than just pretending like it never happened. Her environment at home was also not as accepting as most. Melinda felt there was no point in telling her parents because she felt they wouldn 't trust her word. The lack of friends affected Melinda greatly throughout the book too. Her friends seemed to
Melinda Sordino, the rape victim and protagonist in Laurie Halse Anderson’s book Speak, is not very popular. She barely has any friends and doesn’t trust many people in the school. Melinda does not try to become popular but instead uses her time to avoid teachers and ex-friends. She get's harassed by a Popular group called the Marthas, they make fun of Melinda when she is introduced to them. They comment about her hair, body, and lips in a negative way. Also Rachele Melinda ex-friend hangs out with popular people and
People often say that your childhood is the most important part of your life, and it is the part of one’s life that affects them the most. In Ellen Foster, by Kaye Gibbons, Ellen is forced to become independent as a result of a challenging childhood, that also affects her view of others and herself. Her father 's actions had a large impact on Ellen’s quickly developing independence, while the loss of her mother and grandmother exposed her to people who influenced the way she viewed others and herself.
Anderson is able to accomplish such an accurate portrayal of a rape victim’s struggles because of her personal experience of being raped as a freshman. She is able to weave her own story and emotions into her protagonist’s life, allowing the reader to draw parallels between Melinda and Anderson’s life. For instance, both Melinda and Anderson were raped by an older boy in their freshman year, and were both silent about it. In an interview celebrating the novels fifteenth anniversary, Anderson tells Entertainment Weekly writer, Hillary Busis, “I didn’t tell anyone for 25 years.” This reflects in her character, Melinda, as she also did not inform anyone for an entire school year. Additionally, the emotional experience of
In Noah Mckenzie 's review of the short story Fat by Raymond Carver. He argues that many of the “small actions” in the story and “ statements mean a lot.” He claims that it’s a straightforward story to read and get no meaning out of it the first time. However, it is necessary to reread the story more than once to uncover things that weren’t there the first time. The author believes that carvers story has a deeper meaning and that it can only be found by reading the story more than once. The thing that I found very interesting that pulled me towards this review was the fact that he had mentioned psychology and how it was hard to notice it throughout the story. The evidence that he had used to show that psychology was an element in this story