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Figurative Language In Laurie Anderson's Speak

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Speak Essay: 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,…show more content…
One example is when Melinda states, “I stumble from thornbush to thornbush- my mother and father who hate each other, Rachel who hates me, a school that gags on me…” (pg. 125). Melinda feels as though she is trapped in thorn bushes because everywhere she retreats to she is an awful position. As a result, Melinda is miserable and constantly mopes around. Another way Anderson incorporates a metaphor to present Melinda’s low emotional health is when Melinda says, “There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me.” (pg. 51). This quote definitely demonstrates Melinda’s poor, despondent condition by comparing the memory to a beast in her gut. The main cause of Melinda’s unhappiness is not speaking up about the beast in her gut that is scraping the inside of her ribs. Melinda’s dark, depressed thoughts are once again presented through a metaphor when Melinda says, “IT is my nightmare and I can’t wake up. IT sees me. IT smiles and winks. Good thing my lips stitched together or I’d throw up.” (pg. 45-46). The cause of Melinda’s dreary mood obviously comes from IT’s abuse. Andy Evans constantly harassing Melinda in the hallways reminds her of the horrid rape and keeps the image in her mind. This is why Melinda cannot wake up from her nightmare and is emotionally unstable. To sum up, Melinda’s dismal mood is greatly portrayed through the metaphors of
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