Speak And Things Fall Apart

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Jordyn McEvoy Weidmann Period 5 9-20-15 The Difference In Our Growth “You have to know what you stand for, not just what you stand against.” (Anderson, 143) In the novels Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe the characters Melina and Okonkwo go through highs and lows, rises and falls. They show growth, and they show back peddling. These characters practically jump off the page as they drag you into their tale, full of tragedy and light. Melinda Sordino’s story in Speak is one full of woe. After being raped over the summer of her freshman year, she enters school as a social outcast, being hated for calling the cops at an end-of-summer party, the very one where the incident occurred. As the year progresses,…show more content…
Melinda overcame her troubles, emerging the hero of her school. “IT happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding.” (Anderson, 367) This quote represents the fact that at the end of Speak, Melinda starts to come to terms with he rape. She had gone through all of these terrible things, not wanting to tell anyone for the secret fear that they won’t believe her, which eventually does happen. She goes through humiliation, self harm, being attacked and raped, yet she still manages to find a voice to tell the world that she, Melinda Sordino, was raped and she is ready to tell the world about it. Melinda acts extremely adult about her situation, eventually coming to terms with herself and everyone around her. Melinda let 's go. Okonkwo was immature about situation, eventually killing himself out of desperation and humiliation. “Afraid? I do not care what he does to you. I despise him and those who listen to him. I shall fight alone if I choose.” (Achebe, 157) This quote represents Okonkwo’s unwillingness to work with other people and realise that other people have opinions that matter. Throughout the book, Okonkwo is unmoving in what he thinks is best for him and his village. He is very hard in his ways, and in beliving that he should always act hard. He never shows compassion to his wives and…show more content…
They are both incredibly ddepressed within their books, Melinda throughout, and Okonkwo when he gets banished to his mother’s village. “When people don 't express themselves, they die one piece at a time.” (Anderson, 232) Melinda struggles with major depression and self harm thoughts throught the book, only stopping at the end, when people start to believe her about her rape. Her rapist, Andy Evans, or “it”, eggs it on, remiding Melinda constantly that she is worthless and tries to come on to her once more. Thankfully, Melinda stops him, defending herself with shards of mirror. Melinda didn’t express herself at all in the book, for partial fear of being found by Andy, and partially because she is scared to face the truth within herself. So, she does exactly what she says people do. She dies, slowly, within herself. Melinda loses all personality, all friends, and all hope. She thinks the world is bleak and cold. Once Okonkwo gets banished to the other village, he falls into a bout depression that is mainly fueled by anger. “Whether you are spirit or man, may Agbala shave your head with a blunt razor! May he twist your neck until you see your heels!” (Achebe, 85) This quote shows how Okonkwo handled his depression almost opposite as Melinda, acting out and threatening people. He was feared in the new village. He had a reputation of killing an innocent boy. People disregarded him, leading to Okonkwo’s frusuration and
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