Silence Brings Change "It is better to be outspoken than to be silent." This famous quote, spoken by suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, highlights the importance of speaking out against injustice. In the graphic novel Speak, author Laurie Halse Anderson explores the themes of silence and speaking out through the story of Melinda, a freshman in high school who is sexually assaulted at a party by Andy Evans, a senior while she is drunk. Overwhelmed by trauma and fear, Melinda chooses to keep silent, hoping that what happened will simply go away. However, her silence only fuels her internal struggle to speak out and seek justice. Anderson uses Melinda's story to illustrate the way silence can be suffocating and how speaking out is necessary …show more content…
Melinda's internal conflict between speaking out about her assault and denying its reality is a central theme in the novel. On the night of a party she was invited to, she had too much to drink. She stumbled into a forest, unaware of the people and her surroundings. Andy Evans, a senior, took advantage of her drunken state and sexually assaulted her. The trauma from the night caused her to be in a state of denial and shock. She chooses to deny everything that happened from that night and pretend that everything was a dream and nothing really happened. However, she knew she was violated, and the feeling of her body not being her own is a constant reminder that she should speak out about what really happened, “It’s getting harder to talk..I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. There is a beast in my gut scraping away at the inside of my ribs.”(Anderson) Melinda compares the gnawing truth with a beast and how even though she tries to avoid the truth, the truth is always there, trying to break free from her own silence. She constantly suffered nightmares, plagued from the truth and what happened that night. She never outwardly says anything about it. While Melinda’s denial is a common response to trauma it is …show more content…
However, their voices would not be suppressed, growing into the Seneca Falls Convention and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Women speaking out from years of suppression was a revolutionary moment especially since it has never been seen before in any other country. Melinda references the women’s suffrage many times during her own journey of self growth and expression, “Women were treated like dolls, not allowed to have ideas, opinions, or voices. Then the Suffragettes marched in, loud and in your face. They were arrested and thrown in jail but nothing shut them up. They kept fighting until they had the rights they should’ve had all along.” (Anderson 278). Instead of being controlled by their silence. Their silence became a weapon for change. Silent protests exploded around the country. The women activists were now known as the silent sentinels. During 1919, Alice Paul declared her official declaration of war, finally breaking the silence of oppression. Her quote was a battle cry in their own way, speaking out against the silence, “When men are denied justice, they go to war. This is our war, only we are fighting it with banners instead of guns..” Even though many people did not support their tactics, saying that it was appalling and inappropriate for women to be speaking out, they still stood their ground. Using silence as a protest tactic
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The author’s greater purpose with this conflict is to connect with readers who may be survivors of rape. She wants to create a familiar setting and tone with these readers so they may relate to the story. Melinda’s mental state at this point of story leaves you wondering: Will she be able to conquer her
She almost swore herself to complete silence, because of a dramatic experience that she had the summer before her freshman year of high school. “NO I DON’T WANT TO!”(Anderson 135). Throughout the entire novel Melinda’s Attacker has stalked her like a wolf stalks a rabbit. He is known as IT for the majority of the story. IT has been in Melinda’s
Laurie Halse Anderson Mr. Emmons ENG1D1.62 Trauma portrayed in Speak April 4, 2023 “Don’t expect to make a difference unless you speak up for yourself” (Anderson 159). Melinda saying this displays her growth, as this fact strongly contrasts her more timid, shy behavior at the beginning of the book. Speak, written by Laurie Halse Anderson, has a character named Melinda Sordino slowly gain the strength to speak up after being raped during a party that previous summer.
The second marking period in "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson was a crucial time for Melinda as she faced significant events that profoundly influenced her emotions and interactions with others, as well as her growing urge to speak up. To begin, in the chapter “First Amendment”, Mr. Neck, the social studies teacher decides to start a debate about immigration. He starts to talk about how America should have closed the borders in the 1900s, blaming immigrants for his son’s inability to get a job, and generally being xenophobic overall. Most students disagreed but didn’t have the courage to speak up, except for David Petrakis. David challenges Mr. Neck’s views and calls the tone of the lesson racist and intolerant.
We go through many stages in life, and they are both great and horrible. Our voices have the power to help us. In the novel, Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, the central idea is to use your voice and speak up against your trauma. Anderson used metaphors and external conflicts the character, Melinda Sordino, had as she struggled life in high school, freshman year. Anderson used those to show how Melinda felt throughout her first year of high school.
She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood.” This showed her love for books, but also acknowledged her loneliness. In Speak, Melinda is traumatized from being taken advantage of and raped by an older boy named Andy Evans. She had called the police at the party they were at, and ever since then has been seen as an outcast.
Melinda avoids talking about her assault as she is struggling with feelings of guilt, shame and fear, fear of being judged or not believed if she tells someone about what happened to her. Melinda is haunted by the memory of her rape which contributes to her decision to keep her assault a secret. Therefore,with Melindas
According to the NSVRC, 81% of women and 43% of men report sexual assault or rape in their lifetime. The critical literacy novel Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, takes place at Merryweather High. Melinda is starting her first year of high school with all of her freshman friends. Melinda has to face the hatred of everyone towards her because of one summer night party. Most people in ninth grade hate Melinda.
Melinda is the main character of Speak. She’s also the narrator, so everything we learn about others is filtered through her. She’s only fourteen years old and she’s dealing with one of the worst things that can happen to a person: rape. Melinda is a very closed off person mainly mute for the story.
I feel sad for Melinda in the book, misunderstood and abandoned by her peers. But she’s still a very independent and well-meaning person. I have no interest in this book other than that, it’s boring. In real life, many people are the same as Melinda. Speak is suitable for all teenagers and adults to read.
Anabia Durrani Mrs. Costley ENG1DB-04 21 April 2023 L.M. states, “Today in science class I learned every cell in our body is replaced every seven years. How lovely it is to know that one day I will have a body you will never have touched.” Melinda Sordino, the protagonist of the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, experiences sexual assault at a party that deeply and emotionally scars her. As a result, Melinda constantly displays two symptoms of assault throughout the novel, depression, and trauma, which drastically impact her character and life. To begin, Melinda suffers from depression, evident through her attempts at self-harm or suicide.
(Anderson, 165). In this part of the book melinda is watching an episode of oprah and it's an episode about a girl who's been raped and melinda's subconscious wakes up and makes it seem like oprah is talking to her telling her she was raped, she just started to come to realization that she really was raped at the party and she was getting really overwhelmed and started feeling sick. She already knew she got raped, but she was in doubt and she didn't want it to be true which is why it took so long for her to
For instance, she tells rachel about what happened at the party. Once Melinda learns that Andy and Rachel are attending prom together, she needed to tell Rachel about what Andy did. “I was stupid and drunk and I didn’t know what was happening and then he hurt-I scribbled that out-raped me” (183). Melinda finally telling someone about what happened is a perfect example of her recovery. At the beginning of the novel, she could not even talk to her friends.