Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson Character Analysis

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In Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel, Speak, Anderson tells the story of Melinda Sordino, a freshman who’s starting off her new year with no friends as her former friends turned on her. Turns out, Melinda called cops on a party, thus, Melinda has become anti-social and depressed because she’s aggravated many people. Through the use of the tree motif, Anderson reveals Melinda is a depressed tree that’s trying hard to grow. At beginning of the novel, the tree motif reveals Melinda is in a dark place as she’s showing a sign of depression and sadness. When Melinda is painting watercolor trees in art class she says “I’ve been painting watercolors of trees that have been hit by lighting. I try to paint them so they are nearly dead, but not totally.” (Anderson 30-31) Here the tree motif symbolizes Melinda’s severe depression because Melinda is trying to paint trees that are almost dead and the reader comes to understand that something horrible has happened to Melinda that’s causing her to feel dead on the inside. When we first encounter Melinda, she’s trying to carve a tree she has in her head onto a linoleum block. In art class, Melinda is carving away at a linoleum block for art project. However, Melinda is failing and she thinks to…show more content…
Melinda wakes to the tree in her front yard cutting down. While Melinda watches the tree, her dad explains why the tree is being cut down to a little boy by talking about the arborist and how “He’s not chopping it down. He’s saving it. Those branches were long dead from disease. All the plants are like that. By cutting off the damage, you make it possible for the tree to grown again.” (187) Here Anderson suggests, Melinda is like the tree because she’s damaged, and by cutting of the damage, the tree will grow to become strong once again. This is an equivalent to Melinda as once she chooses to move on, she will become

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