Speak Journal Response To Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

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Speak Journal Response This journal is in response to the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. As a coming-of-age contemporary novel, Speak discusses many sensitive issues that are still prominent even today. In this story, we explore the life of Melinda Sordino, a fourteen-year-old girl who is beginning high school right after experiencing an utterly traumatic event: rape. Melinda is left friendless, with no one to help and support her after what happened. She tries to navigate through her first year of high school, and it seems like the entire student body despises her; she feels more alone than ever. I will be analyzing and making connections to three specific elements in this novel: the search for one’s identity, Melinda’s inner conflict,…show more content…
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

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