The Role Of Rape Victim In Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak

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Rape Renders One Silent The power of the voice is underrated. The ability to speak up for oneself is a vital tool, and without this ability, one is powerless. Victims of rape are often left voiceless. Laurie Halse Anderson tells the story of a silenced rape victim, Melinda, in her realistic-fiction novel Speak. Melinda is raped by an older boy at a party the summer before her freshman year of high school. The impacts of this event are socially and psychologically devastating for Melinda. Her declining mental health renders her physically unable to speak about being raped over the summer. She is unable to cope with her trauma, and forced to suffer alone. However, she eventually becomes empowered to speak up for herself and about her experience. The novel emphasizes how…show more content…
Laurie Halse Anderson accurately captures the emotions and struggles of a school age rape victim through her award-winning novel Speak. Anderson is able to accomplish such an accurate portrayal of a rape victim’s struggles because of her personal experience of being raped as a freshman. She is able to weave her own story and emotions into her protagonist’s life, allowing the reader to draw parallels between Melinda and Anderson’s life. For instance, both Melinda and Anderson were raped by an older boy in their freshman year, and were both silent about it. In an interview celebrating the novels fifteenth anniversary, Anderson tells Entertainment Weekly writer, Hillary Busis, “I didn’t tell anyone for 25 years.” This reflects in her character, Melinda, as she also did not inform anyone for an entire school year. Additionally, the emotional experience of
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