The Theme Of Conclusion And Bullying In Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak
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In the novel Speak the topic of exclusion and bullying are prevalent. How does the school environment and the people in it add to Melinda’s feelings of inadequacy and exclusion? Which factors eventually help her in the healing process?
Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak uses the theme of exclusion and bullying, thus having the environment and people within the school affect the main character, Melinda. Melinda is affected throughout the novel increasing the amount of feelings of weakness and rejection and helps her recover from this as well. The novel begins with the introduction of Melinda giving perspective of her situation and her school, Merryweather High. Melinda is perceived as an outcast by her and others and is shunned from her peers; reason being that Melinda had called the police during a senior party. It is later revealed that the summer before her Melinda’s freshman year of high school, Melinda meets Andy Evans during this senior party. Outside the woods, Andy rapes her, giving reason to call the police. Shocked, Melinda does not tell anyone what happened to her, and nobody asks. When starting high school, Melinda is abandoned from old friends but once inspired by new made friends and new experiences, she is able to speak the truth. The truth of Andy comes out as he attacks Melinda in the abandoned janitor’s closet, a place of refuge for Melinda. Realizing the truth, students no longer treat Melinda as an outcast, rather, a hero.
Exclusion and bullying are themes of