Use Of Diction And Tone In Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak

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In modern day, some teenagers may be put into a conflict in which they cannot let their voice be heard. In the novel Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, her protagonist Melinda Sordino faces the same problem. In her character’s voice, she speaks as a shy, intimidated teen, which eventually branches out to woman of confidence and strength. With the use of diction and tone, Anderson is able to construct a developing voice for Melinda. Diction is an important literary device used to shape Melinda’s character and mannerism. Diction is the author’s choice of phrases to express ideas in their work. Anderson uses this to depict Melinda’s thoughts, such as,“ I grab a seat. Another wounded zebra turns and smiles at me.” The author’s word choice of “wounded zebra” communicates Melinda’s thoughts; or voice, through her clouded interpretations of her peers. She feels harmed, and alienated from others because of her inability to communicate and her traumatic experience with her rapist. Melinda can only relate to people with the same social division, such as her “friend” Heather, who she describes as a “wounded zebra”, for she is also an outcast.…show more content…
Tone is the overall attitude or mood that the author portrays. Anderson writes the tone as very sad, depressed, and sarcastic. For instance, Melinda says, “It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache.”, which demonstrates Anderson’s use of the device. When Melinda claims, “..skirt that I hate”, she implies that she is not very optimistic in the situation she is put in; school with people who “despise” her for what she did at the party over summer. Within this thought, she is also very sarcastic, which further explains the overall tone that Anderson
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