Use Of The Mouth Motif In Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak

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"No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.” Maya Angelou. In Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson this is shown through, Melinda Sordino, a freshman, starts high school with no friends because she called the police at a summer party after being raped. As she struggles through her first year of high school, she realizes that in order to grow, she must find her voice, which she eventually does, and things start to look better for her. Anderson uses the mouth as a motif to trace Melinda’s personal growth throughout the book from depressed and not speaking to coming out of her depression and speaking again. At the outset of Speak, the author uses the mouth motif to show Melinda's depression and refusal to speak. For example, after being covered by potatoes in the cafeteria, and being stopped by Mr. Neck when …show more content…

Anderson utilizes the mouth motif to show Melindas grown when she says, “I’m on a roll. I’m rocking. I don’t know what it is; standing up to Heather, planting marigold seeds, or maybe the look on Mom’s face when I asked if she would let me redecorate my room.” (Anderson 180). Melinda expressing that she is “on a roll” and planting seeds shows how she is coming out of her depression. Additionally, Melinda standing up to Heather and asking her mom to redecorate shows how she is speaking up and finding her voice. Finally, the motif is shown again when Melinda is stuck in the closet with Andy and she says, “No. A sound explodes from me. “NNNOOO!!!” (Anderson 194). This finally shows how much Melinda has grown and how much she has found her voice. Melinda's growth is demonstrated through her finally being able to say no to Andy unlike the first time, and Melinda saying no shows how she was able to find her voice. Melinda's growth and escape from depression is expressed at the end of the

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