What Is The Loss Of Innocence In Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak

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Children in the age range thirteen to fifteen are often transitioning through a critical time of their lives. They frequently look to others as a cicerone on how they themselves should act. In the novel, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda Sordino calls the cops on an end-of-summer party at which she was raped. The novel depicts Melinda’s excursion as to how she copes with the heart-wrenching events that have affected her momentously as well as creating “[a] frightening and sobering look at the cruelty and viciousness that pervade much of contemporary high school life.” (Kirkus Reviews, Pointer Review). The tragic event along with the rejection of her friends took a rather large toll on Melinda Sordino, in which, at one point, she stops …show more content…

Freeman, her art teacher, inspires Melinda to get comfortable with expressing herself through art and eventually, through her speech. When Melinda first meets Mr. Freeman he allocates a project in which each child is given an object. During the course of the year they must take that object and “figure out how to make [their] object say something, express an emotion, speak to every person who looks at it” (Lee 12). Melinda’s object is a tree. She does not perceive how she can bring emotion into an object such as a tree. Mr. Freeman realizes, unlike Melinda, that the tree is much like a human. He tells Melinda to “[b]reathe life into it. Make it bend - trees are flexible, so they don't snap. Scar it, give it a twisted branch - perfect trees don't exist. Nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting. Be the tree.” (Lee 153). The project allows Melinda to cognize her own emotions. Mr. Freeman instigates her to dig deep and pour her sentiments into her art. This class allows Melinda to get comfortable with expressing her emotions through art. This development eventually leads her to articulating her emotions. Mr. Freeman inspires Melinda through his ways of teaching art and how to express one’s self through

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