In the novel Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda Sordino is the protagonist who was raped and traumatized in a summer party. She was unable to speak as she became emotionally distressed. She struggled in school as she was not focused and her relationship with other people changed negatively ."When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time." p122. The essence of the story is about secrets and what it can do to a person. Moreover how keeping the wrong secrets can destroy a persons self well being. In addition the truth will set you free and that the longer you hide it the harder it can be exposed.
Melinda Sordino, is raped during the summer before the start of her freshman year in high school by Andy Evans, a popular senior. Melinda calls the police and the party is stop to a halt. When the people from the party find out she called the police she begins her freshman year as an outcast. She befriended only one girl, named Heather who was a new student from another state who was unaware of what had happened during the summer. Melinda was like a bunny rabbit who feared the wolf, who was Andy Evans. She feared him and was in constant struggle to avoid him. Furthermore she was struggling in school both academically and socially. Melinda would refer to herself as a wounded zebra. She felt, she was haunted by her teachers, and Andy Evans. Melinda’s best class was in art. She was assigned a tree artwork and taught it would it be easy, but she later discovered its complexity. The tree represented herself as a person. The tree she illustrated was lifeless, just as she felt emotionally. But as she developed, her tree artwork mirrored her gradual growth.
When one of her former friends, Rachel started dating Andy Evans, Melinda tried to to convince her to end their relationship, but in return Rachel taught Melinda was jealous of her status. Andy Evans finds out about what had happened...