A Voice for the Hurt
High school is supposed to be a fun, new, and exciting experience. The novel Speak is about a social outcast named Melinda and her struggles to fit in in high school. She doesn’t have any true friends because no one stays around long enough to hear her story. The book is written by Laurie Halse Anderson. Throughout the novel Melinda shows her emotional discomfort through actions instead of speaking out. In the end she speaks up for herself and she finds a happier state of being. In the beginning of the novel Melinda enters high school being shunned by all of her old friends and even people she has never met before because she called the cops at a party at the beginning of the summer. Melinda hides her feelings and doesn’t speak out about what really happened that night. Instead of speaking she silences herself by her actions. An example of this is how she constantly bites her lips. The fist example of this is right in the beginning of the novel when Melinda’s ex best friend mouths “I hate you,” to her from across the room. Melinda bit her lip and tried not to think about it (Anderson 5). She continues to do this to remind herself to stay silent throughout the novel. Melinda silences herself many other ways too. One of the most intense ways of this is when she cut herself with a paper clip. She says, “I open up the paper clip and scratch it across my left wrist. Pitiful. If suicide is a cry for help, then what is this? A whimper, a peep? (Anderson 65)” When her mom sees the cuts all she says is that she doesn’t have time to deal with it. This shows how Melinda is trying to speak through cutting herself doesn’t help. Her mom doesn’t care. Her whimper for help is not heard. She needs to speak up about how she was raped. At the end of the novel Melinda finds a happier state of being when she decides to finally speak. There are many factors that lead her to speak. One of ways she finds her voice is by standing up to...
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