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Analysis of Symbols in Speak

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Analysis of Symbols in Speak
Nick Graham
Symbol in Speak Analysis
Professor Denny

"Mr. Freeman thinks I need to find my feelings. How can I not find them? They are chewing me alive like an infestation of thoughts, shame, mistakes," says Melinda Sordino, the main character from the novel Speak written by Laurie Halse Anderson. Melinda is a freshman at Merryweather High School and chose the right not to speak. Mirrors in this story are one of the motifs, and Melinda learns that mirrors give a reflection, whether she likes what she sees or not, along with protection to an abundance of things.
As Melinda goes through her freshman year of high school feeling like a social outcast, she feels that mirrors show what she does not want to be. When she looks in the mirror, she thinks "it looks like my mouth belongs to someone else, someone I don't even know" (17). Melinda never seems to find a good trait or feeling in herself, and mirrors just tend to make it worse. She doesn’t like what she sees, and always tries to hide or take down anything that shows her reflection. When she finds the closet space, one of her first thoughts was "the first thing that has to go is the mirror" (50). Her view of herself shows that she almost doesn’t even care anymore. Melinda goes to Effert’s one day, as instructed by her mom, to find some clothes that she likes. As Melinda steps out in front of the three-way mirror, the first thought on her mind is "eyes after eyes stare back at me, am I in there somewhere" (124). Melinda usually feels that she doesn’t know who she is anymore, and wishes for a new skin to start over in. Her thoughts shape what she thinks she sees instead of what she should be seeing in the mirror. When Melinda looks into a reflective surface, she thinks about herself as a person more. Her feelings begin to show, but it takes some time. In the department store when she is trying on jeans, she looks into the mirror and realizes all the thoughts, shame, and mistakes she has made in the

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