Speak Essat

Topics: Melinda Sordino, Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak Pages: 2 (471 words) Published: November 10, 2013
In the book “Speak”, a girl named Melinda Sordino experiences something very terrifying. The author, Laurie Halse Anderson, describes how Melinda was raped by an upperclassman that goes to the exact same high school as her. As result, Melinda is now scarred and mute, even though she wants to speak very badly to someone about her assault. Laurie Halse Anderson uses allusions and archetypes to show the difficulties Melinda faces. Such uses in the book are tree, cave, lightening, and for archetypal symbols A Cave symbolizes heart, sanctuary, refuge, safety, and unexplored parts of us. One of the archetypes that immediately emerge for Melinda comes in the shape of a janitor’s closet—this closet is Melinda’s “cave”—her place of comfort, “the heart”. While pressure from friends, teachers, and parents close in upon her, she escapes to this “cave” in order to find herself—to reflect and explore who she is and what she will become. “This closet is abandoned—it has no purpose, no name. It is the perfect place for me” (26). Melinda has come to view herself as insignificant in the grand scheme that is high school; however, on some level, this may be a comfort, as she is unwilling to divulge at this point the painful memory of the summer. Until she feels comfortable enough to open up to someone about her secret, she will hide alone in her closet, “abandoned” by all those whom she called friends. “My closet is a good thing, a quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them” (51). This growth that Melinda finds in her art class is established by the archetype of the tree, which is indicative of “life.” The tree symbolizes nourishing, sheltering, knowledge, growth, and phases. Melinda’s progress with this tree faces several phases, like life, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. When she first begins her tree product, she states: “…I have been painting watercolors of trees that have been hit by lightning. I try...
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