“I should probably tell someone, just tell someone. Get it over with. Let it out, blurt it out” (99). In the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda is a freshman in highschool who struggles to escape the traumatizing past of being raped by a popular senior, Andy Evans. Because of her painful memories Melinda would circumvent Andy all year, experiencing bullying, rejection, and social isolation along the way. The essence of this story illustrates Melinda's transformation from being silent and afraid to proving she's confident, brave, and determined, which shows moving on means overcoming fear and accepting the truth.
First, Melinda exposes her confidence at the end of the book, unveiling the optimism once shut out by darkness. Melinda is able to look at herself in a whole new light, knowing the old Melinda would soon awaken. For instance, “I dig my fingers into the dirt and squeeze. A small, clean part of me waits to warm and burst through the surface. Some quiet Melinda girl I haven’t seen in months. That is the seed I will care for” (188,189). This demonstrates the prospect of Melinda’s confidence, as she knows she will overcome her fears. Melinda compares her determination and bravery to a seed claiming that it will soon “burst through the surface” and flourish. Melinda’s confidence is also shown when she turns her attention to the positive side of things. For instance, Melinda challenges her old friend Nicole in a tennis match and loses; although instead of being downhearted and melancholy, she recognizes that she tried hard. “Everyone else whines about their blisters. I have calluses on my hands from yard work. I’m tough enough to play and strong enough to win. Maybe I can get dad to practice with me a few times.” (170). Melinda understands that she lost the match, but instead of looking at the negative side, she escalates the confidence in herself, claiming that ‘I’m tough, I can win.’ instead of ‘I’m terrible, I’ll always lose.’ Besides this,...
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