Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
“Speak” is book about a young girl who loses her voice after being raped and slowly gains it back over time. Laurie Halse Anderson uses an internal voice throughout the book to show the havoc that is attacking Melinda’s mind. This adds to the theme of being outcast and isolated because the she has no one to really talk to.
One reason she is an outcaste is that she called the cops at the part where she was raped. This leads her to lose her group of friends “the Plain Jane’s” the only things they ever say to her now are words of hate, an example is Rachel mouthing the words, “I hate you.” Other people at school whisper about her in the halls and one girl at the pep rally knees her in the back and pull her hair because her brother was arrested at that party. Melinda tells herself, “It is easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say,”(page 9) In a way what she is saying is true. Heather her only friend this year leaves her because she is too depressed and she does not want to deal with it. The problem is that silence is a two way street. If she were only to tell one person what happened the burden would be easier to bear and action would be taken.
Even Melinda’s family is also very cut off. Her parents are never home for dinner, including the night she was raped, using notes to communicate and leaving dinner in the freezer for Melinda to eat. Thanksgiving the day of being thankful about being together even goes awry when her parent forget until the day of and can’t even make dinner. Even her mother can’t see her pain and she tells her “I don’t have time for this, Melinda” and tells her how suicide is for cowards when she see scratches on Melinda’s wrist. There are point where Melinda tries to tell her mother but she stops herself because she is too afraid of what is she does...
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