Speak: Writing style
Speak is written with the intent of drawing the reader in and initiating the gut feeling which we learned is created with the use of metafiction. Anderson writes the whole book in present tense and from Melinda’s point of view. The grammar she uses is casual and is written how a typical teenager would talk. The dialogue within Melinda’s head is sarcastic and vivid, starkly contrasting the introverted facade she erects to protect herself. This insight into her mind evokes sympathy for Melinda and a connection to a character that doesn’t really exist. Being written in present tense strengthens this connection. It makes the reader feel like it’s actually happening in real time and forces them to continue reading to see the story progress. Melinda’s situation is regarded as the truth throughout the book and it’s easy to forget Speak is a work of fiction. The grammar and vocabulary used isn’t challenging and is easily understood. This allows for Anderson to get the point across clearly and to the point. The first person narrative style immediately pulls the reader in creating an intimate relationship with Melinda’s innermost thoughts and insecurities. The chapters are split up into short, snippy paragraphs setting the mood and puts most the main ideas in plain sight. Also being split into the marking periods of Merryweather high school gives the illusion of time passing and Melinda’s life progressing throughout freshmen year. Speak is also full of flashbacks that shed light on how certain events played up to Melinda’s condition and to the treatment she receives in school. Anderson picked the right style to write this particular topic in. Overall it is dark and can lead an individual to avoid the awkwardness and discomfort in reading about rape, but Melinda’s personality portrayed by Anderson allows for ironic and sarcastic commentary that provides some relief to the tension.