"I am Outcast"


Melinda Sordino is a freshman having a terrible first day. She's friendless, she does not talk, and everyone hates her. This goes back to when she called the cops at the end-of-summer party. The only person who talks to her is a new student from Ohio and she does not appreciate her. But as time goes on and she starts slowly interacting with old friends she realizes speaking is necessary. She knows there is one way to solve the problem and that is wanting to speak. Laurie Halse Anderson, writes, "I should probably tell someone, just tell someone"(Anderson 99).

Character Analyis

Melinda Sordino is depressed, lonely, and mean person. She even likes to just keep herself away from others even if it means skipping classes. Melinda, thinks, " I wear basic Dumpster togs— smelly gray turtleneck and jeans"(Anderson 39). This shows how Melinda does not care about what she looks like at all to others. Even though her personality is bad, her parents try their best to get her to talk more and tell them whats wrong with her.


Melinda has to face many conflicts throughout the story that all lead back to the party. Her biggest conflict is character vs. self. She realizes that to be liked she must overcome her second personality. Melinda, thinks, "I almost tell them right then and there"(Anderson 72). She is fighting with herself about telling someone. This is the personality that controls her and makes her not care about anything or anyone. Eventually, she overcomes this conflict by convincing herself that to be treated nicely and to have a good time at school she must overcome her second half. Also, she has a problem with character vs. character. Whatever happened to Melinda at the party was between her and IT/Andy Beast. He did something to her and that is why she hates him and runs away from him every time he is near. Once brave enough, Melinda confronts Andy and finally tells him the truth about how she feels. Finally, Melinda has to deal with character vs. society. She ruined the end-of-summer party and now everyone hates her because they don't know the truth. The whole school year she is taunted, teased, and hated by everyone for ruining the best party ever and she just takes the hits. This all does not come to an end till she confronts Andy and convinces herself that she wants to enjoy her school year and life.


Melinda shows that to finally overcome your problems you must talk to someone and stare that conflict straight in the eyes. At the beginning of the year Melinda hides from her fear and does not talk to anyone. Melinda, thinks, " But I want to tell them everything as we sit there by our plastic Christmas tree while the Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer video plays"(Anderson 72). She has plenty of chances to tell her art teacher, who really cares about her feelings but still does not say anything. Also, she just runs away from Andy every time he is near. As she nears the end of the year she wants to change and decides to tell one of her old friends about Andy. Once locked in a room with Andy she is forced to stare her fear in the eyes and overcome it by saying no. Although Melinda does not try at first to be friendly, she eventually realizes that to make the situation better she must speak and face her fear head on.

Textual Evidence

Laurie Halse Anderson makes the story come to life through her styles of writing. Using the word IT instead of Andy Beast is a great effect that makes the reader think of him as someone bad. She also writes a lot through the thoughts of Melinda which shows how lonely and afraid she is of others and talking. Also, to really emphasize Melinda's desperation to be alone Anderson writes how Melinda will break the rules by stealing hall passes. Melinda, thinks, "I am Outcast"(Anderson 4). This quote shows the restated idea through the whole story in three simple words. The quote also reveals that Melinda thinks of herself as a low life person who has no friends and that makes you truly sad for her. Anderson uses many powerful techniques to draw you in and really feel emotion while reading the story.

Book Review

The book "Speak" is a 3 on a scale of 1-5. Anderson creates great effect with her writing style and gets you drawn in to Melinda's thoughts. She makes you feel bad for Melinda and can control the way you see people through Melinda's thoughts. Also, Anderson finds a way to gradually let Melinda's want for friends grow. On the other hand, the book is really slow throughout the whole story but the ending makes it worth the very long wait. Although the book was very slow, Anderson also did many good things to get your attention.
Speak movie Trailer 2004 HD Kristen Stewart


Works Cited

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999. Print.

Goldsmith, Barton. "Talk About Your Problems, Please." Psychology Today. Barton Goldsmith Ph.D, Feb.-Mar. 20011. Web. 13 May 2016.

Iqoncept. Outcast Word on 3d Person Standing Alone Apart from a Group or Society, Socially Isolated or Introverted. Digital image. 123RF. 123RF, 2005. Web. Apr.-May 2016.

Johan. Choosing The Dude in Front of 2 Way Road with Angel and Devil 3D Little Human Character. Digital image. 123RF. 123RF, 2005. Web. Apr.-May 2016.

Kokkinis, Konstantinos Kokkinis. The Outcast. Digital image. 123RF. 123RF, 2005. Web. Apr.-May 2016.

Loder, Vannesa. "How To Conquer The Fear Of Failure - 5 Proven Strategies." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 30 Oct. 2014. Web. 13 May 2016.

Speak Movie Trailer. Dir. Movie Trailers and Commercials. Perf. Kristin Stewart. Speak Movie Trailer 2004 HD Kristen Stewart. Movie Trailers and Commercials, Nov.-Dec. 2014. Web. Apr.-May 2016.