Speak

By: Payton Young

Summary

This book will keep you reading just so you can find out the ending. You are introduced to the narrator without her name, and you later find out her name is Melinda. Melinda is going into high school. Over the summer Melinda calls the police on the party and got everyone in trouble, for what reason? No one knows. After that, everyone hates Melinda for what she did, even her "best friend" without even knowing her reasoning behind it. Shes very upset all throughout the book and goes through a really hard time. She didn't want to open up to her parents because she was afraid of their reaction. Eventually, Melinda tells her ex best friend Rachel the truth and she doesn't even care. On page 162 it states "Rachel looks at me but doesn't say anything. She must have gotten my note - I mailed it to her over a week ago. I stand up. Rachel gives us a half wave and says "Ciao." Andy puts his arm around her waist and pulls her close to his body as they float out the door." Melinda ratted out the party because a boy at the party named Andy raped her. And the time that Melinda chooses to tell Rachel is the wrong time because Andy is Rachel's boyfriend. After Melinda spills the truth, everyone suddenly feels bad for her and has sympathy for her because they finally understand what happened. Everyone finally understood Melinda's reasoning behind it and now they stand by her.

Melinda

Melinda is a very quiet girl after everything that has happened to her. She is very smart and bright but her visions are clouded by her suffering. She is fourteen years old. And she was raped by a boy named Andy at a party over the summer. On page 183 she says "I didn't call the cops to break up the party, I write. I called - I put the pencil down. I pick it up again - them because some guy raped me. Under the trees. I didn't know what to do." She goes through something no fourteen year old should ever have to.

Conflict/Resolution

The type conflict Melinda encountered was both character vs. society and character vs. character. Both of these types of conflict apply to Speak because not only did Melinda have a different understanding of what she did than society, but she lost her best friend too which is where the character vs. character comes in. Melinda made a decision to call the police on a party for specific reasons that society didn't understand which caused everyone to dislike her, including her best friend Rachel, which caused drama between the two of them. Melinda solved the conflict by speaking up and coming out about what happened. She finally spoke up about calling the police because she was raped. In the end everyone felt sympathy for her. For example on pages 183 and 184 it says "I push the notebook back to her. She stares at the words. She pulls her chair around to my side of the table. Oh my God, I am so sorry, she writes. Why didn't you tell me?" This quote shows how people had sympathy for her once she spoke up.

Theme

The lesson the reader takes away from this book is to speak up, don't hide how you're feeling, and don't be afraid of getting help. On page 198 "You've been through a lot, haven't you?" "The tears dissolve the last block of ice in my throat. I feel the frozen stillness melt down through the inside of me, dripping shards of ice that vanish in a puddle of sunlight on the stained floor. Words float up." "Me: " Let me tell you about it." Melinda went through something very hard and something that no one should ever have to experience. And instead of speaking up about it and getting help, she kept it to herself which made it so much harder on her. So, when she finally spoke to someone about being raped at that party, she felt so much better. Everything in general just got better for her, everyone that once hated her before, felt sympathy for her.
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Textual Evidence

The most powerful part of my book was definitely The Tree. The Tree is a symbol of life and in this book, the tree shows how Melinda grows as a person and learns how to speak up about her rape. My favorite quote in Speak was "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." on page 9. It is my favorite because the quotes strong tone shows that Melinda does have a voice, she just doesn't want to use it outside of her head. Also, I like this quote because she is realistically speaking instead of the cliche that expressing your feelings will help and many kids my age can relate.
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Book Review

On a scale of 1-5 I would rate the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson a 4 because there were things I liked and things I didn't like about this book. I liked that this book was realistic and people could relate to it. It was something that could definitely happen in real life and I'm into novels like that. However, I didn't like how carried out the book was. And by that I mean, the middle of the book was very repetitive and boring I guess you could say. Overall I thought it was a great book and I would recommend it.
Speak movie Trailer 2004 HD Kristen Stewart

Citations

- Charny, Irina. "Tree Of LIfe." Irina Charny Mosaics. Church of the Resurrection; Pleasant Hill, California, 2016. Web.

- Heuvel, Jake Vanden. "Speak Theme Presentation." Prezi. Jake Vanden Heuvel, 11 Dec. 2012. Web.

- Person, and Yesi Silva. "SPEAK." Prezi.com. Yesi Silva, 9 July 2014. Web. 16 May 2016.

- "Speak (Anderson Novel)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.

- "Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: Lesson Plan Ideas." HubPages. HubPages, n.d. Web. 16 May 2016.

- Speak Movie Trailer 2004 HD Kristen Stewart. Dir. Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcO9wi9ThtjuXvBLvh_fG0w.YouTube. YouTube, 14 Dec. 2014. Web. 16 May 2016.