Speak

They Story of an Outcast

Summary

I am an outcast. Those were the first words that i read. These words really capture the mood and personality or the Narrator. When the story starts off, we are in the shoes of our main character and narrator, Melinda. The story begins when Melinda is going to school. The way she describes herself and everything around her seems very depressing and sad. As her day goes on, it demonstrates that everyone hates her. Usually that is a very strong word but it is the most accurate for how people feel about Melinda. Some kids would throw stuff at her and say really mean things about her. After a few more days of school we find out that this is a common thing and that some people are doing this for a reason. We soon find out that Melinda called the police to a party during the summer. Some kids at that party were doing things that they weren't supposed to be doing, and some of them got in huge trouble or they got arrested. So the reader can understand why people are mad. But nobody understands the reason why Melinda called the police. Melinda didn't tell anybody why she called the police so other kids would just assume that she just wanted to get other kids in trouble. Eventually Melinda becomes friends with a new kid from Ohio, Heather. Melinda was the first person to really talk to heather so they became friends fast. But after time Heather would make new friends and after that, she just told Melinda that she was weird and that she needed help and until then, Heather wouldn't hang out with her anymore. As time passes, some people start to forgive Melinda. Melinda was at the library and she saw her old best friend Nicole. Melinda sat down to talk to her and Nicole had forgiven her. After catching up on everything Nicole asked why Melinda called the cops. Melinda actually told her. She said that she met a guy there that she really liked. After a long time of talking Melinda and the boy went upstairs. When they got up there the boy raped her. After she got away she called the cops. After hearing that Nicole felt really sorry for her. Then Nicole asked more questions. One of them was who was it? Melinda told Nicole that a upperclassmen did it, Andy Evans. After hearing that Nicole was in disbelief. It turns out that Nicole was dating Andy. Nicole thought that Melinda was just jealous of her so she left. A few days later it was prom night and Nicole was going with Andy. The day after prom Nicole came up to Melinda to say sorry. She said that Melinda was right. She said that while her and Andy were slow dancing that he started to hump her. So she broke up with him on prom night. After Nicole was done saying sorry, she decided to be friends with Melinda again. After getting broken up with, Andy was mad. He grabbed Melinda and locked her in a closet with him. Andy said that it was her fault that Nicole broke up with him. Andy proceeded to hit Melinda. After a few minutes of crying out for help someone finally came in. They took Andy and suspended him. Melinda was sent to the nurse. A few days after that, Melinda life was back to normal. She was hanging out with her old friends again. It was almost like nothing had ever happened.

Character Analysis

Melinda was a gloomy and depressed character. After all of her friends ditch her she becomes really anti-social. She doesn't try to talk to anybody except for kids that are unaware of what happened. She sits alone at lunch and doesn't talk at all in class. She really didn't have much people in her life. She only had her parents and one friend for a while. She was really just a depressing person to be around.

Conflict/Resoloution

The conflict in this novel was both Character vs Society and Character vs Self. It was Character vs Society because after Melinda called the police to the party everyone hated her. She would be bullied a lot and she would be shut out of everything. This book was also Character vs Self because she was very anti-social. She wouldn't talk to anyone. She didn't tell anyone what had actually happened until the end. If she would've told someone earlier she would've been accepted a lot faster. The resolution in this book was interesting. The reader finds out that Melinda got raped by a man who is now dating her ex best friend. She tells her ex best friend that he had raped her but she thought that Melinda was just jealous of her. After that Nicole went to prom with him. While they were slow dancing Andy started to hump her. After that Nicole and Melinda make up and become friends again. After that Andy thought that it was Melinda's fault that Nicole broke up with him. So he hit Melinda and she cried for help. After someone finally came, Andy got suspended and Melinda went to the nurse. Soon after this the rest of the school found out about the truth and Melinda's life was back to normal.

Theme

Speak teaches people a really good life lesson. I honestly felt really strongly about this theme because if all of the kids in the book would've followed this, Melinda life would've been perfectly fine and nothing would've happened. The theme that best fits Speak is Don't mess with people if you don't know what they are going through. At the beginning of the book nobody knew my Melinda called the police. If they would've known, they would have felt bad for her and supported her.

Textual Evidence

"I am an outcast". This was the most meaningful quote in Speak because for all of the book Melinda was alone. She really didn't have anybody to turn to. She didn't have any real friends and her parents weren't really too involved in her life. Most people hated her and those who didn't, avoided her because they didn't want to get made fun of. It wasn't until the end of the book until Melinda had real friends who cared about her. For most of the book, she truly was an outcast.

Book Review

Speak really didn't live up to my expectations. I was expecting a deep story about a person who was nobody to turn to with a lot of interesting events. I got the first part but not the second, which is what i really like in books. There was really no action in this book. The first 30 pages had action then the next 140 pages were boring and i didn't care about anything that I read. So after 140 pages of practically no action, the end of the book was really interesting. So i would give this book a 2 out 5.

Multi-Media Sources

Bullying Awareness - Be The Change
I chose this video because this is how Melinda felt during speak. She was getting bullied and nobody stood up for her. Melinda wasn't bullied in this way but on my opinion she was bullied way worse than this.
All of these pictures relate to how Melinda felt in Speak. The first picture captures how Melinda really felt for most of the book. Although the book didn't describe this, that is probably what she did at some moments during the book. The second and third picture show what kids would to to Melinda. They would make fun of her, shut her out, and say mean things to her face.
I put these links for bullying awareness. I know sexual assault started the whole problem in this story but bullying was the worse part. Melinda didn't have a life because of bullying. She was shut out and didn't have a social life at all. I know at Riverside there isn't much bullying but lets keep it that way.

Sources

"The Real Cause of Depression May Have Nothing to do With Your Mind at All"-The Walking Times, November 23,2015


"10 Ways to Help Reduce Bullying in Schools"-Erin Hellwig, August 11, 2015


"Stopbullying Blog"-stopbullying.gov, May 10, 2016


mailkevin's channel. "Bullying Awareness - Be The Change." Online Video Clip. Youtube. Youtube 19 Feb. 2012.


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


"Childhood bullying 'worse for mental health' than maltratment by adults"-James McIntosh, April 28, 2015

By: Zach Swan