1. The Bones, they mean two things to Melinda:
• The pains of rejection. “I am Outcast.” Melinda deals with being neglected quite a lot in the story by her peers in school including her ex-friends and her parents even though she doesn’t show it; she cares about the matter deeply. And just like the turkey, Melinda was thrown away and casted down by her friends without a second glance similar to her parent’s carelessness with the turkey that caused it to waste and dumped in the garbage.
• A broken family. “Thanksgiving dinner, it says we’ll be a family for one more year.” The bones also represent the failed attempt of her parents to act as a family. It was there because of a disagreement that couldn’t be solved because both of her parents refused to compromise. It may have been their lack of communication or the fact that they couldn’t have a normal conversation without them yelling at each other causing one to walk out. It is blatantly obvious Melinda doesn’t have a good ...view middle of the document...
However, none of these personalities belongs to Melinda; it is merely a cover up to keep up appearances to assure that her secret stays only with her.
3. The Knives and Forks
• Out of all the utensils, the knives and forks have the sharpest edges and they sting, similar to the hateful glares and degrading comments thrown at her in school. “As they walk down the aisle, people who were my middle-school lab partners or gym buddies glare at me.” The way she expresses the knives and forks attacking the bones is the same way the people at her school, even her teachers with treat exception of Mr. Freeman, treat her. They just bully her through verbal attacks without thinking that there is no harm done because there are no physical scars to show. Nevertheless, I think the reason why she attaches the knives and forks in this manner is to obviously depict that even though there are no scars showing that are visible to the human eye, the words they say leave emotional scars as shown through the damages on the bones.
4. The Palm Tree
• A dream. Palm trees are usually associated with paradise and paradise is a place where you can relax and be carefree. I think the palm tree is a representation of Melinda’s dream in one day finding her paradise or in other words, she is hoping that the problems she is facing would, one day, be solved and she could rebuild whatever she lost. However, as time slowly progresses, she starts to lose any determination in attaining her paradise and her mentality changes in which she views her idea as something impossible. “There is no place for the palm tree- I toss that aside.” And she disregards it as a fantasy which was why, in my opinion, the reasoning behind tossing it out of the painting.
5. The tape on Barbie’s mouth
• She is silenced. As I have established, Melinda is the doll and by putting tape on its mouth, it takes a more realistic approach by representing Melinda’s predicament. The tape symbolizes the secret she can’t say out loud, the pain it brings her to carry the burden alone and, especially, the consequences it brought upon her. “They call me Me-no-linda for the rest of the period.” The tape is also like an invisible censor that Melinda has when she speaks; she usually sticks with one word answers or gestures as a precaution of keeping her secret.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson