Does Age Imapct Actions? Essay

1069 words - 5 pages

Friendship is one of the most important relationships that a person has in his or her life. Many people have different views on what a friendship should entail based off the age of the friends. For example, some people might believe adolescents have less experience and knowledge than adults do in regards to serious matters. Therefore, the definition of a good friend varies depending on the friend’s ages. Friendships that occur within the early teens are not expected to have the same response to a life changing issue that one of their friends might be going through, in comparison to how an adult friendship response might be. This type of situation is present in the book Speak with a character named Melinda. Melinda is raped at a party in the summer before her freshman year of high school. No one found out about the incident until the end of the school year because she took a vow of silence. During this time, after an event like this occurs, it’s very important for a person to be surrounded by a supportive group of friends. In Melinda’s case, she is not surrounded by supporting friends. Instead, she is surrounded by people that do not care enough about her to find out why she was silent. Readers might say that Melinda’s friends could not have helped her through this vital time because they are very young and don’t know how to handle serious situations. However, her suffering is heavily impacted by the way Melinda’s “friends”, Rachel and Heather, dismiss and ignore her throughout her freshmen year.

Rachel and Melinda were best friends since elementary school. Yet, their countless years of friendship do not seem to have an effect on Rachel. Rachel completely dismisses their friendship based off a single event. When Rachel takes Melinda to the party, Melinda calls the police. After Rachel finds out, she completely ignores Melinda. Rachel assumes that Melinda calls the police to shut down the party and does not bother to hear Melinda’s side of the story. In this situation, regardless of Rachel’s age, the pure fact that Melinda and Rachel had been friends for so long should have effected Rachel’s decision in taking Melinda’s side. Instead of taking Melinda’s side like a good friend, Rachel abandons Melinda leaving her to walk home alone. This is the beginning of Melinda’s silent suffering.
When Melinda and Rachel start high school they run into each other in the bathroom. Melinda tries to talk to Rachel but Rachel responds with phrases like “Mmm” and “Eehn” (Anderson 20-21). Rachel’s responses indicate that she does not care for Melinda, which shows that Rachel is a bad friend. Even after Rachel completely ignores Melinda’s attempt to mend their friendship, Melinda keeps trying. Melinda’s next attempt occurs in study hall. Rachel and Melinda begin passing a note that leads to Melinda telling Rachel the real reason behind the police call. When Rachel reads that Andy Evans, Rachel’s boyfriend, is the rapist she throws a fit. Rachel calls Melinda a liar,...

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