Speak Essay

1251 words - 6 pages

“Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson presents Melinda’s (a teenage girl) life as she drifts through her adolescent years, where she struggles to overcome internal depression, as well as typical issues, involving her social life. Melinda’s life in an obscure world, where enigmatic challenges constantly clog her path towards a normal and healthy life, she feels lost and betrayed. Likewise, the boy that raped her attends the same school as her, causing her to have constant memories of the event. Thus, Melinda’s defective life compromising of rape, lack of communication, and depression mirrors the lives of many teens around the world. In addition, this book revolves around the dominant theme of ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore, Sally Jessy, in the Oprah show, declares, “I want this boy held responsible. He is to blame for this attack… it was not your fault. This boy was an animal,” (pg. 164) states that Andy solely looks for vulnerable and easy girls to have some fun with. Melinda is among the many defenseless girls/guys in the world that are raped and the state of these victims afterwards is awful; this emphasizes the title “Speak.”
Melinda’s life revolves around the lack of communication, and that disconnects her from the world and her future; thus, the book obtaining the title “Speak.” Melinda is connected to the title of the book because she refuses to speak up for what she believes is right and denies the choice to change herself by speaking up. Melinda refuses from telling someone else of the circumstance, and due to this, the pressure continues to build inside of her. Melinda has many disagreements upon issues similar to this one and coming up with best way of resolving the issue. One of the many ways that Melinda does this is by having visions about the resolution and their outcomes. During one of her visions, Melinda is once again in the Oprah Show where Jerry states, “Was it love? NO. Was it lust? NO. Was it lust tenderness, sweetness, the First Time they talk about in magazines? NO… Speak up [Melinda]... I can’t hear you!” (pg. 165) proves the title of the book, and shows why Melinda should confess. The phobia of speaking up is common among many teens due to embarrassment and fear. In addition, many adolescents believe that they have the rights and freedom to voice their opinion. However, they remain silent and endure the consequences of not speaking up. Furthermore, Melinda writes her opinion on the chalkboard in history on the rights of women:
“The Suffragettes fought for the right to speak. They were attacked, arrested, and thrown in jail for daring to do what they wanted. Like they were, I am willing to stand up for what I believe. No one should be forced to give speeches. I choose to stay silent.” (pg. 156)

It restates the fact that women are opposites of what they were in the past and what they are now. Women in the past wanted a say in the world, fought for it. Women nowadays fight to have the freedom to be silent. The Suffragettes are symbolic towards Melinda because all she wanted was to be heard by the crowd, but when Melinda rose up against Andy, she was abused again. Melinda made the choice to hide the truth, and her life would have turned around if she had not done so. Melinda is a reflection of the many other teens in the world that hides significant issues from others, and tries to solve them...

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