Speak Essay

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“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 adolescence, resulting to an effect of a realistic- fiction novel.
Rape is a very severe incident that had occurred in Melinda’s life that many readers can connect to. Rape had ruined Melinda’s social and emotional well-being and stability that originated further problems. When one is sexually abused at a young age, it is highly traumatizing and Melinda constantly tries to hide herself from this reality but is unable to. Her unbearable past as a defenseless girl, who is abused, still reverberates in her mind, and has a contradictory effect on her many distant and close relationships (ex-friends, parents, etc.). As Andy Evans (a senior) tries to get close to Melinda, she refers to the incident, through her quotes, with deep emotion that may tie back to how she may have felt at that moment. She states, “He smells like beer, and mean, and he hurts me hurts me hurts me and gets up,” (pg. 135) express’s her sorrowful feelings towards this incident. Her constant repeating of the phrase “hurts me” suggests that she is trying to convince herself that it r...

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...dation. Thus, Melinda is a strong girl fighting depression that originated from pressure, and rape; this is very common among adolescents. Melinda may be no less than a twin to many teens.
Melinda’s life, dealing with the impact of her rape, revolves around increasing pressure and poor relationships. This produces further serious and significant dilemmas. Many teens internationally relate to Melinda, she is a flag a flag that represents the many young adults that encounter problems akin to Melinda. The dominant theme of adolescence in the book connects Melinda to the real world. The unfortunate circumstances shed light upon the many difficulties adolescents withstand. Melinda’s character is seen in many teens that confront rape, staying silent, and depression. If youth struggles to maintain a balance of emotions, because of abuse, will the future be the same?

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