Melinda was an outcast and loner in high school who was overwhelmed, fearful, and confused with her life and her environment at school. She was always silent in class and afraid to speak in front of people. Many students today might feel the need to fit in with other people so they wouldn’t have to be looked down upon. As we take a look at Melinda’s life we’ll be able to see how she handles her daily conflicts. In the book, Speak, Melinda Sordino, an incoming freshman at Merryweather High, starts her year off with a terrible start. She’s stuck with a mean history teacher, by who she calls Mr. Neck and a whole bunch of other weird teachers like her English teacher of who she calls, Hairwomen, because of her crazy, uncombed hair. Her favorite teacher would seem to be her art teacher, Mr. Freeman, because he seems to be the nicest and most reasonable. Every student, even her ex-best friend, Rachel Bruin, gives her nasty looks and treats her rudely. All this trouble started when Melinda called the cops at an end-of-summer party. Everybody thinks she did that just to bust them and get all the people in trouble but instead, she called the cops for something more terrifying. During the night of that party, she was raped by a senior who goes to Merryweather High, Andy Evans, by who she calls IT or Andy Beast. She was too scared and didn’t know what to do so she called the cops. Because of this, now everyone in school is disgusted and hateful of her. Though most of the students didn’t like her, she did become sort of “distant” friends with Heather, Ivy, and her science lab partner, David Petrakis. With all the drama, sadness, and conflict involved in Melinda’s life, she still seems to manage and finish the school year without ...
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... emotional and mental growth from what happened to her through her artwork. Like Melinda had said in the book, she had gone through different phases in her art pictures from ones with dead, leafless trees to trees with cubism and beautiful leaves and branches. This shows her growth and recovery from what happened that night at the party. In the end, as this relates to Melinda, life is like a tree. You start off a little seed and then become a sprout. You learn from your mistakes and life lessons and begin to grow into a tall, strong, and mighty tree wear no one can harm or stop you from being yourself.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999.
Archetypes: Color. Home Page. The Professional Template II, 12 November 2013,
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