In the novel Speak, written by Laurie Halse Ande
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In the novel "Speak", written by Laurie Halse Anderson, it talks about a girl struggling from a trauma due to a horrific event that occurred in her life. The main character Melinda Sordino experienced a traumatic event in which she was raped at a party that Melinda attended during the summer with her friends. After the incident, Melinda called the authorities with the intent to report the rape incident but she didn't have the courage to do so. As a result, the party was shut down and everyone held her accountable for it. Ever since that night, she was hated by everyone and her friends were no longer her friends. This caused her to struggle in school and she became depressed. She felt like she had no one to talk to about the incident and she completely shut down. A theme for the story is to stand up and speak up for yourself. This is a theme for the story because the author shows the struggles that teens generally go through due to harassment, bullying and other circumstances and the result when you speak up for yourself.
In the beginning of the story Melinda suffered from bullying and harassment, most of it coming from the people and her ex-friends who hated her for unintentionally shutting down the party. She kept all the bullying and harassment to herself and did not tell anyone about the incident that happened and the reason that she called the cops that night at the party. The first time Melinda experienced bullying is the first day back to school, after the summer break. In the text it says "The bus driver picks up students in groups of five. As they walk down the aisle, people who were my middle school lab partners or gym buddies glare at me… A guy behind me unwraps his breakfast and and shoots the wrapper at the back of my head. It bounces into my lap- a Ho-Ho" (p.3). This connects to the theme because it shows the reader one of many things teens experience as they are being bullied. Even though it seems like it is a small incident, this can quickly escalate to bigger incidents. Therefore, the author's use of figurative language clearly gives the reader an indication that something must've happened for her peers to despise her. Another piece of evidence that Melinda is suffering from bullying is when she was in the same class as her ex-bestfriend. "Rachel Bruin, my ex-bestfriend. She stares at something above my left ear… Her eyes meet mine for a second. ‘I hate you' she mouths silently. She turns her back to me and laughs with her friends" (p.5). This is another example of how Melinda is receiving hate from everyone including her ex-best friend and her ex-friends. This also gives Melinda an indication that she is alone in life and has no one to tell her problems to. She lost all her friends due to an event that she didn't want to happen, but people only saw the side where she called the cops and caused the party to shut down, putting people in serious trouble. No one bothered to ask why she called the cops, not even her own friends. Therefore, Melinda felt like she had no one to turn to and as a result, made her shut down and keep everything to herself. Aside from her friends, Melinda doesn't have a relationship with her parents. The reader can see this in the part where it says "My family has a good system. We communicate with notes on the kitchen counter. I write when I need schools supplies or a ride to the mall. They write what time they'll be home from work and if I should thaw anything. What else is there to say?" (p.9). This shows how Melinda and her family interact with each other. There are little to no conversations throughout the day and Melinda grew accustomed to the regularity. This has a negative impact on Melinda because it made her the way she is now. She learned to isolate herself from the world due to the fact that nobody showed her how to be open about anything in
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