Speak Symbols

Speak Symbols
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  • Appearing in almost every chapter, the tree is a major symbolic piece of this novel.The tree Melinda choses to draw in art class signifies that of her life and growth made throughout the story. Because she struggles with drawing her realistic trees, it shows that she is suffering from her depression. As she begins to heal emotionally, her drawing of the trees improve and become more detailed, symbolizing her own growth.
  • Tree
  • Melinda avoids mirrors after she is raped because she is unable to face her own reflection. This symbolizes her inablility to face her feelings. Many times she narrates that she can't "see herself" which shows that she is not the same person as she was before the incident. The only mirror she is able to look into is the three-way mirror in a dressing room which represents Melinda's fractured sense of self.
  • Mirror
  • Her collection of rabbits on her bed resemble that of her every time Andy is in her presence. The stuffed rabbits do not speak and they stand still when danger approaches which is exactly what Melinda does every time Andy is near her. She must become like a predator and attack (deal) with her problems (Andy and her silence).
  • Rabbits
  • Melinda frequently visits the supply closet in her school. This symbolizes her need to hide from the world so she doesn't have to speak to anyone. This also represents her need for isolation as well as the belief that her friends have isolated her. Because this place is so secret it shows that secrecy of the rape. Once her rapist has been exposed Melinda stops hiding in the closet, showing that she doesn't need to hide from the rape anymore.
  • Closet
  • With the numerous descriptions of Melinda's lips and mouth throughout the novel, it shows her inability to speak after the rape. They are described as cracked, swollen, and dry. The state of which her lips and mouth are in symbolize the ugliness and shame she feels inside as well as her inability for take care of herself. As the story goes on and Melinda starts to heal and learns to speak about what happened to her, the condition of her lips improve.
  • Lips/Mouth
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