Speak Themes

Speak Themes

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  • Instead of speaking out about what happened to her she bottles up all her emotions regarding the rape. She learns to channel her emotions into art and science with the help of her teachers as well that silence has a place and a purpose, and even with speaking loudly can be risky at times, it is necessary.
  • Language and Communication
  • When Melinda starts the school year isolated and her status of being an outcast, she chooses to isolate herself from others in order to try to compose her recent experience. Some of her isolation is self-imposed. For example she intentionally withdraws from people. Melinda's use of isolation come at an expense at times, especially when she recognnizes the fact that she needs the support of her family and friends in order to heal. She sees this and decides she needs to take steps to reconnect with those she needs most at this moment.
  • Isolation
  • Melinda's intense growth as a person occurs mainly in a school setting. We learn a little about biology, art, literature, civil rights, and spanish as well as the drama that goes on during. The readers follow Melinda through her education of her heart and mind. She learns the different things she needs to accomplish in order to heal. Also, how to channel her emotions in healthy ways such as her art project.
  • Education
  • Within this novel, the idea of friendship is a tender and brutal thing. Once she loses her friends upon entering high school, Melinda is forced to reevaluate the nature of those friendships. She is heart broken time after time by those she was once close with. Melinda cuts off those to try to help which gradually forces her to find new ways to renew her friendships and to make new ones as well.
  • Friendship
  • Melinda shows her sadness through depression due to a secret she must hide. All the people she thought were her friends hate her. She has a constant need to sleep, her self-mutilation, her depression are all symptoms she carries due to how she feels about everything going on around her and the event she must keep secret. The view she has on not only the world surrounding her but of herself and her friends has been shattered and now she feels as though she can trust no one. Continuing through the novel, Melinda gradually lets go of her depression and finally is able to speak about the terrible thing that happened to her as she begins to find a way to move past her sadness.
  • Sadness
  • Melinda goes through an enormous transformation throughout the duration of the novel. She is drastically transformed when she is raped by a senior named Andy Evans. Melinda becomes very silent and secretive when entering high school and becomes distrustful of people terrified of being alone with a boy. As she makes her way through Freshman year, we see her struggling to change back to the girl she was prior to the rape, while shaping herself into someone newer and stronger. We see these positive transformations through art, learning, listening, and speaking.
  • Transformation
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