the act of refraining from indulging a desire (in this instance, sexual intercourse)
deprived of air
20th century artistic movement characterized by the abandonment of the single viewpoint and the use of geometric shapes and interlocking planes
bathroom graffiti attempting to name the drug Depo-Provera, a birth control drug that has also been used on pedophiles to prevent sexual urges
to begin to sprout after a period of dormancy, in reference to a seed
Gracias a dios. Hasta luego.
Spanish, "Thank God. See you later."
long, baggy pants that are tapered at the ankle
Jerry Springer; host of the tabloid talk show, The Jerry Springer Show
Catholic University in Philadelphia, PA
American author and poet who is best known for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
a children's television series hosted by Fred Rogers, it was known for its gentle tone and simple explanations of issues, crafts, experiments, and music.
Oprah Winfrey; host of the tabloid talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show
Spanish artist known as a co-founder of the Cubist movement and as one of the most influential painters of the 20th century
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
a type of anxiety disorder that occurs after experiencing a traumatic event
Saint Martha of the Glue Gun
Martha Stewart; businesswoman, author, and television personality known for homemaking
Sally Jessy Raphael; host of the tabloid talk show, Sally
corrupt or immoral
member of the women's suffrage (right to vote) movement in the late 19th and early 20th century
a city in upstate New York or Syracuse University
The Scarlet Letter
a novel published by Nathanial Hawthorne in 1850, set in Puritan Boston from 1642 to 1649. It tells the story of Hester Prynne, a woman exiled and branded with a scarlet "A" for conceiving a daughter out of wedlock.
word play on the German term, "ubermensch", meaning super man. The term is a part of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy.
intense dislike and fear of foreign peoples
Speak Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Speak is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Melinda is still in emotional turmoil. Melinda's sore throat and lip-biting habit are symbols of her increased internal distress. She is finding it more difficult to speak because she is gradually slipping into a deeper depression, and her mental...
When Thanksgiving rolls around, Melinda knows her mother will be busy with sales at Effert’s. Despite the certain possibility of store emergencies, however, Melinda’s mother always wants to cook a Thanksgiving meal. She is interrupted by phone...