The Power of Words: A Speak Analysis 9th Grade

Sometimes, ignoring reality is easier than facing it. When traumatizing events occur, repression is a common coping mechanism used to deal with one’s feelings and thoughts. As an unknown person once said, however, “When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” In the novel Speak, written by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda Sordino experiences this lesson firsthand. In the story, Melinda is outwardly quiet – on the inside, however, she is everything but silent. As the novel progresses, Melinda gradually learns to both accept herszelf and open up to other people. Throughout the novel, Anderson’s development of Melinda’s character shows the reader how people’s negative experiences do not have to define them.

When Melinda first describes how she came to be a social outcast, she does not attempt justify her own actions. She explains that the reason she is treated so cruelly by her peers is that she called the police while at a party and broke it up. Instead of trying to elaborate on her motives for doing so or explain her point of view, Melinda seems to avoid further explanation. Due to how vague she is, it is easy for the reader to suspect that...

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