Outcast The novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is about a 9th grade girl called Melinda Sordino whose life is being terrorized by her memories from a bad incident at an end-of-the-summer party. It is the first day of 9th grade for Melinda at Merry Weather High School, nobody likes her because she called the cops at the party, making her an outcast and speechless. By the end of the novel Melinda finally speaks to her mom and her ex-friends about the party, and the narrator learns that having the confidence to speak and speaking up can make somebody feel better.
Anderson uses the Title Speak to help show the theme of the novel. Early in the story, Melinda is going to her first day of 9th grade. Melinda is not having a great 1st day of High School, and than she soon refuses to speak ” It’s easier to not say anything” (9). Melinda first shows her behavior when she is no longer speaking. On this part of the novel the problem is firstly presented but the theme is still not represented in this part of the novel. As the story continues, Melinda is going thru her life in High School but in a way nobody likes.
Melinda’s ex-friends hate her due to the incident. But, she meets a girl named Heather who is new to the state, and become “friends”. Heather speaks a lot to Melinda but Melinda becomes anti-social with her. In Melinda’s art class she is picked to paint a tree but she starts poorly. Later in the story Melinda becomes more closed and her life becomes worse. ” Melinda: you mean we are not friends anymore? ” ” Heather: We were not really, really friends. ” (105). Speaking now symbolizes how difficult or how struggling it is to keep a friend and to achieve something.