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Analysen gesammelt

The book Speak written and published by Laurie Halse Anderson in 1999, describes the
experience of sexual victims and how it impacts them as a person. In the book Melinda tells her
fictional story about being raped and then finding her way back into life.
In the second marking period, we get a huge climax of Melindas feelings and thoughts,, but still no
concrete information about the cause of her behavior.

Ben The book shows the effects a rape case has on a victim. The events on page 53 through 60,
supports this statement about the authors message, will be illustrated in the following essay.
There are two main topics, which are mainly developed in this part. Firstly, there are several
aspects of her behavior to show the reader her distraction. The second is about developing role
models for Melinda, as we get introduced to David Petrakis, Maya Angelou and we get new
information about Heather.
Victoria For Melinda Thanksgiving isn`t a familial event and every year it`s stressful based on her
mothers job. Her mother isn`t able to cook and at the end her turkey dish is palatable. After an
argument, her dad is hacking the deep-frozen turkey outside and her mother leaves the house for
work. Mr. Sordino wants to cook the meal, but the turkey ends in a disastrous soup.
Consequently they order pizza. Melinda
takes the turkeys bones to art class. After a while Mr. Freeman inspects her work and asks her
about it. Melinda can`t answer the questions, because of her mental illness. After working her
creation over, Mr. Freeman sees pain in her project and Melinda leaves class instantly.
Alex PEELED AND CORED
In Ms. Keens biology class, the students are supposed to dissect apples which brings back
childhood memories for Melinda. While the back row behaves disturbing and annoying, David
Petrakis Melindas lab partner calmly slices the apple.
FIRST AMENDMENT, SECOND VERSE
Because Winter Break is only one week away, the teachers are exhausted and the school decays
into chaos. Since David Petrakis was oppressed to speak his mind in the previous lesson (which is
guaranteed according to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution), he sets up a tape
recorder to record everything Mr. Neck says for future evidence. Yet Mr. Neck doesnt seem to be
worried but is prepared and speaks fluently without any mistakes or anything that would get him into
trouble although he glares at David Petrakis the whole lesson. He, however, isnt afraid and just
stares back. As Melinda waits for her guidance counselor in the school office, she overhears Davids
lawyer threatening the school because of Mr. Necks behaviour. The next day a video camera is set
up in the classroom. Melinda describes him as a hero (page 72, line 13).
WOMBATS RULE!
Heather asks Melinda to sit with her during the Winter Assembly because the Marthas didnt invite
her to sit with them. Heather presents Melinda with bell earrings and Wombats won the election for
the new school mascot.
WINTER BREAK
Two days before Christmas, Melinda is home alone and puts up the (fake) Christmas tree, trying to
decorate it as she realizes how much of a broken family they actually are. She points out that her
parents would probably be divorced if it wasnt for her. She desperately wishes for a little child to
spend the holidays with to get back a little of the Christmas magic the family used to share (back
when Melinda still believed in Santa Claus). Melinda pretends to be Heather and plays in the snow
while she remembers better times in the past, when the family was still happy. On Christmas Eve,
her parents present her among other things some charcoal pencils with a sketch pad. She suddenly
feels very drawn to them because they just for once cared about her (noticed her drawing). She feels
ready to tell them about that night but is unable to talk because of her emotions. Her parents leave
the room and Melinda ends up sitting all alone by the Christmas tree with tears in her eyes.
Ninve After Melinda stays at home for two days, her parents force her to work with them. First she
works in her mothers store and she feels guilty afterwards because she shouldve helped her
mother before. The following day Melinda works with her dad who sells insurance. While sealing
envelopes, she cuts her tongue and her father is very angry at her. When school started, Mrs
Conners teaches basketball. Melindas throws are so impressive that Mrs Conners wants Melinda
to join the team but her grades arent good enough. Afterwards, Mrs Conners explains to Melinda
that if she teaches Brendan Keller from the boys basketball team how to throw a basket, she
would get an A in gym. She doesnt reply because shes unable to refuse. Furthermore, in art class
she discovers her passion for art because of Mr Freeman who makes sure there is a relaxed
atmosphere in the lesson.

Nahrin
Angelica At dinner Melindas parents fume at her because of her behavior and grades. However
Melinda doesnt react to their questions.Melinda purposely injuries her waist with a paperclip. Her
mom seeing this adresses to prevent her from hurting herself again. Melinda has lunch with
Heather and the Marthas. The Marthas criticize Heather for the posters, which are made actually
by Melinda. Yet Heather doesnt defend Melindas work. They are joined by Andy Evans (till now
known only as IT), who plays with Melindas hair, while flirting with the Marthas. Melinda suddenly
runs out lunchroom to bathroom. Heather doesnt follow to look for her. In Art class Melinda gets
hurt, while working with a chisel. Mr Freeman helps her with her injury and scratches his own
painting with her chisel afterwards.

Analysis

Ben Melinda Sordino is the first-person narrator and tells her story in some kind of inner
monologue. The first chapter is called GO________(FILL IN THE BLANK) and Melinda informs us
about a democratic election of a new school mascot. Although this chapter isnt very important to
the plot, it shows that Melinda is making fun out of the people doing this election by using sarcasm:
I think Overbearing Eurocentric Patriarchs would be perfect, but I dont suggest it. (p.53 l. 21/22)
The chapter CLOSET SPACE is really important. Melinda has to stay longer in school every day
her parents, believe she can do better in school. Instead, she decorates her closet and doesnt
study. This passage is important, because it shows Melindas way of dealing with problems. Firstly,
she covers the mirror in the closet with a poster of Maya Angelou. Maya wrote an autobiography
about her life and being raped, so she is a role model for talking about being sexually attacked.
Further, Melinda tells us, that she is alone with her thoughts in the closet, so she can handle the
pain in her chest better. The quote: Its like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis. (p.55 l.2/3) This
shows up how she feels about talking. This is a physical reaction to her psychic problems.
Next, is ALL TOGETHER NOW where the Spanish teacher tells her students to start working if
they do not want to get detention. The students should write 5 verbs of her choice as homework.
Here we see Melindas sarcasm of again. Melinda proposes the Spanish teacher to teach them
swear words if she wants the class under control. Interesting is are the verbs too: to translate (she
wants to translate her world) ; to flunk (she is failing school), to hide (hide from Andy), to escape
(Escape her world), to forget (forgetting what happened to her).
The small chapter JOB DAY shows Melindas distraction again. In this case, to Heather who has
planned her next ten years, as they are doing a job test.
Finally, there is FIRST AMENDMENT where Mr. Neck opens a debate about Immigration because
his son didnt get the job he desired. He ends the debate because the students arent telling him
what he would like to hear. Finally, David Petrakis claims the lesson is racist and xenophobic, then
leaves the class. This chapter introduces David Petrakis as a new character. He becomes a role
model to Melinda because he resists against the actings of Mr.Neck and has an opposite character
compared to Melindas. I make a note to study David Petrakis. (p.60 l.17) shows Melindas
interest to observe him. In addition, Melinda tells the reader about being able to speak to him for
meeting David.

Victoria In Giving Thanks Melinda and her parents want to celebrate Thanksgiving. Melinda
knows her parents behavior very well, but her parents dont recognize Melinda`s character and
situation. They don`t even care about her friends and surroundings. Melinda describes her
mothers difficult circumstances and the anonymous notes Melinda sent her. Her mother doesn`t
listen (p. 61 l.14) and focuses only on herself. Generally the relationship between Melinda and her
parents is tensed up, because the family doesn`t know each other very well, they dont talk much
and [they] have nothing in common (p. 62 l. 4f). Melindas mom and dad are opposites regarding
their jobs. On one hand her mother is a busy manager of a clothing store and struggles to balance
her family life and career. And on the other hand there is her father, an insurance salesman, which
isnt a stressful or difficult job. They are dissatisfied with their own lives, jobs and marriage.
Melindas comments on her mothers behavior are full of irony. She is impressed (p. 62 l. 1),
because her mother once thought about the family life and the turkey. Cooking the thanksgiving
dinner is a holy obligation (p. 62 l. 3f) for Mrs. Sordinos, because she thinks with the Kodak logic,
which is a system of thinking that, everything is as it appears 1. In conclusion her way of thinking is:
If her family looks like a happy family, everyone, even Mrs. Sordino, thinks they really are one.
While watching the turkey in the sink, Melinda compares herself to the Titanic (comp. p. 62 l. 16f),
which symbolizes her loneliness and helplessness. Mr. Sordino has to prove he can do a better
job (p.64 l. 4f) than Mrs. Sordino. After his wife leaves the house, Mr. Sordino doesnt do a better
job regarding the turkey and dealing with his daughter. Mr. Sordino talks to her, but its more like a
monologue. Melindas problems with her language barriers are based on the relationship between
her parents. They never taught her how to talk about her problems and feelings, because they
dont do it either. Melinda never had a trustful relationship with her mum, because Mrs. Sordino is
focused on her career. She doesnt notice how her job ruins her family, especially her unrealistic
dreams and purposes. All in all the relationship between father and daughter is better, he realizes
Melindas situation after a while, but is not able to help her. Mr. Sordino doesnt have a strong
character and is overwhelmed with the problem, although he tries to cheer Melinda. Melinda isnt
able to speak in front of her parents, because she thinks they couldnt help her. As a result of
missing communication, her parents arent role models for Melinda. They hassle her to speak and
dont realize that she only talks to them if she wants to.
In Wishbone Mr. Freeman, Melinda, Ivy and other nameless students work on their projects.
Melinda feels good in art class, because it seems like Mr. Freeman understands her. Melindas and
Mr. Freemans mindset are similar. She just criticizes other people in her mind and Mr. Freeman in
his paintings (comp. p.66 l. 7-13). Melinda admires her art teacher and wants to impress him. Also
Mr. Freeman is the first person who doesnt want her to speak. Despite her language barrier, she
tries to answer Mr. Freemans questions. He is the missing role model her parents cant be. After
realizing Melindas true problems namely pain, she leaves class instantly, because she is not able
to listen what Mr. Freeman might say next.
Besides her parents pressure, there is Mr. Freeman as a role model. He clearly expresses his
feelings in his paintings for example his dissatisfaction with the school administration, because of
that Melinda is able to estimate him. After a while their relationship is pleasant for Melinda, because
he never demands her to say something. Her creations and engagement are enough. The big
difference between Mr. Freeman and her parents is Melindas trust to her teacher.
1
source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=kodak%20logic

Alex She commonly uses sarcasm, irony and cynicism to describe or comment a particular
situation which she either cant relate to, finds ridiculous or trivial, or simply doesnt care about: He
[Mr. Neck] writes No Taxation Without Representation on the board. Very cool rhyming slogan.
Too bad they didnt have bumper stickers back then. (page 71, line 10 ff.) (irony); They wrinkle
their brows as they struggle to thyme wombat. Democracy is a wonderful institution. (page 73,
line 15 f.) (sarcasm); The secretary doesnt sound too upset at the idea that Mr. Neck could get
canned. I bet she knows him personally. (page 72, line 9 f.) (cynicism).
Melinda is an introvert and a very shy person with low self-esteem who only talks if necessary. She
sees herself as an ordinary drone dressed in secrets and lies (page 74, line 10) and a huge
disappointment (page 74, line 9), because she has no real strong points or talents. This kind of self-
pity is partly due to the treatment of her schoolmates (except Heather), but also the broken family
situation.
The relationship between her and her parents, as well as between her parents themselves is very
reserved and cold; mostly because they dont love each other (anymore) and would probably be
divorced by now if I [Melinda] hadnt been born (page 74, line 8). They both lead their lives
separately. All of the family members mostly communicate by leaving sticky notes and overall avoid
personal contact in any way. Also Melinda obviously wants to explain her behaviour and what
happened to her to her parents, but lacks the courage to open up to them: How can I talk to them
about that night? How can I start? (page 76, line 6). Her parents are too busy dealing with their own
difficulties and thus generally dont seem to care about her opinions or feelings.
Heather seems like the only real friend Melinda has (and vice versa). They are very similar in many
respects. In fact they are both lonely, unpopular and inconspicuous. It could be that this is the main
reason they are friends in the first place so that they arent alone. Besides that Heather is also
heavily working towards becoming a member of the Marthas. Heather oftentimes reminds Melinda
of better times in the past and (unconsciously) provides her with some diversion to forget about
what happened to her. Also Heather sometimes functions as some sort of guideline for Melinda when
it comes to things that she doesnt care about / cannot relate to: What would Heather do if she were
here and the house didnt feel like Christmas? I will pretend to be Heather. (page 74, line 15 ff.).
David Petrakis is Melindas secret hero (page 72, line 13). He stands for pretty much everything
Melinda wants to be but isnt capable to because of her self-consciousness. For instance, he stands
up against Mr. Neck for violating the United States Constitution in history class. Furthermore David
is more of a silent and calm student who dislikes 9th grade because he already has big aspirations
for his future.

Ninve At the beginning of the chapter HARD LABOR Melinda makes us aware that she doesnt
want to work with her parents (com. l. 13 f.; l. 22 f.). Already the title points out that she is forced
against her will to work but her parents dont care about the needs and feelings of their daughter.
Its noticeable that she almost uses the pronom I at the beginning of each sentence in the first
paragraph I had (); I dont () (com. l.12ff.) to mediate us through this repetition of this pronom
and this monologue her insight and feelings. On this point we can conclude that Melinda is not
confident enough which is proven by her not standing up for herself. Another point is that her
parents make her do more work instead of contributing to an improvement of her situation.
However, while Melinda works with her mum at the store, she feels sympathy for her because she
notices how hard the work of her mother is and admits that (She) feel(s) bad that (she) didnt fold
more shirts for her (p.77 l. 4f.). In contrast Melindas dad is able to put his feet up and joke around
with his clients. She resents how easy her dads job is compared to her mums not only because
his work day is easier but because how little he does to support his wife when he is at home (com.
p.77 l.6-13). While sealing envelopes she suddenly cuts her tongue with an envelope, ITs face
appears on her mind and she gets distracted (com.p.77 l.19ff.) This blood symbolizes her pain and
she connects it straightaway with the person who is responsible for it. After her father sees the
blood on the envelopes he gets very angry instead of asking what happened to her. On this point
the father makes another point which shows that he doesnt care about his daughter and cant
have suitable conversations with his daughter. The following sentence: I am actually grateful to go
back to school again (p.77l.24) makes clear that although she is an outcast at school, Melinda
would rather go to school instead of spending time with her parents. Furthermore, in gym as they
start to play basketball, Melinda forgets about the things she went through for a while so that she
manages to throw almost all balls in the basket. In this situation she shows that she is
concentrated and interested in sports as she usually is (com. p. 78 l. 6-12). Mrs Conners is
convinced that Melinda can join the team but her grades are not good enough to give her place in
the team. Finally, Melinda is secretly happy about not being in the team because it would be too
stressful for her to run in a permanent away and with it to sweat. However, the main reason is that
she is afraid to get knocked over by genetic mutants (p.79 l.8) because a boy who responsible for
her pain so she doesnt want to come into contact with boys. In the following example Melina
makes it clear that if someone fouls you, you shouldnt take revenge on them (P.79.l.10f.)In
contrast to our daily life you should be better and learn from the mistakes of other people.
Afterwards, Mrs Conners explained to Melinda that if she works with Brendan, the boy who doesnt
treat her nicely since the first day of high school, she would get an A in gym. She still isnt ready to
answer to her teacher thats why she remains silent because she is unable to say no. In art class
she shows that shes ambitious by creating her work of art and she also feels comfortable there.
Furthermore, Melinda is disappointed in herself because she tries to draw an animated tree but
she doesnt manage to. From this we can conclude that art means a lot to her otherwise she would
give up or try to draw another tree but she continues to draw this animated tree. It also refers to her
situation because Melinda wants to speak out but she doesnt manage to do so.

Nahrin Laurie Halse Andersons Speak demonstrates the development of a rape victims struggle
in life. Melinda is playing the protagonist and has a round character. Melindas parents are unable
to help their daughter in the situation she currently is facing. She illustrates her parents Eruptions
(p.90 l.1) pictorial with typical characteristics of a volcano Mount Dad,[], Mount Saint Mom,
oozing lava, [], while using sarcasm ridiculing her father long dormant, now armed and
dangerous. Melinda not answering their questions is torn about her parents, and so also
responsible for their unawareness, which she justifies with a rhetorical question in an inner
monologue How can I answer? [] They dont have to hear anything I have to say. (p.90 l.11f).
However Melindas parents grand her down. Conclusively Mr. & Mrs. Sordino are unable to
understand her inner feelings. Melinda often retraces her past with events or objects, which give
more hint about her past. Another hint is given according Melindas past. Her detailed description
of the weather using negatively verbs sucks up [...], runs it [] dumps it []. I can feel the wind
fighting [] (p.90 l.6ff) makes clear that she can retrace herself and feel pain. Not speaking to her
parents, but thinking of the weather show how much her past makes her lost in her feelings and
thoughts. She is suffering from psychical pain. Furthermore her hurting herself helps her to feel
herself and to regulate her psychological pain with physical pain. She is also trying to passively
seek for help (from her mother) by hurting herself If suicide attempt is a cry for help, then what is
this? A whimper, a peep? (p.90 l.22f). Still her mother reacts cold, callous and doesnt show any
sympathy or help I dont have time for this, Melinda. (p.91 l.4). Mainly her hurting and cutting is a
sign for her parents that she needs help and something is hurting her. However her parents are
unable to understand neither her signs not do they support her. Meanwhile Heather is facing
difficulty to be accepted in a social scene as she is just being used and lets herself being judged.
She has become a "slave" of the Marthas, but doesnt speak up against them Emily [] Heather
gets up without a word and clears it away.(p.93 l1ff). Therefore self-esteem is her more important
than her self-respect. That's why she doesn't defend neither herself nor Melinda's posters. Melinda
describes her therefore as a "traitor". Here it becomes obvious that Melinda and Heather aren't
sharing a friendship but just getting along with each other so that they don't have to be alone.
Moreover this statement is supported as Heather doesnt tries to find out about Melinda's behavior.
Furthermore its revealed for the first time that IT is actually none other than Andy Evans a
flirtatious and charismatic boy in Melindas high school. Andy Evans is playing the antagonist being
a flat character. Still negative rumors are spread over him (Rumors he sleeps with anything, p.
93 l. 16) he still remains in positive reputation Fact he is gorgeous []; I dont believe it.
Rumors are spread by jealous people., p.93 14ff.) However Andy has some connection with
Melindas past as she not only feels nervous and aloof but also uncomfortable in his presence the
Prince of Darkness [] I shiver. [] . All in all Melinda is not only having problems at home but
also in school. Moreover cutting and hurting herself are not only ways of dealing with her struggles
but also for expressing herself. Andy is more or less a reason for Melindas behavior. Melinda is
torn about her parents and Heather.

Angi Laurie Halse Andersons Speak demonstrates the development of a rape victims struggle in
life. Melinda is playing the protagonist and has a round character. Melindas parents are unable to
help their daughter in the situation she currently is facing. She illustrates her parents Eruptions
(p.90 l.1) pictorial with typical characteristics of a volcano Mount Dad,[], Mount Saint Mom,
oozing lava, [], while using sarcasm ridiculing her father long dormant, now armed and
dangerous. Melinda not answering their questions is torn about her parents, and so also
responsible for their unawareness, which she justifies with a rhetorical question in an inner
monologue How can I answer? [] They dont have to hear anything I have to say. (p.90 l.11f).
However Melindas parents grand her down. Conclusively Mr. & Mrs. Sordino are unable to
understand her inner feelings. Melinda often retraces her past with events or objects, which give
more hint about her past. Another hint is given according Melindas past. Her detailed description
of the weather using negatively verbs sucks up [...], runs it [] dumps it []. I can feel the wind
fighting [] (p.90 l.6ff) makes clear that she can retrace herself and feel pain. Not speaking to her
parents, but thinking of the weather show how much her past makes her lost in her feelings and
thoughts. She is suffering from psychical pain. Furthermore her hurting herself helps her to feel
herself and to regulate her psychological pain with physical pain. She is also trying to passively
seek for help (from her mother) by hurting herself If suicide attempt is a cry for help, then what is
this? A whimper, a peep? (p.90 l.22f). Still her mother reacts cold, callous and doesnt show any
sympathy or help I dont have time for this, Melinda. (p.91 l.4). Mainly her hurting and cutting is a
sign for her parents that she needs help and something is hurting her. However her parents are
unable to understand neither her signs not do they support her. Meanwhile Heather is facing
difficulty to be accepted in a social scene as she is just being used and lets herself being judged.
She has become a "slave" of the Marthas, but doesnt speak up against them Emily [] Heather
gets up without a word and clears it away.(p.93 l1ff). Therefore self-esteem is her more important
than her self-respect. That's why she doesn't defend neither herself nor Melinda's posters. Melinda
describes her therefore as a "traitor". Here it becomes obvious that Melinda and Heather aren't
sharing a friendship but just getting along with each other so that they don't have to be alone.
Moreover this statement is supported as Heather doesnt tries to find out about Melinda's behavior.
Furthermore its revealed for the first time that IT is actually none other than Andy Evans a
flirtatious and charismatic boy in Melindas high school. Andy Evans is playing the antagonist being
a flat character. Still negative rumors are spread over him (Rumors he sleeps with anything, p.
93 l. 16) he still remains in positive reputation Fact he is gorgeous []; I dont believe it.
Rumors are spread by jealous people., p.93 14ff.) However Andy has some connection with
Melindas past as she not only feels nervous and aloof but also uncomfortable in his presence the
Prince of Darkness [] I shiver. [] . All in all Melinda is not only having problems at home but
also in school. Moreover cutting and hurting herself are not only ways of dealing with her struggles
but also for expressing herself. Andy is more or less a reason for Melindas behavior. Melinda is
torn about her parents and Heather.

In conclusion, rape victims have difficulty talking about their experience due to the psycholgical
impact of the experience. Many teenagers dont speak for attention, so it is worthless to argue with
a teenager. In addition, a great deal of time and effort is needed to deal with a rape case and this
story shows the experience if the rape victim receives no support on her feelings and actions.

Additional information drawn from:


1. Shmoop Editorial Team (2008); Speak Language and Communication Quotes;
http://www.shmoop.com/speak-anderson/language-communication-quotes-2.html; Access:
March 6th 2016
2. Gradesaver (2016); Study Guide > Summary and analysis > Part 2 Winter Break;
http://www.gradesaver.com/speak/study-guide/summary-part-2-go-fill-in-the-blank-winter-
break; Access: February 25th 2016