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by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak Chapter 14 Summary

The Opposite of Inspiration is…Expiration?

  • In art class this week, Melinda has been using watercolors to work on her tree.
  • All the trees she paints have been struck by lightning. They are almost dead. These pictures are very dark.
  • Mr. Freeman gives the tree pictures a funny look, but makes no verbal comment.
  • Ivy isn't happy with her selection: "Clowns" (14.2). Ivy was so traumatized by a childhood clown that she has to see a therapist. Mr. Freeman says great art can start with what someone is afraid of.
  • After a while, Mr. Freeman points out the bookshelves and the art books. He says if they get stuck, they can use the works of great artists for inspiration.
  • Then Mr. Freeman starts ranting about the school board cutting the art budget. Some kids fall asleep.
  • Melinda doesn't. She tries drawing a tree on notebook paper with a pen. She just can't get any feeling into her trees, and she wonders if Mr. Freeman is going to help her.

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