From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak Chapter 38 Summary

Dead Frogs

  • In biology class, it's time to dissect frogs.
  • David Petrakis, Melinda's lab partner, is totally excited and serious about the whole process. Even the kids in the back row are happy about this project.
  • Melinda and David's frog is on its back on the lab table. Holding the knife, Melinda watches David pin the frog's arms and legs down. Melinda's having trouble breathing.
  • It's Melinda's job to cut the frog's stomach open. The frog can't complain because she's "already dead" (38.4).
  • Melinda feels a scream deep inside herself – she "can feel the cut, smell the dirt, leaves in [her] hair" (38.4).
  • (Melinda seems to be giving us clues about whatever it is that happened to her at the party last summer.)
  • Melinda doesn't remember losing consciousness. David Petrakis tells her that she even banged her head on the lab table before she hit the floor.
  • Stitches are necessary, so the nurse calls Mom. As the doctor shines a light in Melinda's eyes, Melinda wonders if the doctor can read her mind. If she can, will she call the police, or put Melinda in a psychiatric hospital?
  • Melinda wonders if that would be such a bad thing.
  • Sleep is the only thing Melinda desires.
  • She thought if she didn't talk about what happened to her, she would forget about it. But her plan isn't working. The memory is burned in her brain.
  • She considers waiting for David Petrakis to become a brain surgeon and getting him to cut the memory out for her.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...