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Speak
Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak Analysis

Literary Devices in Speak

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Rachel: "How do you know what he meant to say? I mean, did [Hawthorne] leave another book called 'Symbolism in My Books'? If he didn't then you could just be making all of this up." (49.11)Speak op...

Setting

Speak is set in Syracuse, New York. This location is most significant because of the weather, which Melinda Sordino is very tuned in to. Her journey back to life after being raped is reflected in t...

Narrator Point of View

Speak is the story of Melinda Sordino, a high school freshman. She tells her story in her own words, in the present tense. This telling seems to be a kind of internal monologue. Melinda doesn't tal...

Genre

Young AdultSpeak is written especially for teens and tweens, both male and female, though it has much to offer adults too. Because Speak is told entirely from the point of view of Melinda Sordino,...

Tone

Tone, an element of style, refers to the author's attitude toward the characters, the subject matter, and the audience. In Speak, we can hear Laurie Halse Anderson's voice behind the voice of fourt...

Writing Style

We love the fresh visual style of Speak. The short paragraphs and short chapters break things up in manageable chunks, loaded with emotional content. There is a fair amount of sarcasm as well, like...

What's Up With the Title?

Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak is a novel that makes a definite argument. The title gives us a pretty big hint as to what this might be. In short, the novel argues that if you are a victim of a sex...

What's Up With the Ending?

This novel is pretty depressing until we get to the end. Melinda Sordino finally gets some relief from her brutal ordeal and pieces together her broken life. This relief comes through various forms...

Plot Analysis

Melinda's old friends want talk to her, and she has some kind of secret.When we meet Melinda on the first day of her freshman year, we know that all her ex-friends and a bunch of other kids are rea...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

We gradually learn that Melinda is afraid of Andy, though we aren't sure why.In this stage, we first get hints that some evil monster is lurking. In this case, the monster is Andy Evans. In this st...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Act I starts with our introduction to Melinda and her problems. We know her friends are against her. We know something bad happened to her, and we know it involves Andy Evans, but we don't know wha...

Trivia

Steaminess Rating

Can you believe that a high school teacher called Speak pornography in 2010? (source). In our opinion, there is nothing steamy about Speak. The sex described here is simply violent and scary. The n...

Allusions

Bram Stoker, Dracula (19.6)Maya Angelou (24.2, 70.3, 73.3. 73.19)Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (39.2, 39.3, 39.4, 39.9, 39.12, 39.13, 39.14, 39.15, 62.4)Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland...

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