by Laurie Halse Anderson
Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis
Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.
Plot Type : Overcoming the Monster
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 stage, the hero experiences a "'call' to confront" the monster. Melinda's "call" is Melinda's overwhelming desire to tell somebody she was raped. She doesn't, at first, recognize Andy is a danger to others and doesn't think of trying to save people from him.
Andy doesn't come around Melinda much.
In this stage, the hero prepares for battle, but doesn't quite understand what a threat the monster is. So long as Andy keeps his distance from Melinda and her friends, she can try to forget him. All the thinking she's doing prepares her to fight him off at a later date even though she doesn't know it.
Andy is everywhere.
All the sudden, Andy is everywhere. He seems to be stalking Melinda, and her ex-best friend Rachel could be his next victim. It seems like Andy might be winning. Melinda is overwhelmed and terrified of him and doesn't have a clue how to fight him.
Andy's second attack.
Near the end of the story, Melinda finds herself trapped in her private hiding place with a very angry and strong Andy. It looks like all is almost lost. Will Speak end in tragedy?
The Thrilling Escape and Death of the Monster
Melinda almost stabs Andy in the neck, but restrains herself.
But wait, Melinda's getting the upper hand. She holds a broken piece of a mirror to Andy's neck. She's not about to let him hurt her again – not without a fight. She wants to kill him, but she resists the temptation. So the monster isn't really dead, but he is caught and exposed.