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Speak

Speak

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Violence Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

When the pep rally ends, I am accidentally knocked down three rows of bleachers. (13.5)

Translation: Mean kids at the pep rally push Melinda down the bleachers. This is after one girl pokes and knees her throughout the rally. This is an assault. Heather and others who watch contribute by not helping.

Quote #2

IT sees me. IT smiles and winks. Good thing my lips are stitched together or I'd throw up. (22.2)

Smiling and winking can be forms of violence as this moment vividly illustrates.

Quote #3

I have to slice open her belly. She doesn't say a word. She is already dead. A scream starts in my gut – I can feel the cut, smell the dirt, leaves in my hair. (38.4)

In biology class, Melinda is reminded of her own experience when she starts to dissect a frog. This won't be the last time Melinda sees reflections of herself in the world of plants and animals. Melinda is now hyper-aware of violence.

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