Study Guide

Speak Chapter 40

By Laurie Halse Anderson

Chapter 40

Death by Algebra

  • Mr. Stetman, the algebra teacher, is determined to make the class see how desperately they need algebra and how much it will help them in their future lives.
  • Every day, he comes to class with a "Real-Life Application," to show them how they can apply algebra to real life.
  • The one for today involves guppies and a pet store. Mr. Stetman turns the guppies into x's and y's. At this point, Melinda loses her focus.
  • The "animal rights activists" in the class argue that it's wrong to own fish.
  • The "red blooded capitalists" argue that guppies aren't good investments.
  • Melinda looks out the window and watches the snow.