Study Guide

Speak Chapter 86

By Laurie Halse Anderson

Chapter 86


  • The sound of a chainsaw wakes Melinda on Saturday morning.
  • Melinda grabs a cup of tea, then joins Dad and some kids watching a tree being cut down.
  • Melinda feels powerless to stop the tree's death.
  • Dad tells a neighbor kid that the tree isn't dying. The diseased parts of the tree had to be cut down. Now the tree will be able to grow strong again.
  • Melinda doesn't buy it. She thinks Dad is pretending to know about trees, but really he only knows about insurance. This whole scene bugs her, so she gets on her bike and rides away.
  • Melinda is really enjoying herself. It's been a long time since Melinda's been riding. It's also a lovely, sunny day.
  • Melinda finds herself riding out to Rodgers farm, the site of Kyle Rodgers's end-of-summer party.
  • She finds the place where she was raped. She gets down on the ground and is scared.
  • Melinda touches a nearby tree, trying to read answers to her life in the bark.
  • How can she deal with what happened to her?
  • She puts her hands in the dirt and starts to feel better, like the seed of who she used to be is growing up out of the dirt.
  • She's going to take good care of this seed.