Analysis Of Laurie Halse Anderson's Book Speak

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Grade Level and Audience
In her novel Speak, author Laurie Halse Anderson (1999) discusses the life of a teenage girl as she struggles through depression and the harsh realities of life. Topics wrestled with in the novel range from parental fighting and challenges to the endeavor of fitting in with high school students. Anderson skillfully addresses many of the same issues that plague teenagers in today’s world while also creating a connection between the reader and the narrator.
Speak is a marvelous novel for boys and girls ages fourteen and up because many of the same concepts and struggles discussed in the novel are the same as what a child their age would be grappling with. Also, the students need to be of a more mature age to cope with
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Because of this, I believe that teaching Speak in the classroom would benefit the students greatly. Many students feel embarrassed and, as a result, are afraid to speak up about the assault they endured. Teacher and writer Victor Malo-Juvera wrote his dissertation over his observations on an eighth grade classroom being taught Speak, and his response was, “Speak could significantly reduce rape myth acceptance in adolescents.” This realization is vastly important to consider when in question about whether or not to teach the novel. Another author and writer, Eric Devine, discussed one reason he teaches Speak, is so that “they won’t see victims as other and as responsible. Hopefully they’ll recognize the victims as members of their class, their friends, their family.” Mr. Devine realizes the importance of creating a connection between the literary work and one’s self. Without that connection, meaning becomes pointless and …show more content…
How much does Melinda speak throughout the novel? Is she actually silent?
2. What role does Melinda’s art class play throughout the course of the novel?
3. Who/what eventually has the greatest impact on Melinda finally speaking?
4. Why does Melinda not like mirrors?
5. Choose a symbol from the book (a mirror, the tree, the suffragettes, etc.) and explain how it affected Melinda in the novel.

Why Speak should not be banned
In today’s world, to honestly say that a parent or teacher will successfully protect a student from the harsh realities of the world would be a complete lie. Unfortunately, the world is a troubled and chaotic place to be, and high school students are certainly not immune to this. To ignore topics such as rape, depression, and peer issues would do more harm than good for any student. The sooner students are educated on matters such as these, the sooner they will be able to learn how to correctly address the issues and how to best solve any problems that arise. Students come to adults to learn about the world, and I would not want to be the reason they are not educated on these issues facing our

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