Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Analysis

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Laurie Halse Anderson uses simplified diction to give the reader a better understanding of Melinda's stream of conscious. Contrary to the title Speak, there is not a great deal of dialogue in the passage, let alone in the novel. Instead, Anderson uses this simplistic approach to give us insight to both the raw emotions of Melinda, as well as the events that take place. In the passage, Anderson uses this transparent writing style to convey the immediate struggle Melinda had in finding a group to fit in with in high school. Melinda's first interaction with the party scene of high school was clouded with peer pressure “Rachel found a way to fit in, of course. She knew a lot of people because of Jimmy. I tasted a beer. It was worse than cough …show more content…
A new school, especially the transition into high school, symbolizes a coming of age. High school brings a positive light for young teens that signifies new freedoms, and an opportunity to explore who you are. Melinda thought high school to be just as promising as any other 14-year-old girl her age would "[a]nd I thought for just a minute there that I had a boyfriend, I would start high school with a boyfriend, older and stronger and ready to watch out for me" (135). A boyfriend symbolizes protection, strength, and security. Melinda had never received this sort of attention from anyone before and was swept away by the romance of the situation. Having a boyfriend, especially at the start of high school means she will be socially desirable for multiple cliques. A boyfriend secures her social well-being, especially characterizing this Romeo as a "Greek God" (134), saving her from the loneliness being an outsider. A Greek God was all-powerful, immortal, and beloved by all, and this guy, later known to be Andy Evans, was all of those things. Here he was to save Melinda, his next damsel in distress. Anderson uses this quintessential encounter with a new guy to signify the innocence of Melinda. To Melinda this is supposed to be “what high school was supposed to feel like” (134). High school despite the media is not about romance, but rather the maturity one has to undergo

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