Melinda's Family Relationships In Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson

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In the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda’s family dynamic is much different than other families. They have a relationship like no other. With her mom, they interact, it’s just not always for good reason. When it comes to her dad, there is barely any communication. But, when her parents are together, they make Melinda somewhat afraid to rely on them for anything. Melinda and her parents share an unstable relationship which devolves before it turns into the good relationships at the end of the book. Melinda and her mom have difficulty understanding each other throughout all the obstacles Melinda has suffered. They do not share a very open relationship, which is why Melinda explained, “We communicate with notes on the kitchen counter. …show more content…
While Melinda and her mom have some interaction, it seems like she is hiding from her dad so they do not have to communicate. Nothing happened between them that caused lack of communication, they just don’t talk. Melinda isn’t afraid of her dad, it’s just that she’s avoiding interaction like when she said, “I chow and watch TV until I hear Dad's Jeep in the driveway. Flip, flip, flip—cushions reversed to show their pretty white cheeks, then bolt upstairs. By the time Dad unlocks the door, everything looks the way he wants to see it, and I have vanished” (Anderson 15). This quote demonstrates how Melinda is simply avoiding contact with her dad. It almost seems like she isn’t ‘daddy’s little girl’ since the assault. She isn’t herself anymore, where she would spend time with her family and bond, but now, she hides away in her room avoiding any and all contact with her parents. Melinda might not be saying anything to him, but, her sarcastic thoughts are enough to tell us she doesn’t cherish their relationship. These are some of the snarky thoughts she makes towards her dad: “Thanks, Dad. Like I'm not already having a hard time sleeping. Worry #64 : flying tree limbs. I shouldn't have raked anything. Look what I started. I shouldn't have tried something new” (Anderson 167-68). This quote exhibits how instead of having your typical loving father-daughter relationship, this is more of a sarcastic one. Anything that happens between the two of them is eye rolls and snarky thoughts. There are, however, some places in the book where her father says, “‘Just like the old days, right, Mellie?’” (Anderson 60). This reveals that this hasn’t always been such a bitter relationship between them, so there is hope for them over time. Melinda doesn’t want to be bothered with her parents as a whole, since they only seem to care about themselves anyway. Rather than paying attention to their daughter,

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