Speak Character Analysis

689 Words 3 Pages
Speak is a coming-of-age novel about 14-year-old Melinda Sordino as she struggles with the weight of her pain as a victim of rape. Melinda is a fictional character; yet, for thousands of other girls in the world, her experiences are a vivid reality. Although I have not shared her experience, as long as there is someone that is able to relate to Melinda, I believe that Speak is a realistic representation of adolescent experience. Rape crimes are far more common than people believe it to be. According to the survey done by the National Institute of Justice, one in six American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape . Furthermore, twenty-nine percent of those victims are aged between 12 and 17 years old . Put into numbers, there are about 7.9 million teenage victims. Being a victim may be a "minority", but the numbers prove that there are millions of girls that do look at Speak as a realistic representation of their experiences. Not only do victims relate to the trauma Melinda experiences in the incident, they may also relate to the struggles she faces afterwards with the memory and also her confidence. For …show more content…
Yet, it proved to be realistic for millions of girls, be it the incident itself or the internal conflict and depression rape carries. Therefore, I believe that Speak is a realistic representation of an adolescent experience. However, I also believe that how realistic it is and how many people relate to it is not the purpose of the novel. Speak exists to allow vulnerable victims a safe haven of courage and validation. It can show people like Melinda that there is someone who shares their experiences, thoughts, and feelings; that they are normal and it isn't their fault; that they, too, can speak up. Speak tries to tell its readers that, like Maya Angelou said, "History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived

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