Essay on Symbolization in Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

1328 Words Jun 24th, 2013 6 Pages
Aranpreet Singh
Ms. Ceci
ENG 1D1-07

In Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, trees symbolize Melinda’s growth throughout her life to stay sane and pass the horrific time of her life. Depression is her first phase, when she starts to paint the trees that were hit by lightning. It is also shown by her not talking to many people. She starts to realize that she cannot be perfect when she imagines a beautiful oak tree but really cannot carve it properly. Her third phase comes when the trees outside her house has a few sick branches and she decides to let go of the present Melinda who is not letting her grow and nurture the old Melinda, the one before the party, the fun and outgoing one. The last phase, and tree was the one she drew for
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At the same time, physical depression is also clear on her face because it is getting harder for her talk; also she always had a sore throat and raw lips which indicate that she is not taking good care of herself. Similarly the incident caused her to be isolated socially because she isolated herself from school events and is always in her closet where she is alone. Overall there are many challenges that are faced by her during the first few months of school after the incident, but she waits for the opportunity to find her voice. The second phase is when she imagines something but cannot carve it. She imagines a big old oak tree with scarred trunk and thousands of leaves reaching the sun, which represent her ambitions that are crushed after being raped. As she tries to carve it looks like a diseased tree. Even though she tries again and again, the tree is never perfect. She first realizes that she can never be perfect but only act the part when she compares herself to her parents. “I’m just like them- an ordinary drone dressed in secrets and lies” (p.70). The big oak tree in her mind is perfect but she cannot really carve it properly relating her to the tree because she cannot express herself the way she wants to. Specifically when she explains what her tree looks like, she says that it is dead and lifeless. “But when I try to

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