melinda speak characterization

Essay by armin12345High School, 10th gradeA, December 2014

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Armin Rezvani


Mrs. Montgomery

5th period

Melinda's Goals, Dreams, and Motives

Melinda's goal in Speak is very straightforward; she wants to survive. The first marking period begins with the start of school, and Melinda's interpretations show the simplicity of her goal. "It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate and a stomachache." Melinda has no interest in being at school, but there is a rich sense that she knows she has to be. She wants to get through the year, to survive and move on. She has not permitted her rape to terminate her, but she has accepted it to control her, and all she desires is to continue surviving. As the year progresses, Melinda's goals rapidly begin to change. She begins to want to take control of her life back, though she evidently is having trouble with that. Her feedback to Rachel was very aggressive and straightforward.

"I don't want to be cool. I want to grab her by the neck and shake her and scream at her to stop treating me like dirt. She didn't even bother to find out the truth-what kind of friend is that?"

It is the Fourth Marking Period that her onward crusade becomes clear and her goal has succeeded. "It happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding. Andy Evans raped me in August when I was drunk and too young to know what was happening. It wasn't my fault. He hurt me. It wasn't my fault. And I'm not going to let it kill me. I can grow."

One of Melinda's dreams in the book Speak is to be more verbal and to stop keeping things within herself. Much of Melinda's life revolves...