Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Summary

3778 Words16 Pages
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson was born on October 23, 1961 in Postsdam, New York. She was born Laurie Beth Halse. As a child, and even now, she loved to read, and write, but struggled with math, which is highly reflected in Melinda, the main character in her National Book Award Finalist book. She was a well behaved child, and at the age of 16, she had left her parents house and wound up living on a pig farm. The pig farm was located in Denmark, where she stayed for 13 months as a foreign exchange student. After that she returned to her hometown, where she worked for minimum wage at a clothing store, which opened her eyes to the reality of her needing to go to college. She went to Onondaga Community College and graduated after 2 years. While…show more content…
Melinda is a limited omniscient first person Speaker, which knows all about herself, but not about the others involved in the story. This really amplifies the emotional connection that grows on you as you read deeper into the book. Being only 197 pages, it has one of the biggest impacts on my life, book-wise. Understanding the pain of Melinda Sordino becomes much easier when she is the one to explain it to the reader. Her feeling of insecurity, being trapped, and alone, can be almost felt through the text as the story reaches to the long awaited climax, and then the quick resolution. Anderson, who frequently writes books about such topics, probably did this to achieve a deeper connection with her desired…show more content…
Symbolism is used throughout the book but not many examples of it arise. One of the biggest symbols in Speak, is the tree project presented to Melinda in art class. Melinda is given the word “tree” in the beginning of her high school year, and she must paint, carve, draw, sculpt, or do anything to turn a simple tree into art. In the beginning of the year, she thinks that this will be a very easy assignment since she had learned to draw a tree in 2nd grade. She realizes through the year that she cannot put emotion into this assignment to make the tree into art. She learns from Mr. Freeman, that she needs to make the tree grow as it would in real life, by watering the tree with her emotions. The tree finally reaches perfection at the end of the book, where she is nearly raped by Andy Beast again, but stops it but finally speaking up. The tree is a representation of emotional growth and accepting the mistakes or sins committed by her or on her. Without accepting the mistakes and sins, she cannot grow emotionally, or mature, and finally grow into the women she strives to

More about Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Summary

Open Document