Significant Minor Characters in Speak

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In her novel Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson tells the story of Melinda Sordino. She is a new student at Merryweather High School. Melinda’s first year as a freshman is full of misery and desperation. She calls herself an “outcast” (4). Melinda’s best friend, Rachel, hates her after the horrible party in last summer. Melinda was raped by a boy whose name is Andy Evans. He left so many scars in the soul of a teenage girl, Melinda. After that shocking event, she does not dare to speak up. However, Melinda Sordino is not the only important character in the novel. There are several significant minor characters as well. These include Heather, a new student from Ohio, David Petrakis, Melinda’s lab partner, and Mr. Freeman, Melinda’s art teacher. Heather is a new student from Ohio who unwittingly helps Melinda to grow stronger. At first, she becomes Melinda’s closest friend at school. Unlike Melinda, Heather always tries to make many friends by taking part in five clubs and joining a group of cruel girls, the Marthas. Heather is not treating Melinda like a real friend. She does not even care why people behave badly to her friend, or what problem Melinda is facing. Heather never stands up for Mel when people show negative attitudes toward her. One day, she hurts Melinda by saying they should not be friends anymore. However, that broken friendship makes Melinda’s new skin finally grafted. She becomes tougher when she responds to the request for help from Heather, “No, I won’t help you” (179). Then she thinks, “Does she want to know the truth, that she’s self-centered and cold?” (179). That moment marks a big change in Melinda who always struggles to say “no” to others. Another minor character who helps Melinda is David Petrakis, her lab partner. Melinda considers David her hero because he teaches Melinda to speak up for herself. David seems to have special care by showing his

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