Speaking of Mean Girls

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Bullying is a form of intimidation or domination toward someone who is perceived as being weaker. This definition further illustrates the problem with bullying. Throughout Speak and Mean Girls, there are signs of bullying shown. The bullying shown gets worse and worse until the resolution. Despite the fact that the two stories are similar with respect to cliques and secrets, it is the differences regarding parents and likeability that make Speak more compelling. The two stories are different with regard to parents. Specifically, in the novel, the parents are disconnected and unconcerned about issues pertaining to their daughter. Conversely, the movie shows parents who try to engage in dialogue with their child. For example, in Speak, Melinda’s mother is speaking to the school counselor. “That’s the point, she won’t say anything! I can’t get a word out of her! She’s mute” (Anderson 114). This scene shows a parent who is unable to speak to her daughter, and she handles this disconnection with anger, which serves to make daughter less talkative. On the other hand, the parents in Mean Girls make an honest effort: in multiple scenes, Cady’s parents inquire as to how Cady’s day at school went, and do so in a kind and honestly interested tone. They go so far as to ask if Cady had made friends and how she is doing. They actually dote on her. In effect, the contrast between parents in these stories is striking because it directly affects how the reader and viewer feel toward the main character. It has the ability to make the reader pity Melinda and empathize with her plight. By making the parents the villain, Melinda seems more heroic. Cady’s parents do try, and as such aren’t deserving of the viewer’s desertion. In any case, the difference is important because it colors the reader’s and viewer’s opinion of many aspects beyond just the main character. Speak and Mean

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