Symbolism In Speak

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Symbolism in Speak After recently becoming victim to rape, and losing every single friend you ever had, would you be eager to start your freshman year of high school? I certainly would not, and neither does the deeply troubled narrator of Laurie Halse Anderson's novel Speak. This novel takes us through the journey of Melinda Sordino as she struggles, and eventually recovers from the traumatic experiences she has forcefully been put through. Her best friend Rachel, or to better put it, ex best friend questions in English class, "How do you know what he meant to say? I mean, did [Hawthorne] leave another book called 'Symbolism in My Books'? If he didn't then you could just be making all of this up." She doubts the fact that the author of The Scarlet Letter purposely added symbolism to his novel, while her English teacher or “hair woman” as Melinda would call her is sure that he did. Like Hawthorne, Laurie Halse Anderson uses symbolism in the novel to bring Melinda's story to life. She also uses a lot of characterization through this symbolism, to add even further to her book. In art class, Mr. Freeman allows his students to randomly choose a topic from a globe, for which they will spend the entire year trying to bring to meaning to. Melinda is not happy with the simple tree she has selected, and feels it isn't interesting enough for her. “Tree? It's too easy, I learned how to draw a tree in second grade. I reach in for another piece of paper. Mr. Freeman shakes his head. Ah-ah-ah he says. You just chose your destiny. You cant change that.” (pg. 12). Melinda soon learns that this tree isn't as easy as she originally expected. Trees can symbolize many things, but definitely growth and life. Melinda finds it hard to make the tree 'speak' to her, because she is not currently experiencing life or growth, but rather the opposite. She is dieing inside by holding in the
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