Different silence is the absence of sound. Although it seems like a weakness, it is also a forte. Everyone has their own way of speaking up and showing their strength, so does Melinda. In the novel, the main character Melinda Sordino is indeed suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. The novel, discussed topics such as depression, absentee parents and sexual assault in the lives of young individuals. These struggles are the main conflicts that the character has over her, and she is in a bad headspace until she finds an outlet which allows her to slowly overcome her sadness and anger and come to terms with what happened. Melinda experienced a great deal to defeat her inner conflict, and it wasn’t something little and transparent that she overcame in the matter of a few months. Throughout the novel Speak a few thoughts that Laurie Halse Anderson developed regarding an individual’s ability to overcome trauma are that many individuals including Melinda, are affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. This usually affects one in many different levels of depression; including simply going mute which impacts their capacity to talk effortlessly, assert their pain by doing things physically, and turning to their imagination, when talking to real people is meaningless. All which result in emotional, mental and physical stress.A conflict is the snapshot of truth in a trial, a crisis that can weaken or strengthen throughout time, a critical occasion that may bring lasting resentment, and psychological scars. Conflicts can push individuals from their relationships with others or maneuver them into a closer and more personal union; they contain the seeds of demolition and the seeds of more prominent solidarity. Melinda lost her ability to speak with ease after the whole adversity, hence the name of the book Speak. She analyzed a great deal of contention all throughout the novel, because of the absence of an emotionally supportive system, which effected Melinda’s experience, in turn creating difficulties settling with her conflicts. One understanding of Melinda’s behaviour is that it is symptomatic of post-traumatic stress disorder because of her assault. Which include mental effects such as, flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts. Many of her issues linked to the rape, including her personality change which consists of responses such as isolation, lies and silence towards society. These three contentions were the main symbols that were presented throughout the novel, which represented how Melinda dealt with the nature of conflict. Like other rape survivors, at the beginning Melinda wanted to deny the fact that she had been raped as soon after wanted to broadcast what had happened. There were multiple times throughout the four periods where Melinda found the courage to speak up. But, when she witnessed others speaking up shes sees them being humiliated; for instance when Rachel her ex best friend who spoke up in english class, against symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Rachel’s questioning of her authority is obnoxious and incorrect, but Hairwoman reacts in an ineffective way. These instances reaffirmed Melinda’s belief that speaking only hurts you, never helps you. In turn, she kept her mouth shut out of fear and remained frozen, which are two main motifs presented in the novel. Both motifs are extended metaphors that symbolizes Melinda’s movement from frozen mutness to fluid speech which develops throughout the periods also known as seasons. However, in other cases, such as David Petrakis stand against Mr. Neck, “The Constitution does not recognize different classes of citizenship based on time spent living in the country. I am a citizen, with the same rights as your son, or you. As a citizen, and as a student, I am protesting the tone of this lesson as racist, intolerant, and xenophobic.” (pg.56) This comment causes Melinda to be impressed by David Petrakis’s ability to be outspoken and eloquent, and also observe the power of speaking up. These instances ultimately encourages her to grow and speak again. Melinda had come to an epiphany, that she required time and her own effort to come to one and conquer her tragedy. Throughout the novel, Melinda disconnects herself from her relationships and loses herself. Melinda coped with her situation by physically hurting herself. For example we’re told in the book, that when Melinda’s parents grounded her because of her grades being too low,  Melinda unfolds a paperclip that she had found in her closet, and uses it to scratch her wrist. She thinks, “If a suicide note is a cry for help, then what is this? A whimper, a peep?” (pg.43). When her mother sees what Melinda did to her wrist, she says, “I don’t have time for this, Melinda” (pg.43) “Suicide is for cowards” (pg.43) and many other ruthless comments. This illustrated her corrupted relationship with her parents. The author had also included the symbol “mouth” and “lips”which expressed her silence and her frustration through putting her lips in discomfort. These two symbols, demonstrate her silence, insecurities and a way of expressing her emotional pain through physical means that made sense to her. A scene from the novel that showcases the following symbols, is when Melinda created her art exhibit out of the turkey bones she had scavenged out of the trash. The Barbie doll clearly symbolizes Melinda herself, its taped mouth demonstrating her silence, and its turkey bone prison demonstrating how dead, alone, and victimized she feels (pg.64). Melinda does not come to an epiphany, until she takes a day off from school and is watching talk shows. While watching, Melinda imagines specific advice from Oprah, Sally Jessy Raphael, Jerry Springer and Maya Angelou would give her if she were on their shows. This is an important moment in terms of Melinda’s growth,  and in the reader’s understanding of her experience. Using the talk shows as a guide, Melinda tried to make sense of her life and pondered the answer to a very specific question, “Was I raped?” This is significant to Melinda’s story because, it is the first time she’s thought about her rape without biting her lip or stopping midway because of the horrific memories. This scene emphasizes the way Melinda draws on everything around her to find solutions to her problems. It also gives the reader a chance to explore their feelings on the touchy subject.Speak is composed in a skeptical tone. It demonstrates that Melinda has a voice, yet she simply does not have any desire to utilize it outside of her own head. In the end she considers herself to be a survivor as opposed to a victim. Melinda Sordino finally gets some relief from her brutal ordeal and begins to piece her broken life back together. She discovers that the best way to encounter Andy Evans is to speak out. This relief comes through various forms of speech. “Speech” includes spoken words and body language. It also includes “symbolic speech” such as writing, art, and other media. For example, at the end of Speak, Melinda finally draws a tree that expresses her emotions and her soul. The periods also known as seasons, played a great role in the novel, ice and the cold of winter, heat and the warmth of summer. In the final chapter, we were told, “The tears dissolve the last block of ice in my throat. I feel the frozen stillness melt down through the inside of me, dripping shards of ice that vanish in a puddle of sunlight on the stained floor. Words float up”(pg.89). This allowed the audience to realize that, as the weather thawed, so did her silence. Melinda’s realizations enabled her to come to peace with her family and companions and particularly herself. Being a victim of rape is one of the exceedingly awful things that could happen to a person, especially in an individual’s early teenage years. This is because, young adolescents may develop a negative outlook and feel “damaged” or unworthy of a better life. The following essay aimed to identify the impact of traumatic experience of the main character and to explain how traumatic experiences in Melinda’s life affected her psychosocial development Some ideas that the author developed regarding Melinda’s ability to overcome trauma are that, some people can just go quiet and go into deep depression, they lose their ability to communicate with others easily, and can only turn to their imagination because they believe that talking to the people they trust is pointless. Although, there is dependably trust, everyone simply needs time and exertion. The nature of conflict Melinda was faced with had changed her life and possibly affected her well being in numerous ways.

Categories: Articles


I'm Garrett!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out