Full name: Thanoj Matheeswaran
Date: October 22, 2018
The Symbolism through Melinda's Character Development in Speak
Symbolism is the use of symbols to supply things with a representative meaning. Symbolism isn’t just a tiny sign that displays an abstract concept, it could showcase the entire history of someone’s existence. In the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, a young girl named Melinda Sordino experiences an extremely traumatizing period during high school due to a brutal rape incident that occurred in the summer. Anderson uses a combination of symbols to reveal the life-changing transformation Melinda goes throughout the novel. Symbolism reflects Melinda’s development as a character through hiding her fears inside the closet, changing her perception of trees, and the mirror conflict involving Andy Evans.
Imagine experiencing a phase where a person must conceal your feelings, thoughts, and opinions in a gloomy, passed down room. From the beginning to the end of the book, Melinda isolates herself within a vacant janitor’s closet to skip class as well as dodge the students that despise her. As deciding to cover her sanity in a bizarre room, she misses the opportunities to communicate with her ex friends about how Andy Evans raped her, so she can regain her old self. “The closet is abounded-it has no purpose, no name. It is the perfect place for me” (Anderson 23). This quote clarifies that the closet could be identified as vast hollowed blackness which Melinda confines her existence in, since she believes she has no purpose. Next it would seem as her slowly trying to withdraw from the closet, although she considers the abandoned janitor’s closet as her home. Melinda certifies this by adding a beautiful Maya Angelou poster, hanging up her creative artwork, along with completely cleaning and polishing up her closet. While she keeps decorating the abandoned room, it indicates her character as not developing, as she spends most of her time in the closet instead of realising the truth of what really took place at Kyle Rodger’s party. The closet stays being represented negatively as she gets viciously assaulted by Andy Evans in the closet. The closet is known as a little hiding place for Melinda where she can forget about Andy Evans. However, due to the Andy Evans conflict in the closet, the room is portrayed as a sorrowful disaster towards Melinda. In short, the closet plays a declining part in Melinda’s escape out of her torment.
While viewing a tree human usually consider it as a natural resource. Although, trees play an important role in Melinda’s character development. At the start of the novel, Melinda goes through a mournful depression period because of the conflict involving Andy Evans. She introduces her damaged emotions and mood in a creative way by incorporating trees struck by lightning on a painting in art class. Shifting through the novel, Melinda slowly regains her old identity by...