Speak is an inspirational story of a young girl struggling to manage her teenage life. Melinda, the protagonist of the book, transformed from a withdrawn girl to a outgoing one. Melinda changed dramatically from the beginning of the book to the end.
Melinda started off the story as an outcast in her school of Merryweather High School. She was kneed in the back by a girl at the school pep rally and taunted by kids in the hallways. All of this happened because Melinda called the cops at a summer party.
But she did this because she was raped by Andy Evans, a senior at the party, and everyone is unaware of this. Melinda rarely talks to people, and when she does, she never really opens up. She creates a “safe place” in a janitor’s closet where she goes to be alone, and when she goes home she just sleeps or keeps to herself.
The most important turning point in Melinda’s change in attitude and behavior is when she talks to her art teacher, Mr.
Freeman. Throughout the story, Melinda became close with Mr. Freeman, and admired him. Melinda’s art project was a tree so he gave her the advice to cut off all the trees dead parts, so the tree can grow and prosper again. This gives Melinda the courage to tell her ex-best friend Rachel, who was currently dating Andy Evans, about the rape. Once she told Rachel that, the truth was out.
At the end of the story, Melinda had released her burden that had been eating away at her. She befriended her old friends again, and she felt like a whole new person. Melinda became a strong person who was not afraid to speak up anymore. She opened up to her parents and friends, improved her grades, and started a normal teenage life.
Melinda’s story is one of overcoming fear and speaking up for herself. With the help of Mr. Freeman, she turned her situation around and stood up for what was right. Melinda freed herself by speaking. Melinda changed dramatically from the beginning of the book to the end.