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Essay On Overcoming Obstacles In Speak

Decent Essays
Overcoming Obstacles
William F. Halsey explains, "All problems become smaller if you don't dodge them but confront them." This shows that facing a difficulty face to face will help it go away. In Speak, mute Melinda was unable to overcome her struggle since she attempted to “dodge” the truth. However, when Melinda finally spoke out about what happened to her, she immediately felt better about the struggle she was dealing with. The main theme of the novel and ancillary texts is overcoming obstacles. This theme is expressed through the conflict, symbolism, and foreshadowing throughout the texts. Laurie Halse Anderson’s use of literary elements in Speak, as well as the devices in the article, “The Art of Resilience” and the poem “If” help
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Similarly to the conflict, symbolism also reveals the theme of the texts.
Both Speak and “If” use symbolism to display overcoming obstacles as their theme. Towards the end of Speak, Melinda’s father describes “Those branches were long dead from disease. All plants are like that. By cutting off the damage, you make it possible for the tree to grow again” (Anderson 187). The tree symbolizes Melinda; once she cuts off her damage from being raped, she could begin to heal and grow stronger. If Melinda did heal from removing the issues from her life, she would overcome her obstacle. “If” shares the frequent theme of overcoming struggles, “Watch the things you gave your life to broken / And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools” (Kipling 15-16). This describes that when a challenge is in someone’s way, they should confront it head on to overcome the struggle. “If” and Speak are about conquering difficulties, and how doing so could help someone grow and change in an excellent way. The theme was demonstrated through the authors’ use of symbolism. Both texts show the theme through foreshadowing as well.
Overcoming obstacles, a common theme shared by both Speak and “If” is revealed through the use of foreshadowing by their authors. On Melinda’s first day of school she explains, “I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomach ache” (Anderson 3). The skirt she hates foreshadows a challenging year
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