Symbolization in Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Aranpreet Singh Ms. Ceci ENG 1D1-07 Speak In Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, trees symbolize Melinda’s growth throughout her life to stay sane and pass the horrific time of her life. Depression is her first phase, when she starts to paint the trees that were hit by lightning. It is also shown by her not talking to many people. She starts to realize that she cannot be perfect when she imagines a beautiful oak tree but really cannot carve it properly. Her third phase comes when the trees outside her house has a few sick branches and she decides to let go of the present Melinda who is not letting her grow and nurture the old Melinda, the one before the party, the fun and outgoing one. The last phase, and tree was the one she drew for…show more content…
Quit” (p.78). In other words she says that it looks dead because she takes a passive approach toward herself after the incident which eventually blocks her creativity and she draws what she feels - lifeless. Also she says that she cannot revive the tree similarly her not being able to revive herself. She wants to try but every time she does she wants to quit. She starts to believe herself after this phase but still has her doubts. Above all, the phase shows a change in Melinda but not a significant one, but works to enjoy her. As she grows she discovers more of what she is capable of. Now she realizes that even though she is going crazy, she is still alive. Above all, she does not want to hide anymore and is not afraid to come out of her shell of guilt. “I don’t want to hang out in my hidey-hole anymore…. I don’t feel like hiding anymore” (p.191-192). She comments about not wanting to go back to her closet because she is not afraid of what might happen to her. In the same way she says that she, in no matter what condition, is still alive and breathing. “I have survived… Confused, screwed up but still here” (p.188). She is happy that she survived and that it does not matter if she is frustrated, she still has to stay for the ones who love her. In order which she has to take care of the old Melinda she was and let go of the Melinda she was after the party. After this realization she understood that she is not perfect but she can grow to love those

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