Theme Of Conflict In Speak

Decent Essays
William F. Halsey explains "All problems become smaller if you don't dodge them but confront them." This shows that mute Melinda was unable to overcome her struggle since she tried 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 other 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 ancillary text, The Art of Resilience, and the poem “If”, help the common theme of overcoming obstacles through a time of growth and change evolve…show more content…
Both Speak and “If” use symbolism to display overcoming obstacles as their theme. “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). Symbolizing that removing struggles can help a person change and grow in a positive way. “If” shares the theme of overcoming struggles which is shown in the quote, “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 never give up but work hard to overcome the struggle. “If” and Speak are about getting through rough times, and how doing so could help someone grow and change in an excellent way. Both texts show the theme through foreshadowing as well.
Overcoming obstacles, a common theme shared by both Speak and “If” that 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). This foreshadows a rough year because of the skirt she hates, and a struggle due to her upset stomach. However, Melinda’s classmate, David, explains to her that speaking up is the correct thing to do. “The suffragettes were all about speaking up, screaming for their rights. You can’t speak up for your right to be silent. That’s letting the bad guys win,” (Anderson, 158). This
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