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Word Count: 287
Laurie Halse Andersons novel Speak exemplifies the life of a teenager going into high school and the complications that are involved Melinda Sordino the protagonist in the story tells the story of her immense secret of her being raped held back from friends and family in her first year at Merryweather High School The author portrays the theme of the novel in a unique way By the use of symbols the author allows readers to recognize the theme of the story by themselves without being given it directly Anderson presents the theme of her piece by using a series of symbolism and motifs such as trees and mirrorsreflectionsAn example of the use of symbols by Anderson is trees Initially Melinda believes her drawings of trees are hopeless 152 This implies that Melinda is discouraged and distressed however she ends up understanding how to show emotion in her trees later in the book Additionally Melinda draws a willow tree drooping into the water 147 which entails that she is heavy-hearted and melancholy Anderson also includes a half-dead tree symbolizing Melinda in the fact that half of her is telling her to speak up and tell people about her incident and the other half is telling her to remain in silence As workers are trimming their tree Melindas father said If this tree really lives someplace that branch better drop soon so it doesnt kill the other half 196 If the dead half of the tree is not cut off the whole tree will suffer and eventually die Likewise Melindas dead side needs to be cut off in order for her to live to her potential
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