Though Melinda is hardly competent to dialog, through her first person account the reader is promptly familiar with her. Laurie H. Anderson has given her protagonist a potent expression through silence.
"I wasted the last weeks of August watching bad cartoons. I didnt go to the mall, the lake, or the pool, or answer the phone. I have entered high school with the wrong hair, the wrong clothes, the wrong attitude. And I dont have anyone to sit with." (First Marking Period, pg. 4)
The words are loud, intense, and crucial. They fasten the readers instinct with Melindas agony, brings tear to eyes at her distressed soul, applaud for her determination to endure and convey amusement at her positive comicality (Book Rags, 2011).
"It is easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say." (First Marking Period, pg. 9)
The imagery is definitely more important than the concrete language. These are the words that appear in the mind of a teenage girl. It is the image these words portray that matters, not the linguistics of it.
The cultural aspects and norms that have been projected in this book are of pain and humiliation that an assault victim goes through alone; when the victim is so ashamed to open her mouth to voice her emotions. These emotions start eating her up on the inside. This is the culture that the book portrays, especially when it comes to the teenage girls.
There is some similarity between heavy metal artist Marilyn Manson and the protagonist of the book, ‘Speak’, Melinda Sordin. Manson was also abused by his neighbor just like Melinda was abused by her boyfriend, in his teenage years. This trauma made him a shy person, who was confined to his self-made prison. But later he found voice through heavy metal music just like Melinda did through her art work where she used the canvas as an outlet for