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How does the symbol of a tree represent Melinda's growth and experiences? ~Speak(Speak...

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jb4life | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM via web

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How does the symbol of a tree represent Melinda's growth and experiences? ~Speak

(Speak by Lauie Halse Anderson)

I'm writting an essay and i know the basic things of the symbol of the tree but I need to get into the depth of it. Any help/ideas telling how it's a symbol or how it affects/shows growth of Melinda will be very helpful.

Thank you in advance :)

 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 30, 2010 at 8:09 PM (Answer #1)

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We can take the tree to represent a new form of growth, something that is pure and wholesome in a world that is far from it.  When Melinda goes back to the scene of the rape and wishes to replant herself in the dirt, it is a belief that the tree and the notion of being "reborn" or "replanted" can represent a new start, a new commencement.  This is certainly a part of Melinda's growth and her own rebirth.  The tree also represents the struggle to find oneself.  Just as Melinda struggles with drawing the trees, she struggles to find her voice.  Both processes involve frustration and do not come with a wealth of ease.  In this light, the tree is a symbol of that growth and strength that Melinda seeks to find in her own life following the rape.  When seeking to identify symbols that help Melinda understand what happened to her and the need to make sense of it, the tree becomes a type of towering symbol that provides structure to Melinda in a world devoid of it.

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