Identify an example in which Melinda speaks without talking.  

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

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I would say that the flight into the closet is an instance where Melinda communicates without speaking.  The action of taking refuge in an abandoned closet communicates much about Melinda without her speaking.  The isolation, marginalization, and horror intrinsic to Melinda's social interactions are all evident in such an action.  For Melinda, seeking to hide in the closet is a moment in which she is able to speak about her own place in the world without using words.  Another moment in which Melinda is able to speak without talking is through her own growth as a tree, a moment in which she wishes to plant herself in the soil and emerge into a new being. Digging in the dirt and doing so without words, Melinda is able to convey what it means to suffer, and what it means to evolve.  Both of these instances are where Melinda is able to "speak" without speaking.  She is able to fully articulate her own state of being in the world.  At the same time, Melinda is able to convey her sense of identity without spoken words or language.  Since language is a social construction, Melinda is able to identify a way of talking in which language is not needed.  Through such moments, she is able to find her own voice and use it to "speak" in a manner where she can be heard.


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