In this book Speak, what are some characteristics of Melinda?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Quite simply, Melinda is a fourteen-year-old high school student whose life is dominated by the silence she creates for herself.  She is miserable in her school life and as a result of being ostracised, she publicly appears mute.  Ironically, Melinda has incredible "people-watching" skills that she reveals through her inner monologue.  Through this monologue, the reader finds Melinda to be all encompassing:  serious, intelligent, humorous, and cynical.  Despite all of these endearing qualities, Melinda remains misunderstood.  In my opinion, Melinda is also brave.  It takes a very special girl to call the authorities when friends and acquaintances are drinking illegally.  Her involvement in the illegal activity simply magnifies her bravery (not to mention the fact that Melinda was raped).  Unfortunately, Melinda becomes obsessed with what others think of her; however, she ultimately triumphs through the vindication of helping others through sharing her own experience.  Furthermore, what English teacher wouldn't adore a character who relates to Hester Prynne of The Scarlet Letter!

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