What goes on in Chapter 2 of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Chapter 2 in Speak is officially called "Second Marking Period."  As there are only four "chapters" in Speak, it is quite a long one.  The Ecology Club is successful in nixing the school's new Tiger mascot in favor of the new Wombat mascot.  Meanwhile, Melinda continues fixing up her "closet" hiding place with a poster of Maya Angelou. 

Melinda notices that she can no longer speak to everyone when she wants to, . . . she thinks something is wrong with her.  Mr. Neck gets on his soapbox in class and gets in trouble, claiming that immigrants took his son's job.  This lands him in trouble with David's father's lawyer.  (David is Melinda's lab partner.) 

Thanksgiving arrives:  another depressing holiday overshadowed by Melinda's mother's store frenzy.  Melinda, still trying to make a tree for her art project, creates a strange chicken bone sculpture that Mr. Freeman (the art teacher) adores because of its meaning:  pain.  Melinda saves the project and brings it to her closet. 

When Christmas arrives, it is as sad of a holiday as Thanksgiving with Melinda and family gathered, silent, around an artificial tree.  Melinda's parents do notice that she has taken to art, however, so they give her some paper and charcoals.  She can't speak to say "thank you." 

Melinda spends the rest of the vacation working at her mom's store and returns to school only to listen to more of Heather's rants about her new group:  the Marthas. 

Melinda's biology class dissects frogs.  Melinda faints, more from a bad and violent memory than from the frog itself.  Melinda is continually haunted by "IT" (Andy) while numerous parental meetings confirm that she is now completely mute with adults.

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