Speak Questions and Answers
by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Describe Melinda's room in Speak.

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In the novel Speak, the main character Melinda Sordino becomes the victim of sexual assault at a party after 8th grade. By the beginning of 9th grade, she finds herself a social outcast and an emotional and physical wreck. Her bedroom is particularly important in the story, because it acts as a symbol for the innocence that she has lost. In fact, she hasn't changed her room since the fifth grade, even though all of her other girlfriends have redecorated theirs to feel more grown up. Even though she hates her room, she keeps it because of the discomfort she feels at changing anything around her and moving forward with her life. 

Melinda does feel uncomfortable and out of place in her room because it looks like a little girl's room. She says, "My room belongs to an alien. It is a postcard of who I was in fifth grade" (15). For instance, the walls are adorned with pink roses and pink walls. She still has a canopy bed, even though her friend teased her for it. Her collection of stuffed bunnies is a particular throwback to when she was a kid. In many ways, her bedroom symbolizes her refusal to grow up, to face the reality of what happened to her and what she wants from her own life. The mirror reflects something that she hates to see, her chewed up lips and pale face, so she takes it down and hides it in her closet.  She spends hours in her own bed, exhausted from feeling depressed and seeking refuge in her past. 

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