How would you describe Ivy's character in Speak?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Ivy can be seen as a source of support and encouragement in a world where Melinda struggles to find this.  Ivy is the character that suggests that Melinda continue with her art. Her praise of Melinda's bone sculpture is of specific mention.  While Melinda is changing and is greeted with social resentment regarding it, Ivy is one of the few that encourages her transformation and metamorphosis.  At the same time, Ivy encourages Melinda to seek out counseling through her trauma.  Again, Ivy represents that "haven in a heartless world."  Yet, I think where Ivy's most relevant connection to Melinda lies is in how she convinces Melinda that there is no real value in remaining silent and isolated in the face of personal trauma and social injustice.  The list in the bathroom of boys to avoid, and Ivy's encouragement of Melinda in this, is representative of how Melinda comes to see her own condition as linked to others at large.  If Andy is as bad as she knows him to be, then her silence actually becomes a tool to victimize other girls.  Ivy understands this and convinces Melinda to recognize the need for social solidarity in the face of personal and external trauma, helping Melinda to appropriate her own pain in a form of healing and strength.