Passage Analysis: Speak by Laurie Halse AndersonI'm writing a report on this novel, and I've decided to center it around the following passage: "I know my head isn't screwed on straight. I want to...

Passage Analysis: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I'm writing a report on this novel, and I've decided to center it around the following passage:

"I know my head isn't screwed on straight. I want to leave, transfer, warp myself to another galaxy. I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me. My closet is a good thing, a quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them.”

I thought that it was a great paragraph that describes Melinda's withdrawl from the world and her current wish to isolate herself from everyone else. But is there more to it?

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vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

"I know my head isn't screwed on straight. [This sentence may imply that she is capable of self-criticism, that she is self-reflective] I want to leave, transfer, warp myself to another galaxy. [This sentence seems to imply that she is imaginative and also emphatic in the way she expresses herself.] I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. [This sentence seems to support both of the previous comments.] There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. [Once again, she seems imaginative, creative, and attracted to metaphorical language.] Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me. [This sentence shows how attuned she is to the sound-effects of her language. Notice how she uses both alliteration and assonance here.] My closet is a good thing, a quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them.” [This sentence, like much of the rest of this passage, suggests that she often uses language that is simple, clear, and straightforward.]

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