What happens in the 4th marking period of Speak?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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The fourth marking period contains much of the rising action, the climax, and the resolution of the novel Speak.  The PTA gets upset about the new "Hornet" school mascot (mostly because of the "horny, horny hornets" cheer).  Spring arrives, and the family celebrates Easter in a sad way (with lamb chops) while Melinda rests during Spring Break. 

An important event of spring break is that Melinda actually talks to Ivy at the mall.  Ivy begins being friendly again with Melinda, . . . and even helps Melinda begin drawing a decent tree for her art project.  They start to study genetics in biology.  Melinda's former best friend Rachel (now going by the more European "Rachelle") begins dating Andy (BEAST), and Melinda fights with herself (within her mind) on whether to be protective of Rachel or to let Rachel get hurt by Andy.  Melinda retreats to her closet where even Maya Angelou (on a poster) begs Melinda to tell Rachel. 

Rachel does a good report on Suffragettes, but refuses to read it in front of the class.  Melinda's lab partner (friend?) David tells her that refusing to read the report actually negates all that the Suffragettes fight for.  When Melinda realizes that David is right, she decides to speak with Rachel, yet Melinda still chooses spring yard work over facing her fears. 

Ivy and Melinda continue to talk, agreeing that Andy (BEAST) is bad news for Rachel and even the graffiti on the bathroom wall echos their sentiment.  Heather returns and pretends friendship in order to use Melinda for help with another art project.  Melinda refuses. 

Melinda finally talks to Rachel.  Rachel is receptive up until the point where Melinda accuses Andy of rape.  Rachel storms off, accusing Melinda of jealousy, . . . and Melinda continues to drown her thoughts in yard work.  Melinda hears through the grape vine, though, that Rachel ditched Andy at prom when he got too fresh.  At this point, Melinda knows that Rachel believes Andy is truly a rapist. 

Just as Melinda begins to come out of her shell, Andy corners Melinda in her school closet hideaway and tries to rape her again.  This time she is brave enough to yell out, . . . and she is saved as a result with Andy apprehended! 

The school gives Melinda kudos for her bravery, she finishes her art project tree with just the right amount of imperfection, and she finally agrees to talk with a mentor about all that has happened, . . . the final line of the book being, "Let me tell you about it."

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