In Laurie Halse Anderson's 1999 young adult novel, Speak, the first-person narration is delivered by Melinda, who reveals herself (in writing to a friend) to be a rape victim by the novel's end. The majority of the novel is told through stream-of-consciousness diary entries, recounting not the original rape incident, but rather Melinda's unpleasant day-to-day experiences as a high school student. By the novel's opening, she has been ostracized by her peers for having called the police during a summer freshmen class party. As the reader learns by the end of the novel, Melinda called the police not to report the party, but because she had been raped by one Andy Evans.
Speak is full of symbolism (including the poetry of Maya Angelou, trees that Melinda draws in her art class, and mirrors, which Melinda deliberately avoids). The novel that Melinda reads on Halloween is similarly symbolic, as it represents a social outcast and a male predator in one—Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Halloween falls during the early stages of the school year and novel. By this point, Melinda has proven to be distracted in her classes and unable to speak in public. She tells the reader, "My parents declare that I am too old to go trick-or-treating. I am thrilled." Melinda, however, pretends to be upset, as she doesn't want to admit to her parents that she has no friends with whom to go trick-or-treating. She confesses to the reader that, instead of listening to her parents argue, she "settle[s] into [her] nest with a bag of candy corn and the blood-sucking monster."