What is one event from early in the book "Speak"  that takes on importance later in the book? And how does this earlier event become important?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Naturally, Melinda’s rape at the hands of “it” is going to be the one event that I would say takes on importance later in the book.  It runs through the entire text and is the reason for her lack of voice.  The violation that she endures at Andy’s hands and then at the social order the targets her for making the call represents the fundamental starting point for her to begin the process of articulating a new conception of self.  She undergoes a journey, all of which began with this violation.  She never forgets it, can never shed it, and while she does not really talk about it in an open manner, the reader (and Melinda) both recognize that it is there and will not leave.  When she confronts “it” at the end, we understand that it is a confrontation and a moment that has been long delayed.  It is what should have been that night as well as all of the nights that followed.  Her voice, her ability to “speak” is there at that moment and galvanized by the confrontation that should have there that night at the party.  It is for this reason that I feel that one of the first moments of the book takes on greater importance throughout it.