What is a symbol in the novel Speak?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A symbol in Speak is the Ho-Ho.  It symbolizes the cruelty of other students who call Melinda a “ho.”

On the first day of school, Melinda gets accosted with a Ho-Ho wrapper on the bus.  It foreshadows the hell that is to come.  Melinda called the police on a party just before school started.  She was raped by a classmate, but the rest of the students don’t know that.  They consider her a slut and a snitch.

A guy behind me unwraps his breakfast and shoots the wrapper at the back of my head.  It bounces into my lap—a Ho-Ho.(p. 3)

On her first day of school, Melinda’s old friends ignore her and mouth insults.  She tries to make it through the day alone, but at lunch a boy throws a Ho-Ho again, this time one of the basketball team members.  She also gets hit with his mashed potatoes.  Even though he apologizes, she is the laughing stock.


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