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.