What type of narrative conflict does the story Speak have?  

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The man versus society conflict that occurs throughout the story involves Melinda Sordino's struggle to assimilate with her peers as a freshman in high school. After Melinda was raped at a party the previous summer, her friends and peers group have completely abandoned her, and she is considered an outcast...

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The man versus society conflict that occurs throughout the story involves Melinda Sordino's struggle to assimilate with her peers as a freshman in high school. After Melinda was raped at a party the previous summer, her friends and peers group have completely abandoned her, and she is considered an outcast in her high school. Melinda is bullied, viewed with contempt, and rejected by the majority of her peers, which contributes to her negative perception of the various cliques throughout her high school.

The man versus self conflict concerns Melinda's personal struggles to cope with her sexual assault and love herself. Melinda struggles to express her inner feelings and view herself in a positive light. She struggles with low self-esteem and even stops speaking for an extended period of time. Melinda also transfers her negative self-image towards the outside world and struggles to find her identity following her traumatic experience with Andy Evans.

The man versus man conflict in the story involves Melinda and her perpetrator, Andy Evans. Andy Evans not only intimidates Melinda and makes her feel extremely uncomfortable at school, but he also attacks Melinda in the broom closet after she refuses to have sex with him. The two engage in a physical struggle, and Melinda manages to hold a broken piece of glass to his neck, which prevents Andy from raping her again.

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The seven types of narrative conflict are Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Self, Man vs. Society, Man vs. Machine, and Man vs. Fate.

In the book Speakby Laurie Halse Anderson, the "man" refers to protagonist Melinda Sordino. Supporting evidence shows that the conflict could be either Man vs. Self or Man vs. Society.

Melinda's struggle in the book stems from the fact that she has lost all of her friends and seems to be alone in the world. This occurred because she called the cops on a party over the summer. Those who are angry at her over this situation do not know the context of the situation, which is that she was raped and unsure what to do, so she called 911. Throughout the book, Melinda is rejected by her peers, and this situation does not change until the end of the book, when finally everyone else realizes that Andy is a rapist and that she is not at fault. This shows Melinda against the society—the social structure of the school system (and society as a whole) that prevents her from coming forward initially.

However, it could also be supported that the narrative conflict in the story is Man vs. Self. Melinda continues to struggle with her self identity throughout the novel. She refuses to speak up about what really happened the night of the party, and this contributes to her own isolation. When Melinda begins to first express her feelings through art, and then to open up to a select few friends and to one teacher, the conflict begins to be resolved. This shows Melinda vs. Self as the narrative conflict of the book.

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