Speak

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Speak Part 4, Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Melinda comments sarcastically about the ridiculous behavior surrounding Senior Prom, and reacts in disbelief when she hears the Rachel’s mom is letting her go to the prom with Andy. She decides that Rachel must have ignored her note, and wonders whether she showed it to Andy. Continuing to worry about Rachel, she decides that she needs to stop thinking about the topic.
Melinda tries to be detached and cynical about prom, but ultimately fails because of her worry about Rachel. Insecure and self-loathing as always, she becomes convinced that Rachel must have found her warning note ridiculous and attempts to remain passive and disconnected.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
In another turn of events, Heather has showed up at Melinda’s house, to Melinda’s mother’s delight. Feeling self conscious about her babyish bedroom, Melinda listens as Heather cries about how awful it is to be working as a slave for the Marthas. Melinda contemplates making her leave because it will “hurt too much when my room is empty again.” Heather goes on to tell Melinda that she was smart to leave the Marthas when she did, ignoring the fact that she in fact ditched Melinda for the Marthas.
Melinda is conflicted about the visit from Heather; although she is still furious over Heather’s betrayal, having someone—anyone—in her room reminds her of what it was like to have friends. Heather, as usual, shows a complete lack of self-awareness, demonstrating how cruel and immature high schoolers can be.
Themes
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Heather finally gets to the point: she wants Melinda to help her decorate the Holiday Inn ballroom, where prom is going to be held, in a single afternoon. When Melinda doesn’t respond, Heather assumes that she has said yes; she responds gleefully, and even offers to help Melinda redo her bedroom. Melinda responds that she doesn’t want Heather to redecorate her room, and that she will not help her with prom. She doesn’t say what she’s thinking—that Heather betrayed her and deserves to fail—but adds that she needs to plant over the weekend, and doesn’t need help redecorating. Melinda asks Heather to leave, and Heather storms out, not even saying goodbye to Melinda’s mother.
Ever clueless and insensitive, Heather believes that Melinda will help her with prom decorations as she has so many times before. She tries to be nice, but only insults Melinda’s bedroom in the process. Melinda, however, just as she stood up to Mr. Neck and wrote Andy’s name on the bathroom wall, now finds the courage to say no to Heather. Even though this choice means that she will still be isolated and alone, she refuses to help her unfaithful former friend.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon