Speak

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Speak Part 4, Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Melinda reports that spring is close, and lists various signs. She notes that the seniors are about to find out their college acceptances and rejections, and that David Petrakis is writing a computer program to track the results, so that he can analyze the students who get into good schools—his goal is to get into Harvard.
The college process is far from Melinda’s mind, considering that she doesn’t even know if she’ll make it through ninth grade. David, in contrast, is already thinking about his future, his drive a reminder of how harmful her apathy really is to her future.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Comparing herself to a dog, Melinda comments that she has been going to classes and passing tests. Andy Evans (or Andy Beast as she calls him), meanwhile, has joined the International Club and has begun to hang out with Rachel and Greta-Ingrid.
Melinda may be acting like a good student and daughter, but she is as detached as ever. Andy’s presence in Rachel’s life, meanwhile, creates major conflict within Melinda.
Themes
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Noting that Easter has come and gone, Melinda remembers how her mother used to make an Easter Egg hunt in the house for her, and how before her grandparents died, the family would go to church. This year, however, Melinda ate lamb chops with her parents and drew faces on hard-boiled eggs as her father complained about yard work. She vaguely wishes that they had gone to church, recalling the “pretty” Easter songs.
Another holiday brings about even more childhood nostalgia for Melinda. She compares her unhappy, disconnected family with the warm, loving environment she remembers in the past; yet another sign of how conflicted she feels about growing up.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon