Speak

Speak

A transfer student from Ohio, Heather is everything that Melinda is not—perky, friendly, and obsessed with being popular. She is willing to be Melinda’s friend, however, because she initially doesn’t know that Melinda called the police at the party before school began (which other students think Melinda did to get everyone in trouble but in fact she did to try to report her rape). Throughout the book, Melinda watches as Heather desperately tries to fit in with the other students at her school, only to fail over and over. Although she clearly finds Melinda strange and frustrating, Heather also takes advantage of Melinda’s willingness to help her complete various tasks for the clique called the Marthas that she is trying to join. She finally ditches Melinda, telling her that she is too unfriendly and withdrawn, but later asks Melinda for help once again. When Melinda says no, she at last puts an end to the unhealthy and unequal friendship.

Heather Quotes in Speak

The Speak quotes below are all either spoken by Heather or refer to Heather. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Farrar Strauss Giroux edition of Speak published in 2011.
Part 1, Chapter 10 Quotes

I used to be like Heather. Have I changed that much in two months? She is happy, driven, aerobically fit. She has a nice mom and an awesome television. But she’s like a dog that keeps jumping into your lap. She always walks with me down the halls chattering a million miles a minute.
My goal is to go home and take a nap.

Related Characters: Melinda Sordino (speaker), Heather
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident

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Part 1, Chapter 21 Quotes

I hide in the bathroom until I know Heather’s bus has left. The salt in my tears feels good when it stings my lips. I wash my face in the sink until there is nothing left of it, no eyes, no nose, no mouth. A slick nothing.

Related Characters: Melinda Sordino (speaker), Heather
Related Symbols: Mirrors, Lips, Water, Ice, and Melting
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui off

Part 2, Chapter 2 Quotes

It is getting harder to talk. My throat is always sore, my lips raw. When I wake up in the morning, my jaws are clenched so tight I have a headache. Sometimes my mouth relaxes around Heather, if we’re alone. Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze. What is wrong with me? It’s like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis.

I know my head isn’t screwed on straight. I want to leave, transfer, warp myself to another galaxy. I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me. My closet is a good thing, a quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them.

Related Characters: Melinda Sordino (speaker), Melinda’s mother, Melinda’s father, Heather
Related Symbols: Melinda’s Closet, Lips
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id

Part 3, Chapter 8 Quotes

I rock, thumping my head against the cinder-block wall. A half-forgotten holiday has unveiled every knife that sticks inside me, every cut. No Rachel, no Heather, not even a silly, geeky boy who would like the inside girl I think I am.

Related Characters: Melinda Sordino (speaker), Heather, Rachel Bruin, David Petrakis
Related Symbols: Melinda’s Closet, Blood
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa q

Part 3, Chapter 14 Quotes

I stumble from thornbush to thornbush— my mother and father who hate each other, Rachel who hates me, a school that gags on me like I’m a hairball. And Heather.
I just need to hang on long enough for my new skin to graft. Mr. Freeman thinks I need to find my feelings. How can I not find them? They are chewing me alive like an infestation of thoughts, shame, mistakes.

Related Characters: Melinda Sordino (speaker), Melinda’s mother, Melinda’s father, Heather, Mr. Freeman, Rachel Bruin
Related Symbols: Trees, Seeds, Plants, and Forests
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Heather Character Timeline in Speak

The timeline below shows where the character Heather appears in Speak. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1: Welcome to Merryweather High
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...by Mr. Neck, her future social studies teacher. Another isolated student, who introduces herself as “Heather from Ohio” (but whom Melinda describes as a “wounded zebra”), asks to sit with her.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3: Spotlight
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
...disgusted and bewildered by the food offered in the cafeteria. She thinks about sitting with Heather, but contemplates that she could also “crawl behind a trash can” or throw out her... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: Home. Work.
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
Two weeks go by “without a nuclear meltdown,” Melinda reports. The talkative Heather has been attempting to befriend her, while all her other former friends of the past... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8: Fizz Ed
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
...gym with loathing, recounting how she has to change in a bathroom stall and how Heather wears her gym clothes under her school clothes. She goes on to discuss her former... (full context)
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...Melinda can’t hate Nicole, who is a genuinely kind person, even helping out the hapless Heather. “It would be so much easier,” Melinda says, to hate Nicole if she were “a... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 10: Heathering
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Melinda goes to Heather’s house, which is pristine and perfectly decorated. They are greeted by Heather’s talkative mother, who... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
As Heather lectures her about being more involved, saying that ninth-graders need to become a part of... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 12: Devils Destroy
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
...she brought sponges from home, and wants to add in a blanket and even potpourri. Heather, however, dressed in the school colors, forces her to attend the rally. Melinda decides that... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 15: Acting
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Although she wants to sleep during her Columbus Day vacation, Melinda instead goes over to Heather’s house, because Heather begged her and there’s “nothing on television anyway.” At the house, Heather’s... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
After Melinda tells Heather that they cannot join the musical because “‘We are nobody,’” Heather begins to cry about... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 21: The Marthas
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Melinda mockingly describes the Marthas, the clique that Heather is trying to join. It is composed of three upperclassmen whom she refers to as... (full context)
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
Heather’s first project as a freshman probationary member is to decorate the faculty lounge for a... (full context)
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...exits. But she watches as the Marthas make fun of her lips and then force Heather to leave, pretending that they themselves decorated the lounge. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2: Closet Space
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
...is sore, her lips raw, and her jaw clenched. Although she can sometimes talk around Heather, she finds herself unable to speak around authority figures. Acknowledging that there is something wrong... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4: Job Day
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
...test, she is given a bewildering array of options that include “forestry” and “mortuary science.” Heather, meanwhile, is delighted to be told that she should become a nurse; she plans her... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10: Wombats Rule!
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Heather persuades Melinda to go to the Winter Assembly so that she does not need to... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11: Winter Break
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
After trying and failing to contact Heather, Melinda decides to pretend to be her friend instead, wondering what Heather would do if... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 15: Poster Child
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
After receiving a note from Heather, Melinda goes to her house to find her sobbing about disappointing the Marthas at a... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 17: Model Citizen
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Melinda reports that Heather has gotten a job as a model at a local department store (though Melinda believes... (full context)
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
Melinda accompanies Heather to a bathing suit shoot, and Heather’s mother asks whether she too wants to be... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Reflecting that she likes food too much to model, Melinda scoffs at Heather’s obsessive dieting. She watches as Heather attempts to model a swimsuit in a freezing cold... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 20: Naming the Monster
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Memory and Trauma Theme Icon
...her closet (rather than in art class where people watch her), Melinda works hard on Heather’s posters for two full weeks, drawing “basketball players shooting cans through a hoop” with a... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 22: Can It
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Melinda has started to sit with Heather at the edge of the Martha table for lunch. The Marthas have gone shopping, and... (full context)
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
...Melinda runs to the bathroom to throw up and splash icy water on her face. Heather does not follow her. (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6: Lunch Doom
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...a high school cafeteria is a place meant for “Teenage Humiliation Rituals,” Melinda sits with Heather, but not at the Marthas’ table; instead they sit close to the courtyard. Melinda imagines... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 8: Cutting Out Hearts
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...courage, Melinda opens the card, calling it “a white patch of hope”; it is from Heather to thank her for understanding their friendship breakup. She has included in the envelope the... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 14: Hall of Mirrors
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
...“thornbushes” that are her fighting parents, the horrible Rachel, her repressive school, and the faithless Heather. She tells herself that she just needs to wait for her “new skin to graft,”... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 16: Bologna Exile
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...the Marthas interview a new member, and wonders if they are laughing at her; imagines Heather fat and middle aged; and observes Rachel, who is wearing harem pants and a headscarf... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 19: Prom Preparation
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression 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... (full context)
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
Heather finally gets to the point: she wants Melinda to help her decorate the Holiday Inn... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 20: Communication 101
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
Feeling empowered by standing up to Heather, planting marigolds, and asking her mother if she can redecorate her bedroom, Melinda attributes her... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 23: Prowling
Appearance versus Reality Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
After napping, Melinda takes the bike out at night, riding by Heather, Nicole, and Rachel’s houses. It is prom night, and she imagines Rachel’s parents waiting up... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 24: Postprom
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Communication versus Silence Theme Icon
Family and Friendship Theme Icon
Isolation, Loneliness, and Depression Theme Icon
...all about prom drama. In addition to various scandalous pieces of gossip, she learns that Heather is not in school that day because everyone hated her decorations so much. Melinda imagines... (full context)