Laurie Halse Anderson

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Speak: Part 3, Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Melinda is forced to attend Merryweather In-School Suspension (MISS); her guidance counselor, has created a contract for Melinda to sign requiring her to behave well, and when she cuts class, MISS is her punishment. Mr. Neck is supervising Melinda along with two other students, one of whom is a skinhead, and the other of whom is a pyromaniac. The punishment becomes a nightmare, however, when Andy Evans (whom Melinda now calls Andy Beast) enters the room and sits down next to her. Melinda freezes, worried that if she moves, the world will “shatter.” She imagines that she is a rabbit again, and contemplates that she is “getting seriously weird in the head.”
Detention, already an unpleasant experience, becomes horrifying for Melinda when she finds that she is trapped with Andy Evans. Once more, her pattern continues: although she is completely melting down internally, she remains silent and still on the outside. Melinda compares herself to a rabbit because, like a rabbit she is powerless in the face of a terrible predator.
When Mr. Neck is preoccupied, Andy blows in Melinda’s ear, and she fantasizes about killing him.
Andy takes the opportunity to once again violate Melinda’s personal space; although violent within, she remains powerless and frozen.