Laurie Halse Anderson

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Speak: Part 4, Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

A discouraged Melinda waits in the high school lobby, too upset by her conversation to go home. Suddenly Ivy shows up, and asks if she can show Melinda something. Together they walk to the bathroom together, and Melinda sees that many other girls have added to her writing on the wall about Andy, calling him a “creep” and a “bastard,” and saying that he should be arrested for his sexual aggression and his lack of respect for women. Melinda feels as if she could fly like a bird.
At one of Melinda’s lowest points, Ivy provides her with hope. Seeing other girls’ hatred of Andy Evans makes Melinda realize that she’s not alone. Andy didn’t target her because she was stupid, or because she deserved to be targeted. Rather, he is a predator who has hurt many women before her. This realization gives Melinda a feeling of freedom—marked by her thoughts of being like a bird—as she escapes from a large amount of her self-hatred.
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