While Melinda’s closet is a haven for her hide from her new, traumatized existence, her bedroom is a symbol of the childhood innocence that she has lost. Adorned with pink roses, the room looks like a child’s, and throughout the novel, Melinda feels out-of-place and uncomfortable within it. Of course, all high school students sometimes feel uncertain and scared about growing up. Melinda who has had her childhood ripped away from her by her rape, is even more terrified than most. She hates her room because it demonstrates that she is no longer a child; at the same time, she refuses to decorate it, because that would entail actually admitting that she needs to mature and move forward. At the end of the novel, however, Melinda asks her mother whether she can redecorate (though the book ends before she actually does).
Melinda’s Bedroom Quotes in Speak
The Speak quotes below all refer to the symbol of Melinda’s Bedroom. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar Strauss Giroux edition of Speak published in 2011.).
Melinda’s Bedroom Symbol Timeline in Speak
The timeline below shows where the symbol Melinda’s Bedroom appears in Speak. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1: Welcome to Merryweather High
...swim, “understood” Melinda’s difficult relationship with her parents, and didn’t make fun of Melinda’s childish bedroom. She wishes she could “tell” Rachel “what really happened," but does not. As their eyes... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: Home. Work.
Part 1, Chapter 15: Acting
...on the “new carpet”). She notes Heather’s artificially perfect room, and wishes that her own bedroom reflected her personality. As Heather blathers about joining the musical and paints her nails, Melinda... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 19: Halloween
...too old to trick-or-treat (she doesn’t want to in any case), Melinda retreats to her bedroom. As she watches the trick-or-treaters, and listens to her parents’ squabbling, she remembers dressing up... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6: Giving Thanks
Part 2, Chapter 21: Rent Round 3
Part 4, Chapter 6: Thin Atmosphere
Part 4, Chapter 7: Growing Pains
Part 4, Chapter 11: The Beast Prowls
Part 4, Chapter 19: Prom Preparation
...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... (full context)
...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... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 20: Communication 101
...standing up to Heather, planting marigolds, and asking her mother if she can redecorate her bedroom, Melinda attributes her newfound confidence to the spring weather. She decides to talk to Rachel. (full context)