A that she is struggling and shows she

A Tree Called Melinda

”Be like a tree and let the dead leaves
drop” (Rumi). Melinda Sordino, the main character in the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, has
started high school with a bad reputation. Everyone knows who she is.  On a summer night before her freshman year
she was at a party and something bad happened and she called the cops. Everyone
thinks she called the cops cause she couldn’t handle it. Melinda was actually
raped and has no idea what even happened to her. At the start of her year she
is given in assignment in art which is to draw a word and make it to a piece of
art and turn it in by the end of the year. Melinda draws tree. She has a strong
point in art but she is having problems making this tree. But tree is mentioned
not just in art. Tree is mentioned in other classes and nature. As the story
moves on her tree gets better and better with Melinda. Melinda’s tree symbolizes
her from pain and suffering to her recovery and healing.

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Beginning her freshman year, Melinda
starts to paint trees so they are near to death (Anderson 31). Melinda start
shows that she is struggling and shows she is dying inside mentally but not
physically. Her first trees she drew leave her frustrated on how to begin. Frustrated
she takes out a piece of paper and begins to draw a tree her “second grade
version ” (Anderson 32). Then takes her paper to form it into a ball and takes
another piece of paper out (Anderson 32). She struggles to draw the tree like
she is struggling find herself and her voice (“How does the Symbol…”).
Melinda’s tree and her attempts at a tree show pain. Melinda’s pain is showing
and she doesn’t know how to deal with it. Her tree still needs work and so does

            The second marking period and Melinda
is still not feeling it. From her thanksgiving she brings in turkey bones to
work on her tree. Melinda makes a piece of art that has forks and knives poking
at it. The knives and forks poking at her tree make Melinda she is in pain. She
is being attacked mentally on what she feels and thinks all the time. Marking
period three is when she finds something. In art class she is force to look at
a book of Picasso. She finds a chapter that talks about “Cubism or seeing
beyond what is on the surface” (Anderson 119). Melinda is like a piece of art.
Melinda can be judge like a loser on the surface but inside she needs help. She
realizes that you need to see beyond the surface. Her tree is growing now along
with herself to come out perfect.

            In marking period four she is doing
well in school and her is growing but she needs help from someone. Melinda
visits the zoo and sees a former friend named Ivy. They both talk about how
their projects coming along. Melinda is having a hard time with hers but Ivy
gives Melinda a little advice lets her draw one. She getting help with her tree
and also gets encourage word from Ivy saying ” You’re better than you think you
are” (Anderson 146). Later she wakes up to the sound of a chain saw cutting
away branches that are long dead from diease. Her dad explains that “By cutting
off damage, you make it possible for the tree to grow again” (Anderson 187). If
Melinda “cuts off” the damage of her she can grow and be herself. Later she
gets attacked by IT who raped her. As she gets attacked her fingers are
searching for a tree branch to hold onto (Anderson 195). In the end she
actually use her turkey tree to confront IT and saving her all together.
Melinda after that maddens is seen “beyond the surface”. Her “tree” is grown
and her tree in art is complete.

Melinda’s tree is finally finished along
with her problems. Her assignment has symbolized on how the Melinda has grown
out and heal. As the beginning of her year and parts of the middle were really
rough. Then as she moves on she realizes that she see things differently and
confront her pains. The tree has finally grown and with Melinda she has grown as