Speak by laurie halse anderson essay ideas

Deep-seated fear about the rape of white women by the untamed savages lurking in the shadows continues to be a trope in white American consciousness – especially amongst middle-class white women. The terror of being raped reinforces support for the NRA and for the Second Amendment. Further, white middle-class anxiety about the rape of white middle-class American women continues to drive the demonstrable indifference of most American whites to the murders, beatings and lengthy incarcerations of young black males by white police officers.

I was a teenager and college student in the 1990s, so I was exposed to a lot of educational and cautionary material on eating disorders. Honestly, the “education” did glamorize it for me, to the point that I tried to become anorexic (I never succeeded, as I apparently lacked the underlying pathology). It just seemed like a good and *socially acceptable* way to get attention from adults and peers. (Starving yourself tends to earn sympathy, but eating too much and gaining weight just earns derision). I resented the attention actual anorexics and bulimics received, and wanted to develop some kind of outward manifestation of my own stress, so people wouldn’t just look at me and see a healthy, normal girl, but a girl in emotional need. Even if it doesn’t lead to actual self-starvation, I think overexposing young women to information about eating disorders can lead to destructive behaviors and negative emotions.

In a stunning first novel, Anderson uses keen observations and vivid imagery to pull readers into the head of an isolated teenager. Divided into the four marking periods of an academic year, the novel, narrated by Melinda Sordino, begins on her first day as a high school freshman. No one will sit with Melinda on the bus. At school, students call her names and harass her; her best friends from junior high scatter to different cliques and abandon her. Yet Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy. A girl at a school pep rally offers an explanation of the heroine's pariah status when she confronts Melinda about calling the police at a summer party, resulting in several arrests. But readers do not learn why Melinda made the call until much later: a popular senior raped her that night and, because of her trauma, she barely speaks at all. Only through her work in art class, and with the support of a compassionate teacher there, does she begin to reach out to others and eventually find her voice. Through the first-person narration, the author makes Melinda's pain palpable: "I stand in the center aisle of the auditorium, a wounded zebra in a National Geographic special." Though the symbolism is sometimes heavy-handed, it is effective. The ending, in which her attacker comes after her once more, is the only part of the plot that feels forced. But the book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

We're proud to announce that Laurie will be the recipient of the 2011 SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award. SEAMUS, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, gives this award each year to acknowledge artists whose body of work has made significant contributions to the genre of electro-acoustic music. The award will be presented at the 26th annual SEAMUS National Conference, which will take place January 20-22 at the Frost School of Music-University of Miami in Miami, Florida. For more information, see the SEAMUS 2011 website .

Speak by laurie halse anderson essay ideas

speak by laurie halse anderson essay ideas

We're proud to announce that Laurie will be the recipient of the 2011 SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award. SEAMUS, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, gives this award each year to acknowledge artists whose body of work has made significant contributions to the genre of electro-acoustic music. The award will be presented at the 26th annual SEAMUS National Conference, which will take place January 20-22 at the Frost School of Music-University of Miami in Miami, Florida. For more information, see the SEAMUS 2011 website .

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