Speak Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Melinda's family communicate?

2. Who sits with Melinda at lunch in "First Marking Period"?

3. What class does Melinda hate?

4. Why does the ecology club protest the new mascot name?

5. What does Heather want to sign her and Melinda up to do?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Melinda's visit to Heather's home after school.

2. Why doesn't Melinda go trick or treating, and what does she do on Halloween?

3. What happens in algebra class that feels disastrous to Melinda?

4. What is making it more difficult for Melinda to talk, and what does she wish to do about what is keeping her quiet?

5. What is Mr. Freeman like and what does he have the students do on the first day?

6. Describe Melinda's first impressions of the art room.

7. What is Heather's plan for Melinda and herself?

8. Describe Melinda's encounter with Rachel in the bathroom in "First Marking Period".

9. What does Melinda notice in her mirror and why don't Melinda's parents seem to notice the change in her?

10. What class would Melinda avoid if possible and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of power in Speak. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with power and/or have the most power? Why? What are some symbols of power? Symbols of powerlessness? What characters seem powerless?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of abandonment in Speak. Who is abandoned? Why? Who does the abandoning? Why? Do Melinda's parents abandon her? Why or why not? Do you think Melinda is embraced back into the "fold" of humanity? How? When? Why?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of change. Who changes in Speak? Who seems to stay stagnant? What are the reasons the characters change who do so? Why do some characters not change? Do you think Melinda's changes at the end of the book will last? Why or why not? What would it take to make Andy change? Do you think there is hope for the young man? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think Speak is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 3

Many authors if queried would admit that they have an agenda for writing a particular novel. Discuss the following:

1. Define and give examples of the concept of "author agenda."

2. Do you think Anderson had an agenda in mind when she wrote Speak?

3. What do you think would be Anderson's agenda(s) (if she has one)? Give examples to illustrate how the agenda is fulfilled.

4. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

5. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

(see the answer keys)

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