Speak Setting

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Anderson set Speak in her hometown, Syracuse, New York. Although a specific date is not given, her popular culture references and jargon suggest that the novel's events occur in the late 1990s. Most of the action in Speak occurs in Melinda's mind.

Readers have more access to Melinda's thoughts and perceptions regarding her actions after she was assaulted than her family, teachers, and peers. This mental setting reveals as much as Melinda is willing to face emotionally, becoming larger as she begins to accept what happened and then cope with her anger.

School is the primary setting. We first encounter Melinda as she rides the school bus on her first day in high school. The first student picked up, she strategically sits near the front in hopes of establishing eye contact with people she considers friends but remains alone because former "lab partners or gym buddies" use their eyes...

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This section contains 1,685 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Speak Study Guide
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