In class we recently read the novel Speak. Throughout Speak the author, Laurie Halse Anderson, uses symbolism, especially trees, to show how the main character Melinda Sordino grows. The backstory of the novel is that you are following a girl named Melinda through her first year of high school. Everyone in the school hates her because, as you learn very quickly she called the cops at a summer party. However, her reason for calling the cops remains a mystery until later in the story. Throughout the novel you see how little by little Melinda gets her confidence back and eventually tells the schools what happened to her that night.
We want to be able to see a tree of our own grow in this school year just as we saw Melinda grow personally in her school year. Be a benefactor to our project and donate some money, so we can buy and care for a tree. For just a small donation you could help us plant a tree that will be a lasting reminder of Melinda and her strength.
Our tree of choice that we believe best fits Melinda and the other symbols of Speak is a Magnolia tree. Our first criteria for picking the right tree was growth rate. We want to be able to see the tree grow in this school year just as we saw Melinda grow personally in her school year. The Magnolia species is a very fast-growing species, and even some of the slower growing Magnolias grow at least a foot a year. Another criteria we thought about when picking our tree was that we wanted a flowering tree. We chose a flowering tree because they attract birds, and in the novel, birds are a major symbol. In Speak birds are a symbol of freedom and can be found throughout the story. In the beginning they are caged and trapped, but in in the spring, the time when Magnolias flower, the birds are free just like Melinda is personally in the story. One of our final traits we factored into our decision is the tree’s color and leaf cycle. The magnolia is a yellow, red color in the Fall which symbolizes the hatred Melinda had for life, school, and IT (Andy Evans the antagonist of the novel) during the fall of her school year. Then in the winter the Magnolia loses its leaves and becomes cold and barren just like how Melinda was cold on the inside and wanted to be isolated from her peers. Then in the spring there was a new blossom and the Magnolia tree is “born again”. Just like how Melinda found her voice and happiness again in the Spring of her school year. Also important is that when a Magnolia flower blossoms, its flower is white on the inside. White symbolizes innocence and purity. So the blossoming of a new flower could be a way to symbolize Melinda getting back some of the innocence and purity that was taken away from her at the party.
The tree will better Ryle High School and the community of Union as a whole. The Tree will keep the memory of Melinda and her struggle throughout our high school years. Her story can be inspiring to everyone who is dealing with some traumas/difficulties adolescents face. I know that her story has helped me become a better person by helping me understand the other side of bullying. It can help you too! So read Speak and donate to our campaign today.
We need your help and your donations. We cannot raise this money on our own. We want to leave a lasting mark on our school and a reminder of the courage that Melinda had to speak out. Also, our school will be more decorated with the more colors we add to our school. So please donate! We are thankful for all donations big or small!
Check out the new instagram!