The Power of First-person Narrative in 'Speak'

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About this sample


Words: 374 |

Page: 1|

2 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Words: 374|Page: 1|2 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

The author effectively conveys the notion that individuals have the capacity to overcome trauma and emerge stronger. Anderson achieves this through the use of a first-person narrative, allowing readers to witness the protagonist's journey towards transformation. The first-person point of view, characterized by the use of pronouns such as "I," "we," "me," and "us," grants readers direct access to the protagonist's thoughts, emotions, and experiences related to the traumatic event and her subsequent recovery.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Throughout the book, readers are exposed to the profound impact of a traumatic event, the associated struggles, and the process of healing. The novel takes the form of a diary belonging to the main character, Melinda Sordino, who survives an act of violence by a classmate but becomes an outcast at school as a result. Melinda's innermost thoughts, introspection, and attempts to find her voice and address the problem are all laid bare for readers to witness. Melinda confesses, "I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me" (Anderson, 1999, p. 38). Through these words, readers grasp the depth of Melinda's feelings of dirtiness and the haunting nature of the traumatic event. In line with many victims of violence, Melinda also experiences a sense of guilt despite her own innocence.

Melinda's overwhelming emotions of anger and guilt lead to her withdrawal and near silence. However, as time goes on, she begins to yearn for liberation: "A small, clean part of me waits to warm and burst through the surface" (Anderson, 1999, p. 122). Her declaration, "It wasn't my fault. And I'm not going to let it kill me. I can grow" (Anderson, 1999, p. 128), stands as a testament to her recovery from the trauma. Through Melinda's courageous words and actions, readers witness her transformation and come to understand that healing is indeed possible. It becomes evident that the author's choice to employ a first-person narrative effectively conveys the idea that change and healing can occur even in the aftermath of trauma.


  1. Anderson, L. H. (1999). Speak. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
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The Power of First-Person Narrative in ‘Speak’. (2024, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“The Power of First-Person Narrative in ‘Speak’.” GradesFixer, 12 Feb. 2024,
The Power of First-Person Narrative in ‘Speak’. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Feb. 2024].
The Power of First-Person Narrative in ‘Speak’ [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 12 [cited 2024 Feb 29]. Available from:
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