In appearance. This speaks to her powerlessnessIn appearance. This speaks to her powerlessness

  In the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, the use of the symbol mirrors portrays Melinda’s frustration towards herself.   First, we see this when she is in her room. “I watch myself in the mirror across the room. Ugh. My hair is completely hidden under the comforter….Two muddy-circle eyes under black-dash eyebrows, piggy-nose nostrils, and a chewed up horror of my mouth….I get out of bed and take down the mirror. I put it in the back of my closet, facing the wall” (Pages 16-17) This demonstrates Melinda hates the way she looks. She is confused with herself, so she gets up and brings down the mirror and puts it some place where she knows, she will never be able to look at herself.   Also in the middle of the book she “covers the mirror with a poster of Mary Angelou”(Page 50). When Mary Angelou was eight, she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend, but she was able to overcome that and be strong. This shows that Melinda would rather see/be someone else than be herself. When she looks at the poster she sees a strong woman who overcame something that happened in the past. She would rather be Maya, not Melinda.   Melinda maintains a strategic distance from mirrors after the assault, unfit to confront her own appearance. This speaks to her powerlessness to confront her sentiments. She portrays that she can’t “see herself”‘, which demonstrates that her feeling of personality has been changed by the assault. The main mirror where she feels that she can see herself is a three-path reflect in the stores changing area. The broken and isolated reflection speaks to Melinda’s broken and isolated feeling of self.   During the end of the story, Melinda uses a mirror to guard herself against the individual who has caused her everything of her extreme pain, Andy Evans, by putting it to his throat when he tries to attack her again in the closet. Melinda’s self-hatred can at long last depend on the right individual and not on herself. When Melinda uses the mirror which was shattered to threaten Andy, it symbolizes her conquering her situation of the assault.