Speak Characters List And Character Analysis of Melinda, Heather, and Mr. Freeman

Are the Speak characters relatable to your life?

If you’re anything like me, you love a good character analysis. And if you’re even more like me, you also enjoy discovering what inspired an author when creating their characters. With that in mind, I decided to research one of my favorite authors and share my findings with all of you!

So today, we will be looking at the nicknames and aliases of Heather Halse and the character of characters from Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson’s New York Times Bestselling novel.

50 Speak Quotes With Page Numbers

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Who are the Speak Characters?

Speak is a novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, first published in 1999. The book is about a girl named Melinda Sordino who starts high school after being raped at a party the previous summer. Melinda is an outcast at school and doesn’t have any friends. She starts to speak again after she befriends a girl named Heather Halse.

Who Is Melinda Sordino In Speak?

Melinda Sordino is the main character of the book “Speak.” She is fifteen and beginning her freshman year at Merryweather High School. Melinda suffers from social anxiety, which makes it difficult for her to interact with other students. She is also considered the “mute” of the school due to her inability to speak.

Melinda is a strong, brave young woman who refuses to be silenced or ignored by those around her. Despite facing many challenges throughout the novel, she speaks out against sexual violence and stands up for herself to gain back some control over her life.

Her actions at the end of the book inspire others around her, including some high school students who wouldn’t usually have taken such a stand at that age or time in their lives:

“She proved that not every high school kid would have come across this moment or age when they could make a point like this one so early on in life.”

Who Is David Petrakis In Speak?

David Petrakis is a secondary character in the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. He is Melinda’s lab partner and becomes her friend as the story progresses.

David is ambitious, friendly, and confident in himself. He stands up to the teacher who intimidates Melinda and impresses her with his willingness to speak out for what he believes in.

David also has supportive parents who defend him against unfair school policies, which sets him apart from Melinda, who lacks this support due to her traumatic experience with sexual assault that prevents her from speaking out about it.

Additionally, David changes his career goals frequently due to his potential for success in various fields of work.


Who Is Mr. Freeman In Speak?

Mr. Freeman is an art teacher at Merryweather High School who represents the opposite of most of the school’s teachers. He is kind, caring, and genuine, wanting to help young people learn how to deal with life.

While many adults in the story question why Melinda won’t speak, Mr. Freeman lets her know that he wants to listen through his words and actions. He offers support when needed and never pressures her into speaking before she feels ready.

He also helps her find ways to communicate when she does not have words at her disposal – for example, by using art as a form of expression or writing letters instead of speaking directly with him in class sessions.

Mr. Freeman demonstrates his care for Melinda through his words and actions by actively trying to listen and understand her situation, even when others do not understand why she won’t speak.

He also encourages her to attend school despite her difficulties due to her lack of speech; this shows that he cares about her well-being more than just academically or as an obedient student who attends class regularly.

Furthermore, he helps Melinda find ways around speaking in class so she can still participate even though she has trouble communicating verbally; this shows that he truly values what she has to say despite the difficulties it may cause him or others around them both at school or during their sessions together outside of class time.


Who Is Rachel Bruin in Speak?

Rachel Bruin is a high school freshman who befriends Melinda the summer before starting high school. She initially supports Melinda after the traumatic incident with Andy Evans. Still, she turns against her when she believes Melinda called the police at a summer party, resulting in Andy’s arrest.

Melinda’s former best friend, Rachel Bruin, has curly brown hair, blue eyes, and freckles. She is also known for being outspoken and confident in herself.

After the traumatic incident with Andy Evans, Rachel becomes jealous of Melinda’s newfound popularity among their peers, resentful of her lack of popularity, and eager to believe rumors or gossip about Melinda’s supposed guilt.

Rachel also disapproves by ignoring or excluding Melinda whenever possible while simultaneously making snide comments about her behind her back.


Who Is Heather Halse In Speak?

Heather Halse is a character in the novel Speak who goes by many names. She is first introduced as “Heath” when she arrives at her new school, but she quickly changes her name to “Heather” when she realizes no one else likes that name. She is also known as “Hals” by her friends and “The Halsey” by her enemies.


Who Is Andy Evans (“IT”)?

Andy Evans, also known as “IT,” is a popular and handsome upperclassman who breaks the rules openly and is known to be creepy with girls.

He is the book’s main antagonist, spending much of the narrative harassing Melinda in various ways. He raped Melinda at a party the summer before Speak begins. Andy Evans uses his good looks and charm to get what he wants from girls, often taking advantage of them sexually or pressuring them into unwanted relationships.

He also has a reputation for being cruel towards those he deems inferior or undesirable.


Who Is Ivy In Speak?

Ivy is a character in Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak. She is a high school freshman and Melinda’s old friend.

Ivy helps Melinda overcome the trauma caused by Andy Evans, a senior student who raped her the summer before starting high school. Ivy encourages Melinda to take an art class with her, and they can reconnect over their dislike for Andy.

Through her introspection and dedication to art, Melinda eventually learns that speaking out against evil is the only way to counter it. She does this by telling everyone about what happened to her.


Who Is Nicole in Speak?

Nicole is one of Melinda’s former friends and a talented athlete.

In Speak, Nicole helps rescue Melinda from Andy Evans after hearing her screams from the janitor’s closet. She spreads word of the attack to other students at their school, including lacrosse team members.

This helps raise awareness about sexual assault and encourages others to speak against it.


Who Is Mr. Neck In Speak?

Mr. Neck is Melinda’s social studies teacher in the novel Speak. He is portrayed as a bullying bigot who dislikes Melinda when he discovers her lost in the hallway on the first day of school.

After a classroom debate on whether the U.S. should have closed its borders in 1900, David Petrakis threatened to sue Mr. Neck and the school for civil rights violations, causing Mr. Neck to behave for the rest of the school year.

However, he still gives Melinda a “D” for an extra credit assignment after she refuses to present it in front of the class.


What is Heather’s background?

Heather is from Ohio and is the new kid in town. She’s so driven that she has made it her goal to become valedictorian of her high school class.

Heather is also a 15-year-old girl who just moved to Merryweather High School and is eager to make new friends. She chooses to do the right thing when presented with various scenarios, such as standing up for her friend Melinda at a party when she witnesses Melinda making out with another girl’s boyfriend.

Heather also gives good advice and doesn’t let other girls at school phase her, as she remains down-to-earth despite being ambitious.

Eventually, Heather ditches Melinda for the “Martha” group after learning about what happened at the party but still manages to see beyond Melinda’s actions and remain friends with her until graduation day arrives, when they part ways due to unresolved issues between them both.


Character analysis of Heather Halse

Heather Halse’s character is described as fun, ambitious, outgoing, and down to earth. She is willing to make new friends and do the right thing.

Heather also accepts Melinda’s actions at the party and befriends her despite knowing what she has done. Heather gives good advice and wants to be friends with everyone at her school, including Melinda.

Despite leaving Melinda feeling abandoned at one point in the book, she still manages to see beyond Melinda’s actions and remain her friend until they eventually part ways in the fourth marking period due to Heather’s betrayal of trust.



Who is Heather Halse?

Heather Halse is a 15-year-old girl who is new to Merryweather High School. She is outgoing, fun, ambitious, and chooses to do the right thing.

Heather is driven and doesn’t let other people’s opinions affect her decisions. Despite knowing what Melinda did at the party, she wants to be friends with everyone and gives good advice. Heather also ditches Melinda for the “Martha” group towards the end of the book, leaving her feeling abandoned and alone.

By the end of the fourth marking period, she comes crawling back for help from Melinda, but she refuses due to how she was treated by Heather previously in the school year.


What is the significance of Heather Halse’s aliases?

The aliases used by Heather Halse throughout the novel are significant in that they reveal her character development and her growing sense of self-awareness.

Initially, Heather is just a fifteen-year-old girl who has just moved to Merryweather High School and is eager to make friends. She identifies with a fun and outgoing persona, which soon changes when she meets Melinda at the party.

When Melinda commits an act of violence against another student, Heather ignores it and continues to view her as a good friend; this shows how she is willing to overlook things that may be morally wrong to maintain relationships with people she cares about.

Later on in the book, however, when Melinda ditches Heather for the “Martha” group at school – leaving her feeling abandoned and alone – it becomes clear that their friendship is not as strong as first thought; this realization prompts Heather’s desire for revenge against those who wronged her.

To achieve this end goal, she uses multiple aliases (including “Heather H”), which allow her access into various social circles without revealing any personal information about herself, thus allowing for more effective manipulation of others’ emotions later on down the line.


How does Heather Halse’s biology lab partner influence her character?

Heather’s biology lab partner influences her character by exposing her to the right thing. Heather is a fun, ambitious, outgoing girl who wants to make new friends and do the right thing.

Her biology lab partner helps her realize that Melinda’s actions at the party were wrong, which causes Heather to stop being friends with Melinda. Heather’s biology lab partner also provides good advice and encourages her to be friends with everyone despite what happened between them and Melinda.


Who is Melinda’s friend in Speak?

Melinda is the protagonist of Speak, a high school freshman who is raped by a senior student named Andy Evans over the summer before starting ninth grade.

Afterward, she spirals into a dark depression and loses her ability to speak easily. To express her pain, she bites her lips and nails.

Melinda’s only friend throughout the novel is Rhonda, another high school freshman who becomes Melinda’s confidante as they share their experiences with sexual assault together.


Who is the villain in Speak?

Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak features a villain in the form of Andy Evans, a sleazy and handsome senior boy with a reputation for inappropriate behavior with girls.

Melinda’s trauma from being raped by Andy during the summer before her first year of high school leads her into a dark depression and loss of ability to speak easily.

To express her pain, she bites her lips and nails – physical acts that show how much she is hurting inside. Melinda’s introspection allows her to grow as she learns that the only way to counter evil is to speak out against it.


What is Rachel’s personality in Speak?

Rachel is the girlfriend of Melinda’s rapist, Andy Evans. She is described as being popular, pretty, and confident. She does not hesitate to use her status to get what she wants, such as when she pressures Melinda into having sex with her boyfriend at a party.

In contrast to Melinda Sordino (the main character), Rachel has no remorse for what happened at the party and refuses to take responsibility for it. Instead, she blames Melinda for calling her names like “slut” and “whore” to isolate her from her peers further.

Additionally, while Melinda struggles with depression after being raped by Andy Evans at the party – leading her life into a downward spiral – Rachel continues with hers, seemingly unaffected by what happened between them that night.


Is there a love interest in Speak?

Yes, there is a love interest in Speak. Heather Halse’s character falls in love with a guy named Zachary. Zachary is also a bit of an outsider at school, and the two bond over their shared love of music.


Why does Melinda bite her lips in Speak?

Melinda bites her lips in Speak to express her pain after being raped by Andy Evans. It is a physical act of self-harm that allows her to release some of the trauma she has experienced.

In one scene, Melinda sits in class, biting her lips so hard that they start to bleed. She then looks down at her hands, covered with blood and scabs from previous bites, and realizes how much pain she has been causing herself:

“Her lips were still bleeding; they’d been bleeding since yesterday… The sight of them made it worse… She felt like vomiting.”

This example shows how Melinda’s self-destructive behavior impacts her life and allows her to cope with the trauma she suffered from being raped by Andy Evans.


What mental illness does Melinda have in Speak?

In Speak, Melinda is diagnosed with a mental illness after becoming mute after her rape by senior student Andy Evans. Her trauma prevents her from speaking easily, and she begins to express her pain through physical acts such as biting her lips and nails.

Melinda’s condition can be compared to dissociative identity disorder (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder, characterized by two or more distinct identities that take control of the individual’s behavior. Back to Top


What did Andy do to Melinda?

Andy Evans is known as “Andy Beast” and “IT,” especially in Melinda’s mind/thoughts. He is a sleazy but attractive senior boy with a reputation for inappropriate behavior toward girls. The summer before Melinda’s first year of high school, he raped her at a party.

Throughout the year, he tormented her with comments referencing their previous encounter. Near the end of the school year, he began dating Rachel and publicly left her at prom after discovering that he had raped Melinda.

At the novel’s end, Andy tries to rape Melinda again, but she can scream, leading everyone to know what Andy has been doing all along, and they look down upon him for it.


What happens to Melinda at the end of Speak?

At the end of Speak, Melinda has finally found her voice and learned to speak. After being raped by a senior named Andy Evans over the summer, Melinda spiraled into a dark depression, lost her ability to speak easily, and could only express her pain through physical acts such as biting her lips and nails.

She spent the school year reliving the party where it happened and facing the reality of what happened. Eventually, she became a new person who could find her voice and speak out against evil.


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