Rereading Speak | Summary and Q&A

October 5, 2018
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Rereading Speak


This video discusses the book "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson and its connection to current events and discussions surrounding rape culture and sexual assault.

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Key Insights

  • 😀 The book "Speak" tackles the difficult subject of sexual assault and the challenges survivors face in speaking out.
  • 🧔‍♀️ Whisper networks, as shown in the book, reveal how women warn each other about dangerous individuals when official systems fail.
  • ❤️‍🩹 The book's ending, although not traditionally happy, offers hope and underscores the importance of being heard and believed.
  • 🍇 "Speak" has a contemporary feel, reflecting the ongoing relevance and prevalence of rape culture and the need for societal change.
  • 🪡 The book ties into the MeToo movement, as both highlight the experiences of survivors and the need for public conversation and awareness.


hi this is Deboki and this is okidokiboki and before I get into this week's video I just want to issue a few warnings. I'm gonna be talking about speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and I'm gonna be discussing it in the context of a lot of news and general discourse surrounding rape and rape culture and sexual harassment and sexual assault. Some of thi... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does "Speak" explore the theme of speaking up about sexual assault?

"Speak" emphasizes the importance of speaking out, but also acknowledges the challenges victims face. Melinda's struggle to find her voice and be believed reflects the experiences of many survivors.

Q: How does the concept of whisper networks relate to the book and real-life situations?

Whisper networks, as seen in the bathroom graffiti in "Speak," demonstrate how women protect themselves and each other when official systems fail. This parallels real-life experiences where women warn each other about dangerous individuals.

Q: What is the significance of the book's ending and how does it relate to current discussions around sexual assault?

While the ending of "Speak" may not be traditionally happy, it offers hope for Melinda and highlights the importance of being heard. It contrasts with the treatment of many real-life victims, reminding us of the need for change.

Q: How does "Speak" relate to the current MeToo movement?

"Speak" predates the MeToo movement, but its portrayal of a survivor finding her voice resonates with the stories shared during MeToo. It highlights the ongoing struggle for survivors to be believed and the need for society to address rape culture.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The video focuses on the book "Speak" and its protagonist, Melinda, who is a high school freshman dealing with the aftermath of being raped.

  • The book highlights the importance of speaking up about sexual assault, the challenges victims face when doing so, and the power of solidarity.

  • The video examines the significance of the title "Speak," the use of whisper networks, and the portrayal of an ending that offers hope amidst a difficult subject matter.

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