Life revolves around communication. The way people react with one another is what defines humans as real people and not just animals. In the book “Speak”, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda Sordino has a lot of trouble communicating. As a ninth grader, new to high school, communication may be even more important. This is because no one can do it alone. In order to survive ninth grade, a person needs the items on one, short list. This list includes, but is not limited to: support, enthusiasm, resources, and most of all friends. This doesn’t mean people you can spend day and night hanging out with and fooling around in class with. This means people who keep you sane. Without people to talk to, whether they are siblings you fight with, parents you argue with, teachers you learn from, or just friends to talk to, students in high school would go insane. There is a lot of pressure, and in the navel, Melinda feels this pressure more than anyone because she may have resources and support, but she comes to school everyday, or not at all, without enthusiasm, due to the fact that she has no friends. This is because at a party the summer before the story takes place, Melinda called the police because a boy named Andy Evans raped her. Now, if she had only told people that she called the police because she was raped, then everyone would have felt bad for her, instead of treating her like some common snitch as they did throughout the story. By refusing to explain that she had been raped, refusing to speak, as the title of the book symbolizes, she had been outcast by the society of her school. She did communicate with some people, but it was mostly non-verbal communication. For example, she and her parents would leave notes for each other, or students would pass notebook or leave letters on he locker, but this does not count for the communication students really need. The first time she tries to tell someone about being raped, she passes a note to her former best friend, Rachel. Unfortunately, Rachel does not believe her. She barely speaks after that. Even after Andy Evans attacks her a second time, Melinda says nothing. Fortunately, the lacrosse team does. It is not until the very last line of the story that the reader realizes that Melinda is finally going to tell her story out loud. This piece of communication in the story is distinctly left out of the novel, making the theme even more apparent.