Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I can't hear you

Hawthorne wanted snow to symbolize cold, that’s what I think. Cold and silence. Nothing quieter than snow. The sky screams to deliver it, a hundred banshees flying on the edge of the blizzard. But once the snow covers the ground, it hushes as still as my heart.” Page 130

Silence is a breeding ground for lies, torture, guilt, the loss of trust, and so much more. All these manage to band together to create the strongest mouth gag, capable of locking up a person forever and throwing away the key if not dealt with. I have heard it said that it is easier to be happy, less energy, than sad. I think that’s wrong. It is easy to fall prey to the sadness, in a way a sort of comfort to let yourself fall and forget the good things, the good times.

Laurie Halse Anderson opened the door 11 years ago for girls (quite possibly boys too) everywhere. Speak is a look at what the silence can do to anyone. Rape is a sensitive subject, but Laurie manages to handle it with great concern and tenderness. She has opened the door for others to break the silence and to help mend the wounds that Rape has left open too long. This book is essential even for those who haven’t been subjected to similar cruelties. It gives them incite not only how to help, but to know what it is like.

Laurie’s style of writing can be best described as poetic. She paints pictures with her descriptions and the detail of Melinda’s thoughts. I read so many passages that are worth writing down to remember. She is truly gifted.

Reading this book was unplanned. I was in the midst of two other books at the time I started it. I was on Twitter last week when I discovered Speak was receiving negative attention in Missouri. Some misinformed (nice name for an idiot) man is laying claim to the fact that the book should be banned for its pornographic content. Clearly this man does not have or use a dictionary. After reading Laurie’s blog post about the situation, I decided I would read the book.*

Here are the conclusions I’ve come to:

  • A. Pornographic – Material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement; which this book DOES NOT CONTAIN. The fact that someone would consider Rape a form of sexual arousal is disgusting.
  • B. This man has never read Speak.
  • C. He has too much time on his hands.
  • D. He needs to read the First Amendment
  • E. If he really is concerned about what young people are reading he should examine other books or maybe read the book before throwing such silly allegations. I have read books with FAR worse content and it is just ridiculous what he is saying.
  • F. Finally always read things for yourself. Do not form opinions based on what others say or rumors. Hello! My dad has been telling me this all my life.

I can’t say that I enjoyed this book that seems to me odd phrasing. I will say it was a very moving and thought provoking story. You should read it.

A note to Laurie: I hope things turn out for the best with this ridiculous situation. Thank you for writing Melinda’s story. Thank you for tackling such an important and delicate subject. I wish you all the best. ~Maddie

Two blog posts in one week; this is a first for me!

*I watched the movie a few years ago, just never got around to reading the book.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard a lot about this book since it was banned, and it's one I definitely want to read. As a rape survivor (very early days, but I've survived the first week so far!) I would hate to think of someone thinking that me describing my experiences is pornographic.

    It's not. It's painful, exposing and truthful. Not material to get aroused by. And I am glad that all sorts of people are reaching out to defend access to this book, which sounds like it is vital reading for our young people.


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