The major theme of the story, as the title strongly hints, is hope, along with the related themes of endurance and resolve. The young heroine's decision to change her name to Hope symbolises her positive outlook on life, despite her inauspicious beginnings. Her name change is not any flighty decision on her part, but the result of careful consideration. She is under no illusions that it will be a tough name to live up to:
"People expect things from Hopes that they don't expect from Pattys and Lisas and Danielles. People expect Hopes to be cheerful and positive".
Hope, then, is quite aware of the implications of her name-change, but she faces up to the challenge. It is not easy. Her mother abandoned her and she has never known her father, so that she has never known the security of a settled...
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