What is the significance of having many names in The House on Mango Street?Because I have read in so many chapterin which Esperanza talk about names, especially Spanish and English names. Please...

What is the significance of having many names in The House on Mango Street?

Because I have read in so many chapterin which Esperanza talk about names, especially Spanish and English names. Please help me to find an insightful answer.

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In The House on Mango Street, Esperanza describes the given names and nicknames that she and others have.  In describing her own name, Esperanza tells the audience that her name in Spanish means "hope."  This is significant because Esperanza's name becomes a symbol for her characterization--even though she will experience rough times living on Mango Street (i.e. sexual harrassment, poverty, violence), she will still see hope in her life and make plans to gain a brighter reality. 

This is true of other characters as well.  For example, Geraldo No-Last-Name is a young man whom Marin meets at a dance.  He is killed that night, but no one know who his family is or where he has come from.  Geraldo's not having a last name represents his anonymity in this country--he is an immigrant and has come to the U.S. to work to send money home to his family.  But he is part of the mass of immigrants who have a similar experience, and no one cares about them as individuals.  His not having a last name is symbolic of this reality.

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