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Hope's birth name in "Hope Was Here."


Hope's birth name in "Hope Was Here" is Tulip. She changed it to Hope because she felt it better reflected her optimistic personality and aspirations.

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What is the real name of the character Hope in "Hope Was Here"?

Joan Bauer's novel Hope Was Hereis a wonderful coming of age story about the title character, Hope, making her way in the world. Hope Yancey is an engaging and unique character who is moving to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, with her aunt Addie in order to work for a man who is dying of Leukemia. Addie is a short order cook and Hope is a waitress. Every place she goes, she writes "Hope was here," to prove that she was there and had made an impact on the place. 

Her real name is revealed on page six of the novel. Hope states: 

"But my mom, Deena, left me with two things. One I kept--her gift of waitressing; the other I threw away--the name she gave me at birth which, I swear, was Tulip. How a person can look at a two pound baby all wired up in a hospital box and think Tulip is beyond me."

Hope has only seen her biological mother three times in her life: on her fifth, eighth, and thirteenth birthdays. On her eighth birthday, she asks her biological mother why she named her Tulip. Her mother explains that she once saw a movie that was set in Holland with an actress running through tulips and looking happy and free. Hope's mother explains: "I wanted to think of you that way. Happy and free. Running through tulips." Hope states that it took her twelve years to break free from the "curse" of her name and all the teasing that went with it. 

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In Hope Was Here, what was Hope's birth name?

In Hope Was Here, written by Joan Bauer, the main character's name given to her by her mother is Tulip. Her mother is barely present in her life, only popping up occasionally, and has abandoned her to the care of her Aunt Addie. Given her nearly nonexistent relationship with her mother and her dislike of the name "Tulip," she changes her name to Hope when she is twelve years old. Hope is supported in the name change by her aunt and ultimately decides on the name Hope because she believes hope to be the best thing that anyone could have. In fact, hope is Hope's guiding philosophy through the course of the book and she attempts to remain hopeful and optimistic in the face of difficulties and disappointments. 

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