A44-Impact of Names - Impact of Names Read all parts of...

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Impact of Names Read all parts of your assignment carefully and record your responses in the appropriate places. 1.Names play an interesting role in The Bean Trees. Barbara Kingsolver certainly took some time to come up with names for her characters that do more than simply designate the individuals they belong to. What do you think of the "noise of the names" of the characters in The Bean Trees? Think about some of the interesting names used in the novel and select threethat you think are particularly imaginative and meaningful—or that evoke for you ideas and associations that you believe the author probably intended. In a sentence or two for each name you choose, explain what you find interesting about it, what its implications or associations are, and how it contributes to the reader's experience of The Bean Trees.Names can reflect a person's background or cultural identity. Taylor's original name, Marietta, reflects where she was conceived. Estevan and Esperanza's names are a reflection of their complex background and cultural identities. They began with Indiannames, but they had to abandon those. "We chose Spanish names when we moved to the city," Estevan explains (204). They have names that reflect the history of oppression in their country, one that privileges Spanish over Indian heritage. However,they must give up the names that reflect their Guatemalan nationality, as well. They choose American names so as to hide their backgrounds and make them fit in. Taylor mourns this necessity, saying that their names are "about the only thing you came herewith that you've still got left" (219). These two refugees recognize that names are markers of cultural identity and know that they need to change their names if they are to fool people about their backgrounds.People also can have names that reflect their personal identities. Taylor is called "Missy" as a child because she adamantly stands up for her right to be treated with respect. Later, she chooses the name Taylor because it reflects her courage to leave home and build a life for herself. Turtle's name, too, is indicative of her personality. Initially, Taylor chooses that name because, as she tells the child, "You're like a mud turtle. If a mud turtle bites you, it won't let go till it thunders" (23). However, Turtle's name comes to reflect a more lasting aspect of her personality. At first hiding and wary, she soon comes out of her shell and shows her true personality. Even after they

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