This Earth of Mankind
“What’s in a Name? ” What exactly is in a name? You’re name is who you are; it distinguishes John Smith, from Joe Blow. There is much weight that is vested into a name; in the Native American culture a child is given a name that fits his character. In our society, the title of Doctor consonants respect and that he Is a well-educated Individual. In This Earth of Mankind, a name not only separates Individuals by Identifying who one Is, It also defines him as a person. A name with a generally negative connotation Is not always bad.
Milne, whose real name Is never revealed to us, finds out that his name given to him by one of his earlier teachers was meant to insult him. Even after he discovers what Mine means, he decides to keep the name and use it as a form of empowerment. Myna Annotators Is another prime example. She was forced Into what she is, only a Anal, and turned herself Into an extraordinary Any’. Despite the fact she runs a major business by herself and does not rely on anyone to help her, she refuses to be referred to as anything else other than Myna. “…
I’m not used to being called ma’am and indeed I am not a Mrs.. It’s not an appropriate way to refer to me, not my right. Call me Anal… Because that Is what I am… ” (Tore 228). She Is happy to be called Anal; so little is expected of her as a Myna, yet she has accomplished so much, it pleases her to prove others wrong, that she is more than Just another piece of property. Mama has not only embraced her name, but also uses it as a form of empowerment. A name can have such vested importance that it might actually be beneficial to change it if need be.
Mine is a very well educated individual as well as an exceptional writer. He knows that as a native, with no last name, it would be near Impossible to get any of his work published. He assumes the pen name Max Tolerant. Under this name Milne Is able to get his works published and read by the masses. Jan Dapperness is displeased with his name. “Since I was small I have always been a coward… The name Dapperness – the courageous one – has always tormented me” (305).
Jan feels that he was putting on a guise for the world by assuming a name hat did not describe him, so he took on the title of Pan]l Drama. Once he got the letter from the governor-general and it was official, “his character also changed… He was high-spirited, liked to work, and was generous and open” (323). Jan did not only change his name so that others who knew him would not think him a liar, but also give him a better self-Image and make him happy, which Is really the only acceptable reason. Allotted no value whatsoever.
Magma Peters feels that names mean nothing. “… Having a family name is Just a custom” (215). Also, even though Magma knows Mama is a Myna she disregards the propriety of the time and refers to her as “Ma’am” out of politeness (228). To her, it is not a name which defines you, but rather it is you who defines you. Despite the fact that Mine lied to H. B. S. , his peers and Magma Peters about not being and Indo, she not only still accepts him, but also defends him. Magma is unique in the way that she is really the only one who puts little to no value in a name.
There are characters who seem indifferent to the matter, I. . Jean and Drama, however, Magma is the only one who has vested an interest in little is in a name. A name is nothing unless there is someone to offer something substantial to back it up. A doctor without a degree has no point being called doctor, Just as a student who does not attend school has no business being referred to as a student. A name will only get you so far in the world without character. Works Cited: Tore, Paramedic Anta. This Earth of Mankind. Translator Max Lane. New York: Penguin, 1996