A name identifies a person. It makes him unique. It gives him pride. Yes, names are important. They are as important as every single part of the body. Everyone wants names that speak of who they are. People come to be known by their name. That is why every person strives hard to protect the name he has. The significance of a person’s name as part of his identity is seen from various perspectives. For one, it is a name that people carry for the rest of their lives. It is how they are known. It is how people are remembered.
Sometimes though, it becomes difficult to disassociate one’s self from the negative things that their names connote. It sometimes identifies people in the wrong way. Take for example the case of a Jew. As Bosmaijian wrote, the name Jew automatically connotes the terms parasites and demons for these were the terms that the Nazis used to define or characterize Jews. It is a form of oppression just as much as it is a form of identification. One’s name can be considered as one’s brand. People often time patronize retail brand names most especially those that connote luxury.
These brands , by the mere mention of their name alone, automatically bring up certain characteristics. Names of people can be viewed in the same light. For instance, the names of characters in literally novels become known as much as their authors. The names of these characters say so much of the role they play. As Honan wrote, novelists pick out the names of their characters in such a way as to reflect the identity or personality of the character. Honan mentioned that the author John Updike picked the name Angstrom because he wanted to show that the character had so much angst.
The intrinsic value of a name is that it is one’s pride and glory. As McPhee wrote, when she gave her son her name, she felt pride in herself. Despite the scrutiny of others, the act helped her feel good about herself. It gave her identity. In a way, giving her name was her way of passing on something valuable to her child. For these reasons alone, it is clear how valuable and important names are. A name is not merely word. It, in my aspects, may be the word that defines one’s being. A name is one’s identity. A name is one’s treasure.