Thursday, March 28, 2013
Naming in Beloved
As we have all noticed through our readings of "Things Fall Apart" and "Beloved," the naming systems are drastically different. They went from names like Okonkwo and Ikemefuna to names like Denver and Stamp Paid. The traditional African naming system has people create names to symbolize something important about the person or an attribute that they should have. When they were taken to America, they were given Americanized names such as Joshua or Jenny that did not represent anything, perhaps a reference to a name in the bible. The interesting thing is how both Joshua and Jenny changed their names to Stamp Paid and Baby Suggs to represent important events that have occurred in their lives. Also, Denver was named so that Sethe could remember the birthing experience. So although the Africans were removed from their African traditions of naming, they eventually returned to have a similar nomenclature as traditional Igbo did.