Whomever said, “ Sticks and rocks may interrupt my castanetss, but words will ne’er ache me, ” lied. Wordss can cut people to the nucleus and persons respond otherwise based on their perceptual experiences and experiences. In “ What ‘s Your Name Girl? , ” Maya Angelou tells her narrative of being a immature southern black miss working for a white adult female, Mrs. Cullinan, when racism and segregation still persisted. Bing immature and black in the South during the 1930 ‘s, Maya, so known as Margaret, equated her name with a sense of ego and regard.
Although Margaret was merely 10 old ages old when she went to work in Mrs. Viola Cullinan ‘s kitchen, she was already acutely cognizant of who she was and had unusually clear positions on racism. Initially, Margaret pitied Mrs. Cullinan because she was overweight, unattractive, unfertile and unable to hold kids. Then on one eventide while Margaret prepared to function Mrs. Cullinan and her invitees, everything changed. The understanding Margaret felt for Mrs. Cullinan turned to anger as Mrs. Cullinan proceeded to let one of her friends to carry her to distill Margaret ‘s name to Mary. Margaret ‘s name had already been changed from Marguerite to Margaret due to mispronunciation. The changing of one ‘s name without their understanding is an evident mark of discourtesy. In Margaret ‘s instance, it happened to be another indicant of blazing racism by Mrs. Cullinan.
While Glory, Mrs. Cullinan ‘s amah and cook, had accepted being renamed ( Glory ‘s given name was Hallelujah ) by her foreman, Margaret did non hold to the changing of her name at all. Glory states that she was around the same age as Margaret when Mrs. Cullinan had renamed her Glory. The difference between Glory and Margaret was that Glory claimed to hold really liked her “ new name ” better than the name her female parent had given her at birth. Margaret was highly angry that Mrs. Cullinan, a white adult female, had changed her name all for the interest of convenience after one of her friends made the suggestion because the name Margaret was excessively long. Angelou stated that every individual she had known had been tortured when they were called out of their name and that “ it was a unsafe pattern to name a Negro anything that could be slackly construed as insulting. ” When Mrs. Cullinan changed Margaret ‘s name to Mary, Margaret considered that an abuse and a smack in the face. Mrs. Cullinan might every bit good hold called or renamed Margaret Nigger, Jig, Dinge, Blackbird, Crow Boot or Spook because naming her Mary felt merely the same to Margaret.
Since it is 1938 and in the deep South where inkinesss must still digest racism and segregation ; Margaret, who is black, surely can non demand any regard from her white employer. So, Margaret comes up with the following best thing. Margaret devises a program to acquire herself fired by Mrs. Cullinan. Margaret begins to slack on her family responsibilities by improperly rinsing the dishes and reflecting the silverware. Margaret besides starts coming into work tardily and go forthing early. Although, Miss Glory was dismayed with Margaret ‘s work moral principle, she did non inform Mrs. Cullinan of what was traveling on and Margaret ‘s program to acquire fired was backlashing. With aid from her brother Bailey, Margaret decides to strike Mrs. Cullinan where it hurts most, her beloved Virginia dishes. Once once more, Mrs. Cullinan screams “ Mary ” and Margaret returns to drop some of Mrs. Cullinan ‘s favourite pieces, the casserole and two glass cups. After “ Mary ” deliberately drops the heirloom China on the floor, Mrs. Cullinan falls to the floor shouting while picking up the sherds of broken glass. Mrs. Cullinan drops all pretences and abuses Margaret with racial slurs when she begins naming her “ a gawky small black nigga ” . When the friend who suggested that Viola start naming Margaret, Mary in the first topographic point, asks if Mary had done the dastardly title of interrupting her female parent ‘s China, Viola screamed “ Her nameaa‚¬a„?s Margaret, goddamn it, her nameaa‚¬a„?s Margaret! aa‚¬A? Unfortunately, it took the breakage of cherished China for Mrs. Cullinan to give Margaret the lone thing she of all time wanted in the first topographic point, her name, therefore RESPECT.
William Shakespeare one time wrote “ What ‘s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as Sweet. ” Some may implore to differ. One of the few things a individual can claim as their ain, is their name. Changing a individual ‘s name without their consent can be painful and most of all disrespectful. While a individual is non to the full defined by their names, it is a typical and outstanding facet of who they are. Although words can non interrupt castanetss, they doubtless still can be hurtful when used recklessly and without respect.