The Bean Trees

What pitiful irony is Ismene's upbringing likely to lead to - the disturbing side of the comforting fact that her life is continuing? Consider the significance of her name.

Chapter 9 : Ismene

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Ismene was taken away from Esperanza. Esperanza suffers from a prolonged depression caused by the loss of her daughter, Ismene, who was taken from her when she refused to give the names of teachers' union members to the police, for by naming names these union members would certainly be put to death. Esperanza attempts suicide while in Tucson, but she begins to improve once she becomes closer to Turtle. By falsely relinquishing custody of Turtle in Oklahoma, Esperanza feels a sense of catharsis concerning Ismene, and thus finally makes a breakthrough toward recovery. Still, not knowing the fate of her daughter constantly eats at her soul.