Hope Was Here Themes

Joan Bauer
This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Hope Was Here.
This section contains 806 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)

Sticking to One's Values

G. T. Stoop demonstrated that by sticking to one's values and core beliefs, one can rise above those who are corrupt or have no moral compass. G. T. was a remarkable person. Dying of leukemia, G. T. decided he didn't like the corruption that was going on in tow,n and that with the time he had left, he was going to do something about it. He announced his run for mayor against a corrupt man who had held the position for eight years.

No matter what dirty tricks G. T.'s opposition reverted to, G. T. refused to sink to the same level. Mayor Millstone spread viscous lies about G. T., and even though his political adviser told him to fight fire with fire, G.T. refused. If G. T. couldn't get elected honestly and in his own straight forward and above-board manner, that was fine with him. He wasn't in the race to become like the dishonorable man he was trying to defeat.

Mayor Millstone and his supporters even stooped to using G. T.'s illness in an effort to turn people away from from supporting him. When it was announced that G. T. lost the election, he showed no signs of bitterness. Later, it was learned that he had actually won the election but that the opposing side had committed voter fraud. When G.T. became mayor, he genuinely thanked his supporters but had showed them just as much gratitude when he thought he had lost the election.

Abandonment

Abandonment was a huge issue for the protagonist of Hope Was Here. Hope Yancy was a caring and compassionate young teen, but she was wrought with many fears and self-doubt. Having been abandoned by a mother who just couldn't take care of her—Deena was more concerned with her lovers than with caring for a baby—and a father whose identity was unknown, Hope felt she wasn't worthy of love. Although her Aunt Addie took her in and loved her, she was still haunted by the rejection of her mother and the absence of a father. Even though on an intellectual level, she knew that she would never find her father, she fantasized that he was searching for her. Children who suffer from abandonment carry the emotional scars throughout their lives.

The transient life that Hope was forced to live with her aunt who had to move from state to state in order to find enough work to make a living, was a difficult one for a youngster. Already suffering from self-esteem problems from her parental abandonment, Hope found it difficult to allow people to get too close. On top of that, when she made friends in a town she would often have to leave them because of the demands of her aunt's job. By the time she was sixteen, Hope had said goodbye too many times.

Inner Strength

It was obvious from the time she was born that Hope Yancy was gifted, with a good measure of inner strength. She only weighed two pounds when she was born and the doctors didn't have too much hope for her survival. But even though she was tiny, she proved to be a real fighter. It was a good thing that Hope was strong because she was facing a youth that was not ordinary or easy. Her mother was more concerned with her string of lovers than she was with raising a child. She "gave" her daughter to her sister to raise. As Hope matured, she had to deal with feelings of abandonment and rejection. But Hope's strength, coupled with her aunt's love for her, saw her through some very trying times and emotional turmoil.

Hope was determined that she would find her father even though she knew, at least on an intellectual level, that her goal was impossible. Still, some spirit inside her yearned for a father who would care for her. She never gave up. She stubbornly clung to to that dream, and it eventually paid off, although in a way and at a time she would have never imagined.

When she began working for G. T. Stoop at the diner in Mulhoney, Wisconsin, it wasn't long before G. T. noticed and admired that Hope was a very strong young person with great character. Over time, G. T. and Addie fell in love and married. Soon after, G. T. had a serious proposition for Hope. He wanted to adopt her. He had always wanted a daughter like her. Of course, she had always wanted a father but she had no idea that when she met her new boss that she was also meeting her father.As the story ends, it is Hope's inner strength that gets her through one of the most tragic experiences of her life.

This section contains 806 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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