Henry David Thoreau, in his essay “Walking”, discusses the importance (or lack-there-of) of having a name. For example, my name Sara, taken from biblical context of Abraham’s wife, Sarai, was given to me when I was born by my parents. It even says my full legal name on my birth certificate that I am indeed called Sara. However, Thoreau believes that “there is nothing in a name” (108). Man can be individualized by his race, character, or other variety, but a name doesn’t tell an outsider much about a person besides having a label. A name is merely a tag given to a person, but a familiar name won’t make a person any more familiar to a stranger. Thoreau says that a name doesn’t help to make distinctions of a person.
So, is he basically saying that I am worthless? I am not sure which stance Thoreau is taking, but to me it seems as if he is inexplicitly stating that man is made equal by name, but gains his individuality by personality, characteristics (physical and emotional), and other features. Therefore, I shouldn’t be identified as just being “Sara”: you can now call me “loud and obnoxious”.