Toni Bambara tackles many themes in his short work Gorilla, My Love. If you perceive the story from the point of view of Hazel, the main character, you can understand that the main idea is betrayal. The girl concludes that adults cannot be trusted as they do not tell the truth. Interestingly, the narration in the work changes; that is, it contains both traditional and frame narration. Thus, the main character can confirm her opinion that none can trust adults. The author emphasizes that changing a name, or replacing it with a nickname, affects a person’s identity. Hazel insults Hunky Bubba’s intention to change his name as he starts a new life: “That’s right… I’m a new somebody” (Bambara 84). Hazel has no place in her new life; thus, Grandaddy Vale betrays her. She also gives up all the nicknames that adults have called her, a new stage in her life.
Bambara, Toni Cade. Gorilla, My Love. Redbook Magazine. 1971.