In chapter seven of "The Bean Trees" , it introduces a married couple from Guatemala named Estevan and Esperanza. Immediately Esperanza is drawn towards Turtle because of her painful past. Mrs. Parsons assumes that Turtle is Estevan and Esperanza's child because of the similar resemblance of skin color.
Esperanza starts off in chapter nine attempting suicide by taking a bottle of aspirin. While Esperanza is taken to the clinic Estevan tells Taylor that she does not know what Esperanza has lived through and continues to tell the tale. Estevan and Esperanza had a daughter named Ismene when both were in their homeland. Ismene was taken away from the couple as a ultimatum whether than to see the rest of their fellow union members dead. Estevan and Esperanza didn't know where their daughter was fled to but he knew that a lot of the captured children were adopted by military families or government couples. The tale explains the pain that Esperanza has gone through and the possible reason as to why she is severely depressed.
Esperanza shows a clear example of PTSD , this disorder is an intense emotional or physical reaction from a traumatic event that has taken place within that person's life. Losing a child and not knowing the whereabouts of that child is a very traumatic event that Esperanza relives every day. It explains why she is prone to suicide as well.
One of the coping mechanisms for a person who suffers from PTSD is to not shy away from people or places that remind one of the traumatic event. It explains Esperanza's behavior in chapter fifteen when she holds a bond with Turtle so strong that she calls Turtle by her daughters name Ismene. In chapter sixteen Estevan and Esperanza are pretending to be parents of Turtle so that Taylor could adopt Turtle since she could not find any inkling of Turtle's actual parents. While posing to being Turtle's biological parents Esperanza cries while clutching onto Turtle which helps the officers assume that Esperanza is Turtle's mother. The event of letting Turtle go with Taylor was a coping mechanism that seemed to free Esperanza from her depression. It seems as if was giving Esperanza hope once again.
Esperanza's character can be related to some readers because of her trials with depression and losing a child. The biggest lesson learned from this character is that there will always be hope even if you feel as if there isn't.