Mail can be personal or impersonal, yet one thing makes them important. Receiving mail is the only thing that recognizes an individual as still being alive. If someone in the world is sending mail, then obviously there is still recognition of an individual identity--even if it is a bill collector. Whether it be family or business sending the correspondence, it is a link to the outside world. For Mickey and the other residents in the YMCA, it is a belief that there is something else out there other than the drab and monotonous world that they reside in. In Dagoberto Gilb's The Last Known Residence of Mickey AcuÃÂ±a, this belief and hope is the only thing that the residents of the YMCA have left. Their last contact with the world is the fantasy keeping them from a life of anonymity and oblivion.
Through use of the internet, newspapers, television, and other sources, individuals keep themselves aware of the circumstances that surround them.
However, not everyone can afford to keep up with the fast pace information superhighway and depend on the most inexpensive form of communication--mail. The impoverished lead simple lives astray from the world's complications; yet, in order to remain a part of society it is necessary to maintain this link with the circulating world. The residents of the YMCA recognize the importance of this link, for mail is symbolic of the only hope to continue living that the characters have in their bleak world. "The entire novel is filled with characters, who desire for something greater than what they already possess--filled with characters discontented in one way or another with their present situation" (Nakagawa). This desire is what keeps the residents at the YMCA slightly hopeful. The need for fulfillment leads them to live a life of fantasy.