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Sold by Patricia McCormick
Transcript of Sold by Patricia McCormick
Losing the crops during the monsoon led to Lakshmi's stepfather essentially selling her away so she could earn money for her family. This is significant because though she doesn't know it, it's the beginning of her long and horrible journey to becoming a sex slave.
"No matter which way I turn, I cannot see the swallow-tailed peak" (pg. 70).
This quote is essentially foreshadowing the loss of Lakshmi's family when she goes to the city. It's also foreshadowing that no matter how hard she tries,
getting back to her family will be nearly impossible.
"'What is happening?' I say. They don't answer. The dark girl, the one who explained to me about the TV, says 'Shhh.' Then, when the frowning girl turns away, she whispers in my language, 'You'll know soon enough'" (pg. 101).
Lakshmi doesn't know what's happening yet, but the girl tells her that she will soon enough, implying that she'll catch on quickly to how she's been lied to about becoming a maid.
"He cries out 'Aghh!' and I am running. Running down the hall, past the other girls, losing my fancy city shoes along the way, until I am back in the room where I started, pulling my old clothes out of my bundle" (pg. 104).
This is greatly significant because this is the moment Lakshmi realizes what's going on. She's figured out she's been lied to and wants to go home.
"Then I catch the sight of a girl in the mirror. She has blackened tiger eyes and bleary chili pepper lips. She looks back at me full of sadness and scorn and says, you have become one of them" (pg. 122).
Here, Lakshmi basically accepts her fate of becoming a prostitute along with the other women at Happiness House. She hates what she's doing but understands she doesn't have a choice; if she wants to go back home, she has to do what they tell her to.
"Jeena is not the only baby here. Several of the women have children. They dote on them, going even deeper into debt with Mumtaz to buy them fresh clothes for school, hair ribbons, and sneakers. The others--the ones without children--treat them like pets, buying them sweets from the street boy when one of their good customers gives them a tip. I ask Shahanna why this is so. 'We all need to pretend,' she says. 'If we did not pretend, how would we live?'" (pg. 144)
Lakshmi realizes Shahanna and the other girls have already figured out that they aren't escaping Mumtaz, so they have to make a family at Happiness House. Shahanna is basically saying that without the other women and their children, there would be nothing to really live for while they're under the watch of Mumtaz. They must pretend everything is fine and can't let the children see what they do.
"I do the calculations. And realize I am already buried alive" (pg. 148).
Lakshmi does the math and understands that no matter how many guys she gets with, and no matter how much they pay, it will take her years and years to pay off her debt to Mumtaz.
"But today when I buried my face in my bundle of clothes from home, there was no hearth smoke in the folds of my skirt, no crisp Himalayan night air in my shawl. I have been frugal with myself, not daring to unwrap the bundle more than once a day, for fear that it would lose its magic. But today, it became just a rag skirt and a tattered shawl" (pg. 153).
This shows how much time has passed since Lakshmi left her home. She's been gone for so long that she's losing the last few things connecting her to her family. It demonstrates how the city has changed her and morphed her into a person she was never expecting to become. Mumtaz ripped her of her innocence and Lakshmi became used to life at Happiness House, forgetting her family and her life before, one bit at a time.
"A few days later, when I am finally strong enough to get out of bed, I pass by a mirror. The face that looks back is that of a corpse. Her eyes are empty. She is old and tired. Old and angry. Old and sad. Old, old, a hundred years old" (pg. 192).
Lakshmi can't recognize herself from when she first came to the city. It's changed her for the worse. She's lost her innocence. Instead of being a happy thirteen-year-old, she's become a prostitute; a monster, a victim of this social injustice. Her old life and her own self has been stripped from her, and only now does she see its entire impact.
"This affliction--hope--is so cruel and stubborn, I believe it will kill me" (pg. 256).
Lakshmi has been at Happiness House for a long time, and can only hope that she will be able to go home. Even though she knows there's almost no chance of her going back home, her hope is all she has left. It's strong enough to keep her going, day after day, even though she wants the living nightmare to end. She figures hope could kill her just as well as everything other danger in the city could.
Social Injustice Independent Reading Project
By Alex Thompson
Quick side note: please bare with me when it comes to the symbols, it was a bit challenging finding images that fit with the quotes, and I couldn't necessarily draw anything because this is a prezi.
just pretend this is Lakshmi leaving for the city
this is in fact a swallow-tailed kite, but it could also be a symbol of home
they were doing makeup
she's not running down a hall but you get the point
I couldn't find a better picture
this is one of the children I guess
the closest thing to a rag skirt I could find
this represents how Lakshmi sees herself now