Environments That Shaped Lakshmi's Life

Paper Type: 
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1116 Words
Date:  2021-03-19

Life is full of uncertainties which we must embrace if we are to survive completely the challenges we face. In most cases, our expectations are only fulfilled in our minds as reality sets in. Additionally, as we transform from one situation to another, it is imperative to take note of our environments as they define the different life stages and transition. The novel Sold by Patricia McCormick is about a thirteen-year-old girl, Lakshmi, who is sold into prostitution after a storm washes away her stepfather's crops. Despite Lakshmi leading a miserable life, she is enjoying simple pleasures while her stepfather gambles all his money. After being sold to prostitution, Lakshmi does not integrate easily with her new life at Happiness House. At first, she refuses to attend her duties of sexually satisfying men even after being starved by her master, Mumtaz. She is then drugged and raped after which she is sent to live with the other girls who do the same kind of job. As she befriends some of the ladies, she is afraid to escape when she sees one of the girl destroyed face as she attempted to escape and was caught by Mumtaz's guards. Finally, she finds her way out through American guards who help her escape as the Happiness House is liberated. There are several environments that characterise Lakshmis life which include poverty and role of women in her society, hardships she endures while at the brothel and the people and situations in her life. These environments are what maintain her relentless fight to overcome her challenges.

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While living in a small mountain at Nepal, Lakshmi's life is characterised by poverty and the struggles that she and the other women go through to lead a simple but a better life. Also, it is through poverty that she is sold into prostitution. As a female, she is expected to do most of the family work. She states, On the mountain, we mark time by womens work and womens woes (McCormick 11). Here, it is shown how her society is characterised by women doing most of the work. Lakshmi also comes from a society where women are considered necessary only if they are beneficial in one way or another. A son will always be a son, they say. However, a girl is like a goat. Right as long as she gives you milk and butter. But not worth crying over when it is time to make a stew (McCormick 9). This shows how women are regarded in the society, as being important only when they are useful. As the storm destroys the farm, Lakshmi's stepfather first consideration is to sell her off. Further, Lakshmi is wondering why women must suffer in her society where her mother encourages her that it is their fate. She says Simply to endure, she says, is to triumph. (McCormick 17). This describes that the only way for a woman such as Lakshmi to survive is through endurance and survival. The lives of women in Lakshmi society is characterised by challenges and them doing most of the work. However, the question of what happens to their lives while out there arises when for instance Lakshmi is sold to work as a prostitute at the brothel.

The environment of the hardships Lakshmi faces shapes her to develop resilience and personal strength. Despite being afraid, she affirms that she will strive to get out of Happiness House. She says I will become Monica. I will do whatever it takes to get out of here (McCormick 233). Through this statement, Lakshmi is developing confidence and the will to fight until her triumph. She compares herself and her will to live with Monica, who is working hard to protect her family. Monica is this thirsty vine woman (McCormick 153). This explains that despite the hard and ugly job they are doing, the ladies are driven by a motive which for Lakshmi is to pay off her debt while for Monica, it is to support her child. On arrival to the brothel, she is aware that she has lost both her childhood and adolescence. She narrates, Some days I see a girl who is growing into womanhood. Other days I see a girl growing old before her time (McCormick 182). Lakshmi is concerned on the things they lose while at the brothel which are precious and cannot be reversed. Outside her community, Life for women is still challenging through the hardships that they go through. However, several people and situations encourage Lakshmi to continue fighting until she achieves what she wants.

The people around her and the situation at hand are also an important environment in defining Lakshmis life. She meets several ladies at the brothel who encourage her on the will to keep fighting. Shahanna for instance warns her that, You are safe here only is you do not show how frightened you are (McCormick 118). Shahanna is suggesting that Lakshmi needs to show strength to survive the challenges she is to face while at the brothel. Being sold off for a few coins is also a frustrating but a motivating factor for Lakshmi to think on how to get out of the Brothel. She laments Thirty rupees. That is the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola at Bajai Sita store. That is what he paid for me (McCormick 149). Lakshmi is complaining about how cheap she and the other ladies are paid for their services. The women are comparing the price paid by men for their services to that of paying children to break stones at the roadside. Harish states Heard they pay children 50 rupees a week (McCormick 203). Through this, they show how their services are poorly paid prompting them to devise ways of escape. Through meeting several individuals with similar mind set of escaping the brothel, Lakshmi is encouraged to find her way out of the situation.

In conclusion, Lakshmi's life comprises of several environments that define her journey from being a poor village girl to what she becomes at the Happiness House. These environments are poverty and mistreatment of women, hardships at the brothel and the people and situations she meets while at the brothel. The novel opines that despite the challenges one faces in life, through persistence and developing the will to fight are the keys to triumph. The story of Lakshmi is an indication of the daily challenges facing women in the society which include human trafficking and prostitution. The effects of these issues are poverty, illness, and death. It is, therefore, important for the government and other human rights groups to fight this practice. This can be done by devising strict laws and actions to control human trafficking.

Works Cited

McCormick, Patricia. Sold. Disney Electronic Content, 2010.

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Environments That Shaped Lakshmi's Life. (2021, Mar 19). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/environments-that-shaped-lakshmis-life

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