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Title:

Sold

Author:

Patricia McCormick

Published in:

2006

Title explanation: Sold references the sale of Lakshmi. The poor girl changes hands time and again, commanding a higher price from each subsequent buyer until she lands at Happiness House where Mumtaz sells her young body over and over again.

Theme:

Sex trafficking; Lakshmi is sold to several people for sexual exploitation.

Subtheme:

*suffering; there are two major settings in the story, and Lakshmi experiences suffering in each one.

Motives:

*Friendship; between Lakshmi and Gita.

**Hope; Lakshmi hopes to be free of Happiness House, she hopes to return home, she hopes and believes that there is something more for her

Perspective:

The story is told from the point of view of Lakshmi (First-person Narration).

Setting:

The story is told in 1 year and it takes place in Nepal (Lakshmi’s home beyond the Himalayas) and another part of the story takes place in India (Happiness House, a brothel).

Main character:

Lakshmi; a thirteen-year-old farm girl in danger.When the monsoons come and her family’s crops are destroyed, she is sold into sex slavery by her stepfather. She is a round character,because in the story she is defined both physically and mentally

Conflicts:

* Physical conflict; when Lakshmi had physical contact with her costumers at the brothel.

** Man vs. Society; Lakshmi has a strong believe against her surroundings in the brothel and then she decided to act on it.

Plot:

Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl living with her family in a small hut in the mountains of Nepal. Her family is desperately poor, but her life is full of simple pleasures, like raising her black-and-white speckled goat, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But now the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family’s crops, Lakshmi’s stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.He introduces her to a charming stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid working for a wealthy woman in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi undertakes the long journey to India and arrives at “Happiness House” full of hope. But she soon learns the horrible truth: she has been sold into prostitution.An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family’s debt – then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave.Lakshmi’s life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape.She forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new life. She also teaches herself to read and speak in English through listening to the conversations of people around her and books she manages to take.Eventually, Lakshmi meets an American man, who arrives and disguises himself as a client to gather the evidence he needs to prosecute Mumtaz and her associates. Mumtaz is ultimately arrested and Lakshmi and the other girls are freed.

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