The novel Sold by Patricia McCormick is about a young woman named Lakshmi forced into sex slavery. She wanted to leave for a labor job but instead was brought into a house by a woman named Mumtaz. Unaware of what would happen to her in this place, she was eager to begin working. As time went by, Lakshmi grew closer to her housemates, and met a boy that would teach her English. She fell in love with the language, but then had to see the boy leave. Later, an American man came to the house, saw her and told her that he could save her life. Without saying a word to the man, he gave her his card and told her that he would be back someday. She waited days, weeks, and months until he came back, and when he did, her life was changed forever. Her and all of her friends were saved. In this book, we are introduced to an unfamiliar way of life or culture. There is a major theme that is demonstrated in this book, which is the huge gap of respect between the males and females in it.
In the United States, we may see some slightly rude actions toward women, but it is definitely a lot more different in the region where this book takes place. Women and young girls were forced into sex slavery. They did not have a choice. From when they were very little, they were taught not mathematics, not history, none of the things that we learn in school today. They were taught how to respect men, and how to please them. When Lakshmi first gets to the Happiness House, Mumtaz tells her exactly what she needs to do there: “‘You will take men into your room,’ she says. ‘And do whatever they ask of you. You will work here, like the other girls, until your debt is paid off.’” (McCormick 106). The fact that Lakshmi was forced by Mumtaz to do “whatever [the men] asked of [her]” reveals how little girls were taught to grow up into something that could please a man whenever they want. At that current moment, she could have been in school learning something that could make her successful, but instead she wasted her time bringing men into her room for money. The superiority of men in Sold is a theme that is constantly seen.
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