In her realistic fiction book,”Sold”, Patricia McCormick discusses the suffering of Lakshmi when she faces the reality of being sold into prostitution and how she overcomes those challenges that approach her by keeping the things most important to her close. One way how Lakshmi overcomes those challenges is by keeping her education in mind as she uses them throughout the story to help her learn new languages and words. The speaker uses the words “repeat” and “say” (220) in order to show how important Harish’s book means to Lakshmi and how much she uses it. Lakshmi uses Harish’s book to study and write words from the English language which gets her ahead in her education which she didn’t have due to her being trapped in the “Happiness House.” The speaker also uses the word “chant” in which they keep all of her other “thoughts” away (220). The thoughts she describes are all of the horrific and dreadful things that she endured from the Happiness House. Tying Lakshmi’s devotion to Harish’s book helps her realize how important those things closest to her keeps her alive and hopeful.
An example of a literary device used in the passage is symbolism. Harish’s book is the thing being symbolized and idolized due to the importance it has on Lakshmi. Lakshmi says ” until one blend into the other, a chant that keeps all other thoughts away.” (McCormick 220). She also uses the book not only for education but a way to keep out the horrific world of the Happiness House and to wash away the horrible reality of it.
The American storybook has a significant meaning as Lakshmi uses it to keep the American that visits her longer, and is also the first thing she wants to bring with her when she abandons the Happiness house. The book has proven to serve a lot to Lakshmi as a sheltered place to mentally disappear, a friendship with Harish, prosperity, and optimism that it gave her during the lowest days of her life, and an asset in her brain while her body was being brutally mistreated. Another literary device being utilized in the passage is imagery. This is portrayed as Anita “Brushes and lip colors and paints my face with such tenderness.” (McCormick 220). The use of imagery here might show that Anita cares deeply for Lakshmi as she saves Lakshmi from depression earlier in the book.
Also earlier in the book she is shown as to have a broken face as she might’ve escaped the brothel but is afraid to do so again if she leaves with Lakshmi. Imagery contributes to the meaning of the passage because the description of the makeup that Anita puts on Lakshmi has a meaning that no matter how hard she tries to forget the Happiness House, it will always haunt her of the vile things they did to her. Although Lakshmi never got what intentionally wanted which was to be able to provide more money for her family, she was willing to sacrifice and do whatever she could to help her family out. McCormick conveys her message and helps envelop her audience with the struggles of Lakshmi and how she tries to overcome those challenges in front of her not only physically, but also mentally.
The passage I chose contributes to the meaning of the novel in whole because even though Lakshmi was beaten and abused, she endured through that and kept the most important things close to her such as the American storybook, to finally help her be free at the end of the story.