Women In Patricia Mccormick's Sold

908 Words4 Pages
As a girl today, I am well aware of the adversities for women in the world. Inequalities in our society are undeniable, but we focus on our own lives rather than women’s lives in the horrific world of human trafficking. The novel Sold by Patricia McCormick explores this terrible world and its implications. McCormick has experience with this world through extensive research and time spent among third world country red light districts. Reading this text, I began to think about gender and its large role on society. More specifically, gender’s role on women and their positions in the world. Being a young woman, I fall into the intended audience of the book. The rhetoric in the book appeals to the young girls around the same age of the main character…show more content…
McCormick uses these women to make the story more real rather than relatable to the audience. I use the world “real” in the sense that it could be true. The idea of a girl with the same story of this main character seems to be plausible. When the novel introduces the proprietor of the brothel - also known as the “Happiness House - Mumtaz, the intention does not aim to spark a connection or build rapport with the reader. Made to give shock and horror, Mumtaz creates one of many true roles in this terrible world: “The fat woman asks angry questions in the city language. ‘Yes, Mumtaz,’ says the dark-skinned girl. ‘No, Mumtaz,’ says the frowning girl.” (McCormick, 100). The power she asserts over the girls in the happiness house propels Mumtaz and her wealth. Mumtaz rules the girls with an iron fist, as can be seen in the quote above, and even then she operates under control of the man that manufactures multiple of brothels like this one. If she didn’t treat the girls so poorly, one can assume Mumtaz would not hold the same position of power. While other characters in this book share the cruelness of Mumtaz, not all of the women in Lakshmi’s life put their needs above others to reach their goals. Ama, Lakshmi’s mother, exemplifies the traditional “good” female role. To understand what I mean by this, one would have to define “good”. I use the word in the purest sense: good and bad; black and white. Portrayed as the strong, dedicated, stereotypical, maternal type, Ama attempts to protect her little girl at all costs. Whenever Lakshmi wants go to the city to work, Ama refuses by saying, “‘Lakshmi, my child,’ she says. ‘You must stay in schools, no matter what your stepfather says.’” (McCormick, 1). She breaks the gender boundaries early on the first page of the book by defying the man of the households wishes and undermining his needs. Ama feels compelled to protect her young child from the
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