Who is Lakshmi – “sold® ”
~character sketch ~
Human trafficking is still very common in the modern world of today, and young Lakshmi is in the centre of it. Lakshmi is the protagonist in the book Sold® by Patricia McCormick. (Published September 15 2006, published by, Hyperion books for children.® ) Lakshmi is a young girl who get sold into human trafficking at the age of 13. After being sold by her stepfather, Lakshmi is raped repeatedly, against her will by a variety of men. She is forced to say nothing at all to please the men who come her way throughout the course of the story. She is forced to live in continuous fear of what may happen to her if she does or does not escape the “happy house” and what Mumtaz or one of her men might do to her if she is to do anything out of line. She always sad because, she is unsure of the state that her family is in back at the mountains, and she is also unsure if she will ever be truly happy again. Even though Lakshmi is sad majority of the time, she is still very grateful for everyone who offers to help her on her journey of safety away form the “happy house”. At first she is confused of what is happening, why someone would do such a thing to her and the other girls, and if the people she met along the way (auntie, uncle husband) were actually good or if they were as bad as Mumtaz. She quickly learns what is truly happening in the “happy house” (rape). She also learns how the near future of her life is going to play out. After everything that happens to Lakshmi throughout the book, she stays brave, strong and smart. Lakshmi’s will to escape well not be so easily crushed by Mumtaz and the many men who come to “visit” her. After a few weeks in the “happy house” she starts to notice the 13 year old, dark skinned, dark haired, darker eyed girl she was, is changing to become a young sad 14 year old woman with bags under her eyes from all the stress and pressure placed on her. Even though she tried to escape once, and was unsuccessful, she never gave up, which showed how she is resilient and smart Lakshmi is. She used her brain to make sure she survived the horrible journey, and escaped the happy house in the end.