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Literature / Sold

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Sold is a novel written by Patricia McCormick. It tells the story of Lakshmi, a 13-year-old girl living in Nepal, who is is sold into the sex trade by her stepfather to pay for gambling debts.

The book itself is fictional, though McCormick reportedly traveled to India and Nepal to interview girls in the red-light district, as well as girls rescued from the sex trade.

Sold features examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Lakshmi in the novels is a more passive character, ultimately being rescued by police. The film has her plan her own escape, even training herself to chew and spit red chillies as a defense method.
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  • Adaptational Heroism: In the novel, Lakshmi is rescued during a raid on the brothel. In the film, she successfully escapes on her own and then leads the police to raid the brothel, rescuing the other girls being held there.
  • Based on a True Story: Sophia, the American humanitarian photographer, is loosely based on real-life photographer Lisa Kristine.
  • Driven to Suicide: Lakshmi contemplates jumping off the roof of the brothel during her first few weeks there.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Averted with Mumtaz (the brothel's madam) and Bimla (who tricks the girls into coming to Kolkata by offering them work as household maids).
  • Kick the Dog: pretty much the entirety of Lakshmi's first few weeks at the brothel.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: The main characters should be speaking mostly Nepali and Bengali, but the film has them dialoguing almost entirely in English.
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  • Would Hurt a Child: Many of the girls being kept as sex slaves are young teenagers.