Summary Of On The Bus

770 Words 4 Pages
The novel Sold by Patricia McCormick revolves around the life of the 13-year-old protagonist, Lakshmi. Lakshmi grows up in a rural village in the Nepali Himalayas and is totally isolated from other parts of the world. This lack of knowledge sets an innocent and naive tone for the whole text. When Lakshmi is sold by her stepfather to go work in the city, she finds herself exposed to a whole new world which she had no prior knowledge of. The chapter “On the Bus” functions metonymously as an indicator of Lakshmi’s transition from rural to urban. The journey Lakshmi makes is not only a physical one, but also a psychological one as she attempts to comprehend her new environment. Lakshmi’s trip is one full of sensory descriptors, both in the bus …show more content…
The author uses the occurrences on the exterior of the bus as metonymies that showcase the dynamic of city life. The events outside are perceived by Lakshmi through visual and auditory imagery as senses such as smell, touch and taste are cut off by the windows of the bus. Upon looking out of the window, the first thing Lakshmi sees is “a man [in the middle of the street] with a table strapped to his back” (line 10). The response to the scenario is that “the bus bleats, and the man scuttles out of the way like a lizard” (lines 11-12). This immediately showcases the poverty in the city and the level of respect for lower classes. This one man represents all the impoverished and low classed people in the city. The way she refers to the bus as ‘bleating’ indicates her lack of knowledge. Then she sees “a cow sleeping in the middle of the road” (lines 12-13). Here “the bus goes around her” (line 13). This juxtaposition between the man and the cow shows that the man is considered an inconvenience, and is dehumanized by the author’s word choice, while the cow is treated as a sacred animal, and is glorified. The higher position of the cow also represents the Hindu religion. The scenery outside the bus is shocking and unsettling because it is different from her own village, but also from what she had imagined the city to be like. The simplistic yet representative diction describes the setting objectively and from the perspective of an

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