Live Free and Starve

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Live Free and Starve

By | December 2012
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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni was born in 1956 in Calcutta, India. After spending almost the first two decades of her life in her home town she immigrated to the United States. There she earned her PhD from Berkeley and became a published author. One of the stories Divakaruni wrote was Live Free and Starve. This story deals with the issue of child labor in third world countries. The U.S. House passed a bill that no longer allowed the import of goods to America from factories that forced child labor was used. Many Americans were pleased by the bill because they thought it was bettering humanity. However, Divakaruni had different feelings towards it. Divakaruni uses the method of cause and effect to help portray her thoughts to the audience.

When the author starts talking about the bill she says, “My liberal friends applauded the bill.”(p.368). To them they believed that this would better the lives of those children that spend numerous hours a day doing harsh labor in factories. “They could be free and happy, like American children.”(p.369). When Americans think of these children they want to protect them from this abuse. Most of these children work for rug makers and spend their days in dark rooms with poor ventilation. The work these kids do is hazardous to their eyes and lungs. The story states, “They aren’t even allowed to stand up and stretch. Each time they go to the bathroom, they suffer a pay cut.” (p.369). As Americans try to help out the rest of the world they can make mistakes evaluating situations and trying to make a solution. If this was happening in an American society the solution would make sense, however in another country the situation may need to be handled differently. For the more liberal Americans, they believe that the cause of the bill being signed will affect the children in a positive way. The children in these countries can have leisure time and be able to enjoy their childhood.

On the other hand, Divakaruni, growing up in Calcutta,...