Live Free and Starve, by Chitra Divakaruni

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Nov 30, 2023
Read Summary
Cite this
Live Free and Starve, by Chitra Divakaruni

This essay will summarize and analyze Chitra Divakaruni’s essay “Live Free and Starve.” It will explore the complexities of legislation intended to prevent child labor in developing countries, as discussed in the essay. The piece will examine Divakaruni’s arguments about the unintended consequences of such laws and her perspective on finding a balance between humanitarian efforts and cultural understanding. Moreover, at PapersOwl, there are additional free essay samples connected to Child.

Date added
Pages:  3
Order Original Essay

How it works

In this article Live Free and Starve, by Chitra Divakaruni, she uses numerous events to showcase her opinion on child labor in Third World countries. In response to Americans who recently passed a bill on banning the import of goods made by children, Divakaruni gives an explanation how breaking ties with these companies may negatively affect the lives and sustenance of children and their families. I agree with most of Divakaruni’s points because they are very logical. However, I feel that she could have included much more support to her statements.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

Divakaruni’s purpose in this article is to show how boycotting these companies would affect millions of children and the companies which provide these goods. She conveys that what we might think is right and should be done may not be right for everyone else because we don’t know the real struggle unfortunate people go through. Divakaruni states that if the bill were to pass, it will “lead to the unemployment of almost a million children” and that any child would prefer to offer their services under those circumstances rather than live “without the benefit of food or clothing or shelter” (399).

Looking at the first argument, Divakaruni seems to agree with the passing of the bill along with her “liberal friends” stating that the bill was a “triumphant advance in the field of human rights” (398). She goes on to say that children “wouldn’t have to spend their days chained to their posts in factories manufacturing goods for other people to enjoy while their childhoods slipped by them” (398-99) clearly scorning child labor. She also says that children could now be “free and happy, just like American children” (399). These statements contradict when we look at her next paragraphs as Divakaruni also claims that she is not so sure.

Her claim, “I am not so sure” makes it clear what her thesis statement is. This makes it very transitioning from her first point of view. Although thinking it would be good if the ban was imposed because the children would be free sounds nice but that would backfire as almost a million children would be unemployed. We might believe that children need should be free and happy, that is correct but children’s unemployment means their leisure would be without food and shelter. Divakaruni questions “what would their answer be if children themselves were asked whether they would rather work under such harsh conditions or enjoy a leisure that comes without the benefit of food and shelter? I wonder what their response would be” (399). It is obvious that unfortunate children would rather be employed and earn money instead of enjoying leisure without food and shelter. Most poor children would want to work because if they didn’t, then they wouldn’t be able to fund the basic needs such as food and shelter. It is logical to think that children would starve if they don’t get food and water.

In the next paragraph, Divakaruni discusses the scene of American society bringing a different viewpoint to child labor. She states that it is “easy for us in America to make the error of evaluating situations in the rest of the world as though they were happening in this country and propose solutions that make excellent sense” (399). Banning the import of goods made by children might sound great to Americans but the children are still going to suffer. However, the irony in this article was when the bill was passed stating that America would no longer import the goods made by children. Most people would be satisfied with this bill because they think that children in Third World countries could then be free and happy just like children in America but the truth is that they would suffer because they wouldn’t be making a penny to feed themselves or their families.

At the end of the article, Divakaruni reveals her personal experience regarding child labor. Her mother hired a boy named Nimai. Some people would say that her family supports child labor because of this act. Although I don’t support child labor, but I respect her mother’s action. Imagine what would have happened to that child had there been an anti-child labor law that would prevent Divakaruni’s mother from hiring Nimai? What would his life be like? Would the government provide funds to him or his family? Nimai would be jobless and wouldn’t be able to provide himself with food and shelter because the government wouldn’t even care about him as they have their own problems.

To sum up, Divakaruni states some interesting thoughts on child labor and how it affects the lives of millions of children. However, she should have included much more evidences and examples to convince the audience effectively. The topic of child labor especially in Third World countries needs to be addressed seriously because it destroys children’s future. It is the right of children to get educated. Child labor is an insufferable problem and we must find a solution to vanish it totally.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Live Free and Starve, by Chitra Divakaruni. (2019, Jun 06). Retrieved from