I read this entire book on my flight to California on Thursday. I couldn't put it down. It was too much on the edge and it was all to real. I can't imagine what it would be like to want to know how to read and write but not be able to do so. I can't imagine being pregnant at 12 and not knowing about it until I was bearing a child on the kitchen floor, not to mention by my father. Precious had to deal with things unbarable to most people, and although she felt like she wanted to die she did not ever think of taking her life. I think that the amount of suffering she went through shows great character. Even with a Down Syndrome baby she goes on to say that abortion is evil, it takes a great amount of strength to do what she did. It takes even more strength for someone with two kids by the age of 17 to want to go to school, learn and get out. Her journey from her home where she was sexually abused, and subjected to violence by her mother, to the half way house is a tremendous one.
It amazed me that her mother blamed Precious for everything. She said that Precious stole "her man" - her man was the father of a child whom he was raping since a very young age. Such atrocities as this one outraged me and even made me cry at certain parts of the book. I wondered is this what poverty is like? Do people actually get through these times in thier lives?
I remember her mentioning the hate for the white man alot - "the problem is not crack it's crackers" and I remember her wanting to be light skinned because she considered that beautiful which posed a great paradox in my mind. The one thing I cannot forget and will probably stick in my mind for a long time is when Precious' mother comes in to the counselor's office and talks about how Carl, Precious' father, would breast feed off of her mother's nipples and one day he was on her and reached over to Precious and put his finger in between her legs. He then proceeded to take of her Pampers and try to put his penis inside this small infant. Her mom states "You know what trip me out was it almost can go in Precious." WHAT?!??! A MAN, ANY MAN WHO TAKES OFF THE PAMPERS OF A BABY AND TRIES TO PUT HIS PENIS INSIDE IT IS A SICK, TWISTED, LUNATIC! I am so mad at Precious' mother for condoning this and letting it go on, allowing it for her benefit because she knew that as long as she allowed this man to have sex with her child he would stick around. Is this poverty? Is this ignorance? Or is this just plain lunacy?
Another thing I foud interesting and also not surprising was that Precious refused to give up Abdule because without him she claimed she would have nothing. This very much correlates with another piece of literature I read by the same author a novel called American Dreams. In the beginning it made it more clear to me why girls in poverty are much more likely to keep their children even though they may not have the means to care for them. In that world, where those girls have nothing, and often are shown no love, their child is their only possession and their only means of recieving the love they seek. By having a child they have a purpose - something to care about and something that needs them which they also grow to need in return.
Beyond the outrage I felt in my airplane seat and the tears I was fighting back I knew this was a truly insparational story. I feel that Precious is one of the few children who have taken that much abuse who can make it. She wanted to learn. Miss Rain's class and her opporunity to write in a journal served as an outlet for her which was beneficial in dealing with many of her struggles. She made friends, real girl friends, like she had wanted who helped her pull through. Through the darkness of abuse and hopelessness was the light which came with her choice to go to school. It turned out to be her savior in the end.