The character Claireece “Precious” Jones narrates her gripping, disturbing life story in the novel Push. Precious states that she was held back the second time in school when she was twelve because she was pregnant with her father’s child. Precious then reveals that she is pregnant again by her father. Her first child, a girl, was born with Down Syndrome and is in the care of her grandmother. Although she is pregnant with her second child and is now two years behind the rest of her class, Precious continues to attend school, hoping that she will have a “break-through” one day and that letters and words on her textbooks’ pages will make sense to her. She is in the ninth grade when she begins writing her story, and the date is September 24, 1987. As Precious is on her way to math class with Mr. Wincher (the only class that she likes), the principal, Mrs. Lichenstein, calls her to her office to discuss her future. Precious is naturally defensive, and the meeting ends with her being suspended for threatening the principal.
After her suspension, Precious stands at the sink washing dishes and flashes back to when she had her first child at the age of twelve. At that time, she is washing dishes too, when her mother pounces on her and begins beating and kicking her because she discovers Precious’s condition and believes that her daughter has seduced “her man.” Fortunately, a neighbor hears twelve-year-old Precious’s screams and calls 911. When the EMTs arrive, Precious is in full labor and remembers a Hispanic EMT soothing her and telling her to “push.” From this point on in her life Precious uses his command to push to get through her most difficult experiences.
When Precious is in the hospital as a twelve year old, the nurses are shocked not only to discover her age but also to find out that Precious’s father is the father of her child. After Precious’s first delivery, the nurse brings Precious’s child in to see her but explains that she has Down Syndrome. The young mother begins to cry for her child and because of the abuse she has endured since she was seven from her parents. After she returns home, Precious faces even more physical and sexual abuse from her mother.
A buzz from the intercom system brings Precious back to present day, and she realizes that her principal, Mrs. Lichenstein, has fulfilled her threat to make a “house visit.” Although Precious and her mom do...
(The entire section is 1676 words.)
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