Why is ironic when National Vellor finds Toycie in Beka Lamb?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

National Vellor is a prostitute. Toycie is pregnant and her boyfriend has refused to marry her, like he promised, so she flings herself into the water and almost drowns. National finds Toycie and runs to Beka's house to get help. National tells Beka that she had no family, no husband, no education, "What could I do?" when Beka sees her velvet dress draped over the bed, indicating that she is a prostitute just getting ready to hit the streets. Beka replies that Toycie, at least, "had school" - but school was unable to save Toycie. In fact, the Catholic school which Toycie attended expelled her when the nuns learned Toycie was pregant. So it is ironic that Toycie is saved by a prostitute and not by the church, or the nuns. Toycie had a lot of promise as a student even though she was dirt poor. Her aunt worked several jobs to keep her in school and yet, by getting pregnant, she succumbed to a familiar trap for women in Belize society - they either wound up with babies or as domestics or prostitutes. So it is ironic that a prostitute saved Toycie and not the institutions that were supposed to be a way out for women - school and church.

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