Little Bee (The Other Hand)
Contrasting Regions: Nigeria and England Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
I put up a high fence around the affair. In my mind I declared it to be another country and I policed its border ruthlessly. (6.150)
Sarah uses a geographical metaphor to describe how she felt about her affair with Lawrence. Her marriage to Andrew and her affair with Lawrence are two different countries and she tries to pledge allegiance to them both. She seems to carry over this metaphor to the geography of her life. At the end of the novel, she begins to embrace Nigeria and yet (probably) still keep her ties with England.
And then I realized it. I said to myself, Little Bee, there is no them. This endless procession of people, walking along the great river, these people are you. (9.57)
In the movements of people of many races and nationalities that Little Bee sees on the London street, she begins to see the possibility of finding a place to belong in that big city. She realizes that, wherever we are from, we are all made of the same stuff, and we are all interconnected through the very fact of our humanness.
The way, since Africa, that I had been running between worlds – between Andrew and Lawrence, between Little Bee and my job – running everywhere except to the world where I belonged. Why had I never run to Charlie? (10.49)
Again, Sarah uses the geography metaphor to describe her relationships in the world. Though for very different reasons, Sarah feels the same type of alienation Little Bee does, this sense of floating between worlds without a solid place to belong. Maybe Charlie becomes the one country that Little Bee and Sarah can belong to and be at home.