Little Bee (The Other Hand)
Contrasting Regions: Nigeria and England Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
I looked down at his newspaper. The headline on the new page said ASYLUM SEEKERS EATING OUR SWANS. (1.116)
The headline Little Bee reads is borrowed from real life. (Read all about it in Chris Cleave's interview with Bob Hughes.) In the interview, Hughes argues, among other things, that the British tabloids are responsible for much of the anti-immigrant sentiment in the UK.
So, I am a refugee, and I get very lonely. Is it my fault if I do not look like an English girl and I do not talk like a Nigerian? (1.35)
Little Bee is caught between worlds. She is wanted in neither England nor Nigeria, and is a mix of the cultural influences of both places. Due to the dire circumstances under which this hybrid identity is formed, she isn't enjoying the possible benefits it might afford her.
Yevette: "Dere's freedom as in, yu girls is free to go, and den dere's freedom as in, yu girls is free to go till we catches you. Sorry, but it's that second kind of freedom we got right now, Lil Bee. Truth. Dey call it being a illegal immigrant. (3.31)
Little Bee finds out from her Jamaican friend Yvette that they've been released from the detention center by mistake. Most likely, her official release from the detention center would have been followed by deportation to Nigeria. As a result of the error, Little Bee is in England, but has no documentation whatsoever.