Little Bee (The Other Hand)
Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Imagine a young woman cut from a smiling Save the Children magazine advertisement, who dresses herself in threadbare pink clothes from the recycling bin in your local supermarket and speaks English like the leader column of the Times, if you please. (1.34)
Little Bee feels that her African appearance, mixed with her "proper" English, makes her a bizarre Frankenstein-esque hybrid.
"I think my ideal man would speak many languages. He would speak Ibo and Yoruba and English and French and all of the others. He could speak with any person, even the soldiers, and if there was violence in their hearts, he could change it. (3.76)
Little Bee has great faith in the power of communication to cure the world's ills. She's something of a foil for Andrew in that regard. For Little Bee, language and communication mean hope for peace in the world. Conversely, Andrew, a man who lives off words, completely loses faith in their power to make a difference.
"So I stood outside the door and shouted, Do not be afraid of me! I am only a human being!" (7.167)
Little Bee finds Andrew in a place where language can't reach him anymore. Nothing Little Bee can say will produce anything but horror.