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Little Bee (The Other Hand)

Little Bee (The Other Hand)

by Chris Cleave

Mortality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Apparently she let him know she was coming […]. Five days later he killed himself by hanging. They found my husband with his feet treading empty air, touching the soil of no country. (2.3)

This novel doesn't hold back. Without getting gory, it gives us some solid tastes of gruesome death. This is also our first hint that Andrew's death has something to do with Little Bee.

Quote #2

"Mummy! Get him out OUT! Get mine daddy out of heaven!" (2.201)

This is right before Charlie jumps into the hole in the ground on top of his father's coffin. Charlie is smart enough to know that his daddy's body is in the coffin. Since Sarah keeps telling him Daddy is in heaven, Charlie's conclusion – that the coffin is heaven – is actually pretty logical. What would you tell Charlie if you were Sarah? How might you explain death to a four-year-old kid?

Quote #3

In the immigration detention center, they told us we must be disciplined to overcome our fears. This is the discipline I learned: whenever I go into a new place, I work out how I would kill myself there. (3.8)

We have to read what happens to Little Bee's sister before we really understand why Little Bee does this. She was forced to listen while her sister was raped, beaten, and dismembered. She also witnessed such atrocities when her village was destroyed, though she doesn't provide those details. Her suicidal thoughts are a way to feel in control of her situation in any way possible. She would prefer to die by her own hand than by torture at the hands of another. How do you feel about this?

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