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Themes

Death lurks on most every page of Little Bee. In flashbacks and confessions, our two narrators, Sarah and Little Bee, reveal their tragedies. Little Bee witnesses the slaughter of her family and the people in her village. She hears her sister get raped, tortured, murdered, and dismembered. She witnesses Sarah's husband Andrew hang himself in his study. Sarah and Andrew's four-year-old son Charlie struggles to deal with his father's untimely death, which lends extra innocence and poignancy to this brutal tale. Although deeply morbid, Little Bee is more about finding hope and joy in living, even when death seems to be stalking.

Questions About Mortality

  1. What are some similarities and differences in how Little Bee and Charlie cope with the loss of loved ones?
  2. Why does Little Bee imagine how she would kill herself in any given situation?
  3. Do you think Little Bee helps drive Andrew to suicide?           
  4. Does Sarah put her son in harm's way by exposing him to the people who want to see Little Bee dead?                  
  5. Does the knowledge that Andrew was working on a book about asylum seekers and immigration detention centers in the UK change Sarah's feelings about Andrew's death? If yes, then how so?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.
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