Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Love

Hmm hmm hmm… "One love/ One life/ When it's one need/ In the night…" Yeah, the talk of love found in U2's "One" can definitely be this theme's song. Little Bee, who has heard U2 in Nigeria and...

Mortality

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 th...

Transformation

Little Bee shows characters undergoing extreme transformations. It's about the marks that grief and suffering can leave, and about how some characters can transform sadness into beauty, while other...

Contrasting Regions: Nigeria and England

Little Bee moves back and forth between England and Nigeria, exploring both countries from the points of view of its two narrators: Nigerian Little Bee and English Sarah. Little Bee gives us somewh...

Guilt and Blame

To quote U2 again (we happily will), "If you need someone to blame/ throw a rock in the air/ you might hit someone guilty." In Little Bee, everybody, even four-year-old Charlie, is awash in guilt a...

Justice and Judgment

When Batman (in his four-year-old incarnation) is one of the principal characters in a book, we can bet that "Justice and Judgment" will be a big theme. Justice isn't something easy to see or easy...

Language and Communication

This is a big theme of Little Bee. English, as in many former British colonies, is the official language of Nigeria. Little Bee points out that Nigerian English, a blend of English and African lang...

Technology and Modernization

One of the major differences between Sarah and Little Bee's narratives is in their experiences with technology. Sarah is so much a part of the digital age that she eats, sleeps, and dreams in techn...

Hope

The main characters of the novel – Little Bee, Sarah, and Sarah's son Charlie – all walk a fine line between hope and desperation. Ultimately, these three find hope in each other, each providin...
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