Study Guide

Little Bee (The Other Hand) Chapter 3

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Chapter 3

  • Little Bee remembers fleeing Nigeria by stowing away on a cargo ship.
  • [<em>Extended flashback alert!</em>]
  • Little Bee gets put in the immigrant detention center as soon as she arrives in England.
  • In the detention center, she gets in the habit of figuring out just how she will kill herself in every situation she can imagine. If the men come for her, she'll be ready.
  • For six months, she screams every night. Then during every day, she thinks of ways to kill herself.
  • After six months, she feels some hope mixed with her horror.
  • From books, newspapers, and magazines, she learns the Queen's English. She also studies up on the history and culture of the United Kingdom. 
  • When the taxi comes for Little Bee and the other three women, Little Bee accidentally offends the taxi driver and he pulls off without them.
  • The girls walk down the hill from the detention center, and are soon approached by two men, Mr. Ayers and Small Albert. This could be bad.
  • But nope – Mr. Ayers shelters refugees and illegal immigrants on his property.
  • He gives the four girls shelter in a building that even comes with clean beds. There are skylights that can be opened by pulling on chains that hang down.  This sounds just excellent.
  • Yevette tells Little Bee she had sex with one of the immigration men in exchange for him checking a box next to her name in the computer. That's how she got  released.
  • The immigration man put checks next to the names of the other three names at random, so Yevette's release wouldn't look suspicious.
  • The girl with no name isn't doing well, despite the freedom and new digs. She's screaming, reliving the horrors she's fled from. Little Bee and Yevette try to comfort her, bring her back to reality.
  • The girl with no name points at a ray of sunshine and says, "<em>Look! Look! My Child!"</em> (3.355). Little Bee and Yevette tell her that her daughter is beautiful, even though clearly the girl didn't just show up.
  • The girl with no name seems happy.
  • Later, Mr. Ayers's wife brings them food. That night, Little Bee dreams of her village.
  • When she wakes up, she sees that the girl with no name has hanged herself from the skylight chain.
  • Little Bee decides to leave the place. She travels on foot until she reaches the River Thames.
  • She knows if she follows the river she'll eventually get to Andrew and Sarah's house, which is in Kingston-upon-Thames. 

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