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In chapter 21 of the novel Beka Lamb, Beka and her family visit her friend Toycie in the Belize Mental Asylum. Toycie has been expelled from school for being pregnant, her boyfriend refused to marry her, and she has lost her mind. She acts like she is sitll in school, waiting for the recess bell. Beka's Granny Ivy is dismayed that Toycie has lost her mind just because she has become pregnant and the reader finds out later that Granny herself had the same thing happen to her, and yet she did not "degrade herself" like Toycie seems to be doing. Beka reminisces back about how she and Toycie used to take walks along the sea wall. Beka remembers how Toycie's Aunt Eila told them folktales - about the evil Tataduhende who goes around tearing thumbs off little girls and boys.
Aunt Eila wants to move Toycie out of the mental institution to her brother's home at Sibun River, a Creole settlement that Beka refers to as "the bush." Eila thinks Toycie will get better there, among her people, where she belongs.
Toward the end of the chapter, Granny Ivy decorates the Lamb house with the blue and white flags of the Peoples' Independent Party but Daddy Bill makes her take them down and put up the flags of the British colonial empire, the Union Jack.
This is an important chapter because it shows the continuing conflict of "be'fo time" and "nowadays" in Belize, illustrates the continuing conflict of Creoles vs Panias (represented by Emilio and Toycie), and the political conflict of colonialism vs independence.
chapter 20-21 summary
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