Little Bee Questions and Answers
by Chris Cleave

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What does Chris Cleave reveal (say) about power in Little Bee?

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When Little Bee commences, Little Bee has just been released from a center for refugees. She has been there for two years, like a prisoner. She reflects on what it would be like to be "a British pound" because, right now, despite her freedom, she is somewhat scared of her uncertain future. "A pound is free to travel to safety," signifying freedom to Little Bee which would empower her as up to now her life has been one of powerlessness and fear. 

There is power in the Queen of England and certainly power in language to the point that Little Bee recognizes that "I am only alive at all because I learned the Queen’s English." She suggests that "it is not the Queen’s crown and sceptre that rule in your land. It is her grammar and her voice."  At the same time, Little Bee is still afraid of what lies ahead and is angry at her own seeming lack of mastery, realizing that her efforts in the detention center to learn English were necessary but it is "quite another thing to actually speak the...

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