Selfish Or Selfless Essay

1265 words - 5 pages

Many are able to accept or ignore the inequality happening throughout the world. They don’t let strangers in their homes; don’t consider what will happen by sponsoring refugees without documentations, and most of all, wouldn’t be able to cut off a finger for an outsider. Even if it’s a bit unsatisfying, most people will not make sacrifices that could interrupt their lives. Little Bee, by Chris Cleave, is a story about a girl who is seeking refuge in England due to a conflict back home in Nigeria. She is sent to a detention center where you either have to look good or talk good to survive. After 2 years, Little Bee is released and looks for help from Andrew and Sarah, a couple who she has met in Nigeria, in hopes of finding a place to stay and receiving legal documentations. However, as the story unfolds, each character is continuously being tested where help is not an option. In the end, every character’s life is changed for the better or for the worse. Little Bee portrays a world where people are prepared and ready to lend a helping hand, even when they don’t want, to those who are in need.
Some people choose to help others, even if they don’t want to, only for the intention of benefitting from them. Lawrence who cares nothing at all for Little Bee helps her by not reporting her to the police and getting her deported because he wants to help Sarah so she could stay with him:
“I wish I could just make you disappear,” he said. “But I’m nobody. I’m just a civil servant. I won’t tell the police about you. Not if you keep quiet. But if you tell anyone, ever, about Sarah and me, or if you tell anyone, ever, about what happened with Andrew, I will have you on a plane to Nigeria, I swear. It will be the last thing I do before my life falls apart.” (196)
Lawrence is helping Little Bee because he thinks that if he doesn’t treat her nicely, Sarah would leave him for her. He loves Sarah and is willing to do anything to keep her to himself even if it means finding out what plane Little Bee is on and letting her go to Nigeria as well. He knows that if he pretends to accept Sarah’s actions about Little Bee, Sarah will stay with him since he understands what she’s going through and what she wants. However, like Lawrence, Little Bee also helps Sarah for the anticipation of getting legal documentations. She becomes Sarah’s support when she mourns for Andrew’s death, a big sister to Charlie that takes care of him when Sarah can’t, and a teacher that allowed Sarah to see past the British walls and open her eyes to what is really going on in the world. Both had a primary objective that pushes them to want to help.
While the benefits can be a reason as to why one would choose to help, guilt is an emotion that drives a person to change their mistakes. Guilt, a negative emotion, can sometimes be turned into something positive where it allows a person to right their wrongs through helping others. Sarah and Little Bee felt guilty because both felt that they had some...

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