The Secret Life of Bees

Evolution Of The Main Character in The Secret Life of Bees

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Lily’s Change of Views

“This is the moment I remember clearest of all-how I stood in the driveway looking back at them. I remember the sight of them standing there waiting. All these women, all this love, waiting”(Kidd 299). In the novel The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Lily Owen’s perspective on life changes greatly throughout the book. In the beginning of the novel, Lily has some prejudice towards black people because T-Ray taught her that growing up. She also does not know much about her mother, except that she accidentally shot and killed her when she was young. By the end of the book, Lily’s views on her mother and races change greatly. Through the course of the novel, Lily changes in many ways, demonstrating that sometimes a different point of view can change one’s perspective of life.

The primary way Lily changes is that she learns more about her mother. When Lily first arrives at the Boatwright’s, she cannot tell them the truth about her life and her mother. She also lies and says that her father was killed in a tractor accident last month and that she would be sent to a home if she did not find anyone to stay with. This leaves her confused and curious about her mother’s background. Finally, she approaches August to reveal the truth, and August admits that she knew all along. August proceeds to tell her everything about her mother. This causes Lily to lose some of the guilt she has from killing her mother because August comforts her and assures her that it was an accident and that she is still lovable. Right after Lily reveals to August that she accidentally killed her mother, August says, “ That’s a terrible, terrible thing for you to live with. But you’re not unlovable. Even if you did accidentally kill her, you are still the most dear, most lovable girl I know”(Kidd 242).

August’s words help Lily to feel relieved because she felt all the guilt piled up on her, causing her to feel an array of emotions, specifically that she was unlovable and unwanted. August’s words help soothe her worries and the quote suggests she is telling her to put that accident in the past because everyone still loves her the same. During this conversation, Lily also learns about T-Ray and Deborah’s relationship. August tells Lily that T-Ray used to be different, that he was brave and treated Deborah like a princess, and Lily cannot believe that they are talking about the same person. Overall, Lily learned a lot about T-Ray that she was unaware of. Their long talk helps Lily to change because she gets to see a new perspective on T-Ray, she learns more about her mother’s background and she is able to feel loved despite the accident.

Throughout the novel, not only do Lily’s views on her mother change, but her perspective on race changes too. When Lily first meets Zach, she suggests that he be a professional football player. She makes this assumption after Zach says he does not have much of a future since he’s negro. He tells her he aspires to be a lawyer instead. Lily argues that there is no such thing as a Negro lawyer and that you have to hear of something before you can be it. Zach gets angry at this point and says to imagine what has never been. This is a turning point where Lily realizes that he could be right, that someone should not have to follow what everyone else does and the rules of society, but go their own way and do what they want. Also, at this same time in the book, Lily is surprised because she is attracted to Zach. Lily narrates,

If he was shocked over me being white, I was shocked over him being handsome. At my school they made fun of colored people’s lips and noses. I myself had laughed at these jokes, hoping to fit in. Now I wished I could pen a letter to my school to be read at opening assembly that would tell them how wrong we’d all been. You should see Zachary Taylor, I’d say. (Kidd 116)

This passage highlights how she realizes how wrong she had been about black people and being prejudiced. She realizes that even though he is not white she can still be attracted to him. At that point, since she has realized that everything she knew and learned from T-Ray was not true, it opens her eyes and allows her to be more accepting of everything in life. Lily’s change towards race helps her out because it makes her more aware of the world around her and makes her change in other ways, too.

As a final point, Lily finally feels loved and accepted at the end of the novel. When she lives with T-Ray and Rosaleen, she feels like T-Ray doesn’t care about her at all. However, when she is at the Boatwrights she finally feels at home and loved. When Lily is standing in the driveway watching T-Ray leave, she turns around to see all of the Boatwrights standing there, waiting for her. At that moment, she comes to the realization that they care about her and they want her to stay with them. She even says that she can feel all their love waiting for her. This is a huge change for Lily because she has never felt loved in her life; she has always felt useless with T-Ray and just kind of ‘there’. At the Boatwright’s, August and the sisters welcome her and help her fit in. At the beginning of the novel, Lily is sitting at the dinner table asking T-Ray for a charm bracelet and he never gives an answer:

“I started to say, So then, what about the bracelet? but I could see he’d already given his answer, and it caused a kind of sorrow to rise in me that felt fresh and tender and had nothing, really, to do with the bracelet. I think now it was sorrow for the sound of his fork scraping the plate, the way it swelled in the distance between us, how I was not even in the room”(Kidd 22).

At the end of the sentence, when Lily says the part about how she was not even in the room, it captures the feeling that T-Ray gives her, which is that she is unwanted. She feels ignored in this scene, as if her request for a charm bracelet did not matter to him and he did not even feel the need to answer. This is a big comparison to the end of the novel when she feels all the love from the Boatwright sisters. The change in Lily’s feelings of being loved is a huge and important change because it makes her a more comfortable and loved person.

A different perspective towards life can influence one’s point of view on life is something that describes Lily’s vast changes throughout the book. Lily changes in multiple ways in this novel, and all of them allow her to become a better person. All of these changes are very big also, and are hard for her to make happen, but they do. By the end of the novel, Lily has learned more about her mother and is able to understand the situation, she no longer has prejudice towards black people and she finally feels loved and wanted, which she never did when she lived with T-Ray.

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Love, Forgiveness, Enlightenment: Lily’s Journey in The Secret Life of Bees

November 3, 2020 by Essay Writer

In The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Lily Owens defines herself by her mistakes; the memory of her mother’s death haunts every aspect of her life. By escaping from her old life, attempting to overcome guilt and find truth in her actions, Lily realizes that she is seeking knowledge and experience in herself, rather than forgiveness. In Tiburon, Lily learns about love; how to find it where there was once hate, how to forgive, and how to love all. Through this, Lily is able to no longer define herself by her mistakes, but what she learned from them and ultimately, learn to love herself.

Under the tyrannical control of T-ray, Lily has never been allowed opportunities to learn about love, and that one can love someone that they once hated. When Lily comes across June who at first dislikes Lily, she doesn’t realize the possibility of loving June despite her harsh ways. The racial tension at the time causes June to initially give Lily the cold shoulder because “she’s white”. June learns to accept Lily as time goes by, but it takes Lily more than time itself to do the same. Spraying June with the water hose helped Lily realize her love for June despite her initial mean ways, and allowed June to “Hug her while their clothes made sweet, squishy sounds up and down their bodies”(Kidd 170) By finally hugging June, Lily displayed the sisterly intimacy between the two girls and taught Lily how to love the person she used to despise. Learning how to love in this way helped Lily greatly, but with creating new love also comes forgiveness.

Once Lily can understand that love can be created in a place where there once was hate, she can learn to forgive. Lily’s relationship with T-ray was anything but paternal, “daddy never fit him”.(Kidd, 2), but Lily needs to realize that love comes in many forms that are not necessarily as obvious as others. T-ray’s incapability to show affection for Lily leads her to believe that he doesn’t love her, thinking “so what if he doesn’t know the color you love best?”(Kidd, 160). To Lily, not knowing or caring about the little things about her tells her that T-ray does not truly love her. However, while keeping bees, august teaches Lily “there are 32 names for love in the eskimo language”(Kidd, 140). From this Lily, concludes that if there are 32 names for love, then there are as many different types of love, T-ray’s not being the only kind she knew before. Now that Lily knows T-ray does truly love her but shows it in a way she used to not be able to comprehend, she can call him “Daddy”, a word that once did not fit him. By forgiving others, Lily can forgive herself and develop one love for all things.

In order for Lily to completely figure out what she is searching for, she has to learn how to link all of her experiences together, creating one love. Lily can never attain full inner peace with herself until she understands the concept of unity, a single love for all things and everyone. While tending to the bees. Lily desperately tries to send love to all of them, crying, “I love you, I love you. She tried to say it in 32 ways.”(Kidd. 149). Lily knows she has to achieve one love but is overwhelmed and confused, thinking that just her words and thoughts will achieve this goal. However, this goal is nothing more than a concept until Lily can perform it with her actions. Eventually Lily realizes this and “traces black Mary’s heart with her finger. You are the mother of thousands”(Kidd, 164). The spiritual black Madonna guides Lily through the process of showing and accepting love with everyone. By touching Mary’s heart, she has let Mary’s love in, therefore letting her own love out to thousands.

The process by which Lily goes through to find inner enlightenment teaches her ideas she would not have been capable of doing on her own. By learning to find love where there isn’t any, she learns to forgive, and eventually can find one inner love for all. Despite her new knowledge, Lily never comes to complete closure on the death of her mother. Likewise, it was never closure on Lily’s mistake years ago that she needed, but closure on herself and her own inner acceptance. By learning these new things, Lily is no longer defined by her mistakes, but what she learned from them and the people who helped her along the way.

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Insights from 1964: The Case Against Setting ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ in a Later Time Period

November 3, 2020 by Essay Writer

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd features a young, caucasian girl, Lily, who lives with three African American sisters, the Boatwrights. The novel takes place in Sylvan and Tiburon, South Carolina during 1964: high time for the civil rights movement. Throughout the novel, Lily sees a lot of racial injustice, but if the novel took place after the civil rights movement it would not have had the same effect, because the racial discrimination was not as prominent then. Even if the novel took place before the civil rights movement, there still wouldn’t have been the same effect, because before then, there was little push for civil rights, and there was little talk of racial advancements in the media.

After May’s death, a police officer asks Lily, “Didn’t you have any white people back in Spartanburg you could stay with?” (page 197) and “These are colored people […] it’s not natural, that you shouldn’t be… well, lowering yourself,”(page 198). This shows how African Americans were regarded in 1964; the police officer thought it was odd for a white person to live with a black person. On the other hand, if this took place after the civil rights movement, it would not be uncommon for black and white people to live together. Therefore, if the story was not set in that time, the police officer’s words would not have had the same effect that they do. Lily’s love interest, Zach, was a teenaged African American male. Throughout the novel, Zach refuses Lily’s advances because he knows that society would be against them being together. For example, after Zach gets Lily a notebook, Lily throws her arms around him and leans into his chest in an embrace, but Zach takes her off and tells her, “There are people who would kill boys like me for even looking at girls like you,” (page 135). Kidd’s use of the phrases “girl like you” and “boy like me” suggest that Zach is referring to their racial differences. They can not be together because Zach is black and Lily is white. If this was written after the civil rights movement, it wouldn’t be uncommon for interracial partners, so this quote would not put forth the same image of racial discrimination and Zach’s concerns would not have the give the reader the same amount of understanding.

At one point, Lily says “We had a rumor about a busload of people from New York City showing up to integrate the city pool. Talk about Panic. We has a citywide emergency in our hands, as there is no greater affliction for our southern mind than people up north coming down to fix our way of life.” (page 155) The setting of the story is essential for this quote because this was the only point in time where the Northern and Southern parts of the United States felt this way about each other. Kidd would not be able to include this part if she changed the setting. The loss of this line would have taken away from the meaning of the novel, because not only does it provide an accurate description of one of the racial issues during the time, but it also shows how lily’s point of view is changing. This line gives off a sarcastic feel to show how Lily knows what they want her to think, but she thinks it is ridiculous.

Finally, during a dinner, the characters discuss a real life person, Jack Palance. Jack Palance, a caucasian celebrity, brought a non-white woman into the white section of a theater. This enraged many of the caucasian people at the time. It was not socially acceptable for a white man to treat a black person as an equal. The time period is important for this section because Jack Palance is part of the 1960s and again, racial discrimination was not as prominent after the civil rights movement.Furthermore, it would have been difficult for Kidd to choose a time period after 1964 in general, because of the technological advancement that occurred during the industrial revolution. The whole novel is based around the premise that Lily was able to break her servant, Rosaleen, out of jail and runaway to Tiburon. If this novel occurred in modern times, Lily would not have been able to get away with what she did because it would have been easier to track them down, so they would have to stay hidden.

Regardless of the technological advancements, Sue Monk Kidd would have had to make the novel take place in South Carolina in 1964 because the racial discrimination issues were prominent at this point in time. If Kidd chose a different time period, the racial issues would not have been as essential of an issue, so it would limit Kidd’s ability to discuss the problems. In order for the reader to get the most understanding and connection out of the novel, Kidd would have to choose 1964 as the time period and location of the novel.

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The Role of Feminism in the Secret Life of Bees

June 17, 2020 by Essay Writer

In Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees, the theme of feminism often reoccurs. Throughout the novel, Kidd reveals the aspects and importance of feminine power and matriarchy versus the typical role of masculine leadership and authority. The teachings of Carl Jung, a philosopher who believes that society would be better by emphasizing the importance of feminine values versus the masculine, deeply influences Kidd’s writings. These principles are greatly displayed in the plot and theme of The Secret Life of Bees.

Lily’s desire for a mother, and the importance of having a mother, as well as Kidd’s portrayal of strong female characters show feminism as a key part of the plot of the novel. The main plot of the novel centers around Lily’s overwhelming longing for her mother and her search for a woman’s guidance in her life. Throughout the book, Lily speaks of her desire for her mother’s presence. “That night I lay in bed and thought about dying and going to be with my mother in paradise” (Kidd 3).

Lily emphasizes her belief that her mother would have been the best thing for her life at many points, including from the very beginning of the novel, with statements such as this: “This is what I know about myself. [My mother] was all I ever wanted. And I took her away” (8). When Lily stumbles across the Boatwright sisters, she finds a source of motherly wisdom and feminine guidance in August. August acts almost as a substitute for the motherly experience Lily has missed out on, giving Lily instruction and knowledge, such as “You know, some things don’t matter that much, like the color of a house.

But lifting a person’s heart –now that matters” (147). August also teaches Lily the importance of nature and love, and how they relate to society. For example, referring to the bees, August tells Lily “Every little thing wants to be loved” (92). Lily finally receives the maternal guidance and strong female role model she has been searching for, and finds joy in her experience of feminine ideals. The importance of female divinity within the plot also characterizes the novel’s bent toward feminine power.

Lily’s interest in Catholicism, which places importance on Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a point often brought up in the novel. “All I could really figure out was my mother had been mixed up with the Catholics somehow, and–I have to say–this secretly thrilled me” (58). Throughout the storyline, her fascination with Mary and the feminine divine grow as she spends time with the Boatwright sisters, who worship Mary. Mary quickly becomes a crucial ingredient in Lily’s character, serving as a source of guidance and inspiration for her.

I started thinking about the world loaded with disguised Marys sitting around all over the place and hidden red hearts tucked about that people could rub and touch, only we didn’t recognize them” (142). Most importantly The Secret Life of Bees is loaded with colorful and strong female characters. For example, Rosaleen’s stubborn attitude and refusal to back down to anyone contradicts typical expectancy for women to sit back and take the treatment men give them, especially for colored women in the sixties.

When a group of white males attempt to stir up trouble with Rosaleen, she responds with this: “Rosaleen lifted her snuff jug, which was filled with black spit, and calmly poured it across the tops of the men’s shoes” (32). And despite physically beating her after the incident, Rosaleen refuses to succumb to their demands of an apology. “Two of them held me by the arms while the other one hit me – the one with the flashlight. He said, ‘Nigger, you say you’re sorry. ’ When I didn’t, he came at me. He hit me till the policeman said that was enough. They didn’t get no apology, though” (46).

June Boatwright displays strong femininity with her refusal to marry Neil due to the sake of having to give up her life to a man. June’s sister, August shows off yet another example of Kidd’s rich female characters, distinguishing herself with her wise, cultured, and interesting personality. “On [August’s] dressing table, where less interesting people would’ve put a jewelry box or a picture frame, August had a fish aquarium turned upside down with a giant piece of honeycomb inside it” (233). August shows herself to be extremely intelligent and clever, which challenges the typical opinion of black women.

June always said that most people bit off more than they could chew, but August chewed more than she bit off” (244). These rich female characters help shape the plot and quality of Kidd’s novel. Instead of centering a plotline around male characters with masculine strongpoints, The Secret Life of Bees takes a less opted for route. Due to Kidd’s encouragement of female guidance through mothers and female divinity, and a variety of wonderful female characters, a fantastic novel with a marvelous plotline which emphasizes the importance of the feminine is brought to life.

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Maturity in the Secret Life of Bees

June 17, 2020 by Essay Writer

“One is not born but rather becomes a woman”- Simone De Beauvoir. In Sue Monk Kidd’s, The Secret Life of Bees, Lily Owens engages on a life changing expedition to make sense of her difficult predicament. Lily shows that she is a dynamic character as she matures in this coming of age novel. Lily portrays growth throughout the novel with her behavior with T. Ray, her prejudice view on the people who surround her, and her poor judgement about her mother.

Lily, the protagonist in The Secret Life of Bees, drastically changes her behavior with T. Ray throughout the course of the novel. Although at first screams and argues with him, Lily soon transforms and has a talk with T. Ray in a polite manner. In the beginning, while speaking with T. ray about Rosaleen being in jail, an argument breaks out about her mother when T. Ray tries to hit her.

Lily then shouts at him stating, “‘my mother will never let you touch me again! [ …] I hate you!’” T.

Ray then gets angry and replies saying, “’you think that goddamn woman gave a shit about you? […] The truth is, your sorry mother ran off and left you. The day she died, she’d come back and get her things, that’s all. You can hate me all you want, but she’s the one who left you” (38-39). As soon the fight is over, the words sink in and settle in Lily’s mind which she is now concerned and questioning her mother leaving her as a child which causes her to pack her things, rescue Rosaleen and runs away to Tiburon. Over a period of time that Lily spends there with the Boatwright sisters and Zach she matures.

Although the scenario still lingers in her mind Lily continues to live her life. When T. Ray finally finds Lily, Lily invites him into the house and talks to him in a respectful way. T. Ray starts by saying, “’Well, well, well. Look who’s here.’” Lily then responds saying, “’won’t you come in? […] have a seat if you want to’” (290). Lily’s demeanor towards her father is surely apparent than her past conversations with him. Even though it is evident that she would never go back home with him, she still shows him respect. Lily’s growth is proven through her modification in behavior towards her father.

Throughout the novel, Lily experiences some hurtful thoughts about the people who take her in. Even though she has nothing against colored people, Lily thinks some prejudice thoughts about the Boatwright’s and Zach. After August shows Rosaleen and Lily where they are going to sleep, she starts to remember what T. Ray said about colored women and reveals her own thoughts: “T. Ray did not think colored women were smart. Since I wanted to tell the whole truth, which means the worst parts, I thought they could be smart, but not as smart as me, me being white.

Lying on the cot in the honey house, though, all I could think was August is so intelligent, so cultured, and I was surprised by this. That’s what let me know I had some prejudice buried inside me. ” (78) Lily is very shocked that she thinks this way about colored people and soon acknowledges her bias thoughts. Despite the fact that Lily may have noticed her prejudice act, she still continues down the same path without noticing. While hanging out with Zach on the grass, Zach tells Lily that he doesn’t have much of a future since he is a Negro and she tells him how doing sports is the only way he can be successful.

She goes and says, “’well, you could play football for a college team and then be a professional player. ’” Zach then retorts and says, “’why is it sports is the only thing white people see us being successful at? I don’t want to play football, I wanna be a lawyer. ’” Lily then comes back again annoyed commenting, “’that’s fine with me, I’ve just never heard of a Negro lawyer, that’s all. You’ve got to hear of these things before you can imagine them’” (120-121). Lily’s prejudice ways are evident in her harsh comments towards Zach.

Even though she says all those rude things, she accepts Zach’s choices and supports it. Lily’s maturity is portrayed through her acceptance of Zach’s choices and wish. While staying at the Boatwright’s, Lily continues to think about what T. Ray told her about her mother leaving her as a child. Lily makes some atrocious comments about her mother in spite of her leaving. While speaking with August after telling her that she’s Deborah’s daughter, she reveals to August how she hates her mother and how her mother never wanted her which August then tells her how T.

Ray wanted to put her in Bull Street the mental institution. “’It was easy for her to leave me; because she never wanted me in the first place… you should’ve let him put her in there. I wish she’d rotted in there’” (252) Obviously, Lily’s negative words and thought have clouded her true feelings about her mother. August soon convinces Lily about her mother leaving.

Further into the conversation, August tells Lily that even though her mother left her, she came back for her the day she died which makes think: “T. Ray had told me that she came back for her things. But she’d come back for me, too. She’d wanted to bring me here, to Tiburon, to August’s. If only we’d made it. I remember the sound of T. Ray’s boots on the stairs. I wanted to pound my fists against something, to scream at my mother for getting caught, for not packing faster, for not coming sooner. ” (254) Lily soon realizes that her mother did love her and wanted to be with her even though she still blames her for not packing faster.

Despite the fact that her mother did leave her in the beginning, she still loves her mother, even more now that she knows that she was coming back just for her. Lily’s growth is surely evident due to the fact that Lily had a deeper understanding of what happened the day her mother died and she changed her perspectives on her. The Boatwright sisters, Zach and Lily herself are ultimately the ones to acknowledge for her astonishing change in behavior, her conversion of perspective on the people who take her in, and her modification to her dreadful comments made about her mother which help her grow in many ways.

The decisions she makes and paths she takes are influenced with the help from people who love her. In order to mature and gain an understanding, Lily goes Tiburon to seek her and her mother’s past, get a deeper understanding of why her mother left in the first place and change her view on things. It is apparent that people will do anything to get answers to complex questions that may be lingering in the minds, and on the way to getting their answers they experience growth, love and compassion and leave with a deep understanding.

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Characters in Relation to a Bee Hive

June 17, 2020 by Essay Writer

In Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees, the female community and the roles in a colony of honeybees go hand in hand in completing the underlying theme that assists the plot’s development. The characters throughout the novel present many parallels to the novel’s main symbol: bees. The aspects of a colony and how every bee, each with a different job works together for a common goal or purpose, reflects significantly on the plot and on the main characters.

The symbol of bees is related to many extremely significant themes in the novel such as the power of the female community, and the need for a mother.

The jobs of bees in a colony directly relate to and draw parallels to the main characters in the story and the strength of the female community. The brood or baby bee, the worker bees, and the Queen bee are all important roles within a hive of bees just as each different role is important within a household or community.

Coming of age in an imperative theme within the plot. A brood or a baby bee characterizes initial innocence and growing up. Lily Owens, the antagonist of the novel, is on a journey of self-discovery, which is comparable to a baby bee in a colony learning its place in the hive.

In her growing up, Lily learns important lessons, which help her in the coming-of-age process. Not only is Lily on a journey mentally but she is also on a voyage to find out if her mother truly left her when she was young. Finding out the truth was quite possibly the hardest part of Lily’s journey: “Knowing can be a curse on a person’s life. I’d traded in a pack of lie for a pack of truth, and I didn’t know which one was heavier. Which one took the most strength to carry around? It was a ridiculous question, though, because once you know the truth, you can’t ever go back and pick up your suitcase of lies.

Heavier or not, the truth is yours now” (Monk Kidd 256). When she finds out the truth, although the insightfulness exemplified demonstrates her increasing maturity, the anguish in her tone characterizes that she is still a young person with extreme emotions. Lily learns that in fact, refusing to know something is bliss but bliss is not necessarily happiness. Lily, although would feel more comfortable not knowing the actuality of the issue, understands that now that she knows the truth, there is no “un-knowing”.

She realizes that she can either dwell over fact or learn from it. The astute that Lily illustrates, demonstrates that she is in fact maturing, and becoming a large part of the community. When Lily’s extremely obnoxious father, who abused her both mentally and physically, intruded into the house where Lily was staying, storming in and demanding her to come home with him, Lily’s increasing maturity, once again overpowered her once young voice and eventually persuaded him to leave: “He drove slowly, not tearing down the road like I expected.

I watched till he was gone from sight then turned and looked at August and Rosaleen and the Daughters on the porch. This is the moment I remember clearest of all-how I stood in the driveway looking back at them. I remember the sight of them standing there waiting. All these women, all this love, waiting” (299). Lily now understands that her biological mother, the one she has been yearning for her entirety, was in fact never going to be with her. Lily finally accepted this and saw that a mother does not need to be biological, nor does it need to be just one.

A female role model, someone strong, courageous, and loving can be found in any women. The racist community Lily grew up in during the 50’s, where black women were looked down upon, was absolutely defied. Lily accepted that her biggest role models, her mothers, were a group of black women. The maturity required while overcoming a deep, racist thought surrounding one’s mind from the most thought-influencing time of development, is extensive and far-reaching. The power of love is finally understood by Lily and therefore embodying her hunger for knowledge of adult knowledge.

Lily’s love interest, Zachary Taylor, a black boy is a seemingly outrageous thought for anyone who looked in on the tight night community of the Daughter of Mary. Zach and Lily shared a distant but true and pure love for one another: The silver rectangle dropped down under my shirt, where it dangled cold and certain between my breasts. Zachary Lincoln Taylor rested there, along my heart” (231). This type of love is a first for Lily. The perplexing, untouched and weakening bound of love between two individuals who are in love was something Lily had never previously sensed.

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The Secret Life of Bees Personal Review

May 8, 2020 by Essay Writer

Full of twists and turns, the book The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, tells the tale of a teenage girl name Lily and her journey of discovering her mother’s past before she died. Lily Owens grew up with an abusive dad and a housekeeper who has taken the role of Lily’s mom. As the story develops, so does Lily.

She becomes a lovely young women who can see beyond others people’s race. When Lily goes to Tiburon in hopes of finding out more about her mom, she meets August, May, and June, the three beekeeper sisters. Lily stays with them and learns about their traditions. While she learns about her mother, she also falls in love with Zach. However when all seems well, T.Ray, the abusive father, shows up. He tells Lily the harsh truth. When she finally finds her mother’s darkest secret, she is in shock for many days. Despite this, she soons learns to embrace it and move on. The New York Times Best Selling author creates an original novel by drawing the reader in and keeping them on their toes. The book uses different types of figurative language, a creative plot, and sympathetic characters that ultimately allows the reader to clearly imagine the book and develop true emotions.

To start, figurative language keeps the reader engaged. Using different types of figurative language makes the story interesting. For example Sue Monk Kidd uses bees to represent Lily’s mom. In the beginning of the the book, Lily feels her mom’s presence when the bee’s swarm her room. The book starts off by saying, At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin. (Kidd 1) Doing this makes the reader curious why there are bees in her room. These bee’s show Lily that they need a queen in order to function which relates to lily because she is lost without a female figure that she can look up to. She starts by using her memory of her mother to fulfil this role but soon moves onto rosaleen and finally August. She finally knows the feeling of being loved by a mother after years without her real mom. They also use other types of figurative language other than symbolism, metaphors are also used effectively. In chapter one, we see Lily describe her relationship with Rosaleen as she is Rosaleen’s pet guinea pig. (Kidd 2) Since Rosaleen has no experience with raising kids, she experiments on Lily. Effective use of figurative language proves to work as it makes the book extremely good.

Throughout the book, interesting things are constantly happening which shows a creative plot. It starts with Lily and Rosaline escaping from the hospital after they had an incident with the racist white folks. Since this was extremely dangerous and risky, it draws the reader in. Lily and Rosaleen go outside of the hospital and she took Rosaline’s hand and tugged her down the sidewalk. (Kidd 49) Using suspense makes a scary mood in the book as the readers hope that they will escape which makes them wonder what will happen next. Using different moods, she allows the reader to visualize what is happening. Further in the book, Lily finds Zach, a young african guy, who she falls in love with. Because they are different race and have to face racial discrimination from others, they have to keep their relationship secretive. Readers want to find out if they can overcome this challenge so the interesting plot keeps readers engaged and proves to be efficient. Overall, the creative plot deems efficient as readers find new challenges and solutions in every chapter.

Characters that have experience pain and suffering makes the reader sympathize with them. The Secret Life of Bees have multiple characters that have experienced many misfortunes. Sympathetic characters let the reader to truly care for them which is one of the many reason this novel is truly wonderful. Throughout the book, readers can sympathize with Lily and how she has an abusive father. When Lily argues with her father, hebrought his hand against [Lily’s] face. (Kidd 294) We can see the pain that Lily goes through and what she had to grow up with. Violence often happens in families and many experience the pain so many people can relate to Lily’s case. Although T. Ray is abusive, many readers can also relate to his pain. He lost his wife twice as she left him the first time and to death the second. As a result, he takes his anger out on Lily who was the one who accidentally killed her. However, at the end of the book T. Ray realizes that he has lost his daughter and decides that in order to give her the life she deserves, he needs to leave. When T. Ray is leaving, Lily demands him to answer her life-long question, if she was the one who killed her mother. T. Ray speaking the truth tries to comfort her daughter when he says, I could tell you I did it. That’s what you wanna hear. I could tell you she did it to herself, but both ways I’d be lying. It was you who did it, Lily. You didn’t mean it, but it was you. (Kidd 299) Lily’s father then proceeds to leave leaving Lily deep in thought. Almost every character in the book can be sympathized with and as a result, it creates a masterpiece. Clearly, important characters that readers can relate to improves the book drastically.

The Secret Life of Bees is an amazing book that clearly deserves a lot of attention. Sue Monk Kidd captures the story of Lily and how she finds out the secret of her mother when she was alive. This book was definitely one of the best book that I have ever read. Because I could sympathize with the characters, I truly enjoyed the relationships that took place and how they turned out. The way the problem was established early on in the book and how it was solved at the end was brilliant. This book was meant for anyone that enjoys reading about love and the journey to find friendships. Anyone that enjoys reading about overcoming racial discrimination and prejudice. All in all, The Secret Life of Bees, written by Sue Monk Kidd is truly an amazing piece of art as it includes multiple figurative language use, creative plot, and real authentic characters which readers can relate to.

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About The Secret Life of Bees

May 8, 2020 by Essay Writer

The novel The Secret Life of Bees is about a girl that is named Lily Owens and is living with her abusive father which is named T.Ray. Her housekeeper, Rosaleen, is a person who cares for Lily and is more of a craetaker to Lily. Lily plans to run away from T.Ray and get Rosaleen out of a hospital as she was hit in the head by a group of white men trying to register to vote.

As the story in the novel continues, the author shows the relationship between Lily and Rosaleen in many ways. The author shows this in many ways, for example, Rosaleen is always caring and tender towards Lily, she also stands for up for Lily and herslef and was brave enough to do so against T.Ray but, thier relationship is also complex with each other in many different ways.

Furthermore, in the novel, thier were many parts in the story that showed that Rosaleen is tender and caring towrds Lily, for instance, Lily says that I was the only one who knew that despite her sharp ways her heart was more tender then a flower’s skin and she loves me beyond reason. This quote shows that Rosaleen is caring and it is also another use of flowers as a figure or image.

Also, Rosaleen is very brave and protective when she has to. When Lily was 8, Rosaleen had given Lily a easter dyed chick, when T.Ray finds out, he had threaten to boil the chick for dinner. However, Rosaleen stands up to T.Ray and says There is worse things in the house than chicken poop. When she looked towards the chick then at him, she said You ain’t touching that chick. This goes to show that Rosaleen is capable of defending herself and other people she cares about. Another section of the novel that shows her braveness is when she meets 3 racist men when she was on her way registering to vote. In response to their comments, she scribbles her name in scuff juice on their shoes. This had caused her to land a blow coming from one of the men and be sent to the hospital but, this part of the novel showed that Rosaleen is bold and pasionate, in addition it also shows that she is not afraid to defend herslef.

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The classic, heartfelt novel The Secret Life of Bees

May 8, 2020 by Essay Writer

The classic, heartfelt novel, The Secret Life of Bees, was written by the New York Times bestselling author, Sue Monk Kidd. The novel was originally published on November 8, 2001 and has since been adapted into a film directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. Both the novel and the film are narrated by a young, determined fourteen-year-old white girl named Lily Owens. Whilst reading the novel and watching the film, there are several recognizable similarities and differences scattered throughout the two.

Between both the novel and the film there are multiple powerful similarities and differences. However, the number of differences between the novel and the film outweigh the similarities drastically. These differences are what have led to the weaknesses and flaws of the film compared to the novel. In both the novel, The Secret Life of Bees, written by Sue Monk Kidd, and the film, The Secret Life of Bees, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the narrator, Lily Owens lives with both her housekeeper, Rosaleen, and abusive father, T. Ray. In both the novel and the film, Lily’s mother passed away while she was only four. The strong themes throughout the novel and the film approach the topics of racism, motherhood, and courage. The concept of bees in both the novel and the film are where the two begin to split in direction. In the novel, the use of bees is loosely ruled as a metaphor for the absence of Lily’s mother. In her bedroom, Lily feels her mother’s presence when a swarm of bees surround her, creating the connection between Lily’s mother and the bees. However, the use of bees in the film was not a metaphor, like the novel, but rather literal information on the keeping of bees, resulting in the lack of depth and message throughout the film.

There are many fatal differences between the novel and the film that take away from the storyline. For instance, in the novel, Lily has an amazing, powerful connection with August, Zack, and the other girls. Their deep connection seems much more real and strong in the novel compared to the film. Throughout reading the novel, you are given much more important, reliable information, more complex images in your head, and you are able to experience the character’s emotions and feelings more in the novel rather than the film. In the film, there seems to be a rush between the feeling of happiness to the sudden feeling of sadness rather quickly. Whereas in the novel, you are subtly transitioned between moods and emotions between the characters, which gives the novel the advantage with connecting with the audience. When reading the novel, you are able to obtain more depth in Lily’s emotions and thoughts compared to in the film where there is a lack of information of Lily’s feelings and intentions. During the creation of the film, there are several necessary scenes that are missed from the novel.

For example, when Lily and August have severe conversations with one another are essential for the development of their characters and their relationship. Their intricate conversations are used as Lily’s coping mechanism for the mental battles she fought with both herself and T. Ray throughout her life. Also in the novel, T. Ray is portrayed as much more aggressive and violent than he really is in the film where he had more emotions and feelings. Rosaleen is also depicted as much more clumsy and stubborn in the novel whereas in the film she is shown as a soft woman. The endings between the two were rather different and had much more diverse emotions. In the novel, Lily faces T. Ray with the question on whether or not she really is the one who kills her mother. Compared to in the film where she asks if her mother was intent on taking her with her when she left. In the novel, Lily was taken back at the view on the porch, seeing all of her mother’s: Rosaleen, June, and August. This developed a perfect ending for Lily’s story through the loss of one mother and the founding of so many. These mother’s protected Lily as if she were their own child and their powerful, beautify motherhood connection of the perfect story seemed to be lacking in the film.

Through all of the intricate changes between the well-written novel and the film, they took away from the stories overall potential. With the removal of many important, powerful scenes and details form the book, the film was created as if it were an incomplete puzzle, missing several pieces. The changes were most likely removed from the film to allow for a more general, broad theme, rather than complicating the story with many smaller themes, preventing the film audience from becoming too confused with the novel’s storyline.

The process of comparing and contrasting of the novel and the film has allowed for a better understanding of both pieces and their meanings. Although there were several similarities between the novel and the film, there were also many crucial differences between the two which were found throughout the process. These changes from the novel to the film is what caused for the film to lack critical details and key points which are necessary for the success of the film.

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Love, Forgiveness, Enlightenment: Lily’s Journey in The Secret Life of Bees

September 3, 2019 by Essay Writer

In The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Lily Owens defines herself by her mistakes; the memory of her mother’s death haunts every aspect of her life. By escaping from her old life, attempting to overcome guilt and find truth in her actions, Lily realizes that she is seeking knowledge and experience in herself, rather than forgiveness. In Tiburon, Lily learns about love; how to find it where there was once hate, how to forgive, and how to love all. Through this, Lily is able to no longer define herself by her mistakes, but what she learned from them and ultimately, learn to love herself.

Under the tyrannical control of T-ray, Lily has never been allowed opportunities to learn about love, and that one can love someone that they once hated. When Lily comes across June who at first dislikes Lily, she doesn’t realize the possibility of loving June despite her harsh ways. The racial tension at the time causes June to initially give Lily the cold shoulder because “she’s white”. June learns to accept Lily as time goes by, but it takes Lily more than time itself to do the same. Spraying June with the water hose helped Lily realize her love for June despite her initial mean ways, and allowed June to “Hug her while their clothes made sweet, squishy sounds up and down their bodies”(Kidd 170) By finally hugging June, Lily displayed the sisterly intimacy between the two girls and taught Lily how to love the person she used to despise. Learning how to love in this way helped Lily greatly, but with creating new love also comes forgiveness.

Once Lily can understand that love can be created in a place where there once was hate, she can learn to forgive. Lily’s relationship with T-ray was anything but paternal, “daddy never fit him”.(Kidd, 2), but Lily needs to realize that love comes in many forms that are not necessarily as obvious as others. T-ray’s incapability to show affection for Lily leads her to believe that he doesn’t love her, thinking “so what if he doesn’t know the color you love best?”(Kidd, 160). To Lily, not knowing or caring about the little things about her tells her that T-ray does not truly love her. However, while keeping bees, august teaches Lily “there are 32 names for love in the eskimo language”(Kidd, 140). From this Lily, concludes that if there are 32 names for love, then there are as many different types of love, T-ray’s not being the only kind she knew before. Now that Lily knows T-ray does truly love her but shows it in a way she used to not be able to comprehend, she can call him “Daddy”, a word that once did not fit him. By forgiving others, Lily can forgive herself and develop one love for all things.

In order for Lily to completely figure out what she is searching for, she has to learn how to link all of her experiences together, creating one love. Lily can never attain full inner peace with herself until she understands the concept of unity, a single love for all things and everyone. While tending to the bees. Lily desperately tries to send love to all of them, crying, “I love you, I love you. She tried to say it in 32 ways.”(Kidd. 149). Lily knows she has to achieve one love but is overwhelmed and confused, thinking that just her words and thoughts will achieve this goal. However, this goal is nothing more than a concept until Lily can perform it with her actions. Eventually Lily realizes this and “traces black Mary’s heart with her finger. You are the mother of thousands”(Kidd, 164). The spiritual black Madonna guides Lily through the process of showing and accepting love with everyone. By touching Mary’s heart, she has let Mary’s love in, therefore letting her own love out to thousands.

The process by which Lily goes through to find inner enlightenment teaches her ideas she would not have been capable of doing on her own. By learning to find love where there isn’t any, she learns to forgive, and eventually can find one inner love for all. Despite her new knowledge, Lily never comes to complete closure on the death of her mother. Likewise, it was never closure on Lily’s mistake years ago that she needed, but closure on herself and her own inner acceptance. By learning these new things, Lily is no longer defined by her mistakes, but what she learned from them and the people who helped her along the way.

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