Female comradery is one of the strongest connections any group of women can have with one another. In Sue Monk Kidd’s novel, The Secret Life of Bees, Lily Owens is a fourteen-year-old girl living on the outskirts of Sylvan, South Carolina in 1964. Her mother is not in her life, as she has been accidentally shot by Lily when Lily was just four years old. She lives with her abusive father, T-Ray, who is still mourning the loss of his wife, Deborah, and his feelings and own issues carry over to how he treats Lily. He verbally and physically abuses her, shouting at her or making her kneel on grits until her knees swell up. The only female companion Lily has is Rosaleen, a black woman who is the nanny that watches over Lily at T-Ray’s house. At …show more content…
Nonetheless, it is still incredibly powerful. Lily craves for her mother’s companionship and love every day. Some nights, she can’t fall sleep because her mind is racing about her mother. She wonders what her life would be like if her mother were still alive. She knows she has missed out on certain feminine teachings a mother and daughter should have with one another, like picking out the dress for her wedding day, or learning to walk in high heels. To always remember her, Lily has a collection of her mother’s things that she keeps in a bag, and she “wondered what it had been like to be inside her, just a curl of flesh swimming in her darkness, the quiet things that has passed between us” (Kidd 171). Lily longs for the days of when she was just a tiny baby that hadn’t even been born yet when she and her mother had such an intimate personal connection to one another. She wants to know what it is like to have a mother who guides their children through life, as she has not had one herself. Her mother’s possessions are priceless to her, as they are the only remains she has of her mother’s legacy. Lily’s relationship with her mother helps her get away from all the negatives that are going on in her life. Whether it be T-Ray’s abuse or her feelings of how she feels about herself, she can always turn to her mother’s things and be free with the thoughts of her mother almost being with
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Lily's creativity, activated by religious observance, allows her to be more creative. Later on in the passage, when Lily describes her outward expression, she notes that “[She] wanted to cry, but in the next instant, [she] wanted to laugh” (Kidd 71). Through the use of juxtaposition, Kidd carries out an image of Lily about to sob until she suddenly starts chuckling. By using the diction of “cry” and “laugh,” two words that completely differ in emotion, Kidd shows that the religious statue made her recall events of her past, truly making her analyze the type of person she was. Religion allowed her to have the trait of being self-aware allowing her to forgive herself for her past and move on because she knew that the religious statue could see good in her.
Rosaleen was an very strong role model in Lily’s life. The author Sue Monk Kidd portrays it in the novel in many ways. Lily’s mother passed away and left when Lilly was just a little girl sitting at only 4 years old. Since that day Rosaleen decided too stepped in and showed her all the steps in life, even if she was there housekeeper but they still created such a strong bond.
When Lily lost her mother and has T. Ray taking care of her, she starts questioning her mother of why she left them. “Your sorry mother ran off and left you. The day she died, she’d come back to get her things, that’s all,” (Kidd, 40). When Lily heard T. Ray say this to her, she was shocked with depression and thinking that T. Ray might of lied to her about what he said about her mother. The lesson is that Lily is depressed and questioning herself on why her mother decided to leave her.
In the end the Boatwright sisters become Lily’s new mother or mothers. Sue Monk Kidd uses T.Ray, May, and Lily to show that some people can recover from traumatic events and some can’t. T.Ray struggled most of his life with traumatic events that he couldn’t. After the war T.Ray
Secrets They are something we all have, secrets that we keep locked away from the rest of the world. The real truth is that you never know the hidden battles that other people are fighting every single day while forcing a smile on the outside. “You never know what goes on behind closed doors”, Sue Monk Kid’s novel “The Secret Life of Bees” most definitely proves that well-known quote to be true. A novel in which the title itself carries the exact theme of the book, “The secret Life of Bees.”
Lily says, “And there they were. All these mothers. I have more mothers than any eight girls off the street” (298). Then Lily says, “ I remember the sight of them standing there waiting. All these women, all this love, waiting” (299).
Lily barely knew her own mother, and T. Ray, her father, abuses her and could care less. Lily gets to experience the parent-child love from Rosaleen. Kidd asserts that the interaction between different races can lead to loving
Character Comparison Essay Lily from The Secret Life of Bees and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird are two strong, memorable characters who are different, but they have a lot in common. Though they face difficult situations because of the loss of their mothers, they learn to cope with life in the south. The authors of these books created two distinctive characters, with many similarities and differences, both of whom are loved by readers. There are many similarities between the two characters. Both Lily and Scout lost their mothers when they were young and had to live with their fathers and their “stand-in mothers”, Calpurnia and Rosaleen.
This secret made her desire to know more about her mother. The secret life of bees reveals the irrationality of racism, demonstrating how lily struggles with racism and overcomes it. At the start of the novel lily assumed that all colored people were like Rosaleen;Course and uneducated. "I thought they could be smart but not
Although Lily did suffer a great loss from losing her mom, she gained so much more with the love and support that the Boatwrights and their group gave her. She has gained friends, someone to look up to, and the sense of family from all of them. Without the loss of her mom and the abuse of her dad she would never of gotten the experience of such powerful female role models and a new
Janie’s grandmother, Nanny, forces Janie to marry a man she is not in love with out of convenience. Nanny does not want Janie to suffer the necessities of life, but Janie cares little about materials and seeks love. Nanny’s ideology haunts Janie for much of her life, influencing decisions she takes later in marriage. Huston says, “The memory of Nanny was still powerful and strong,” which shows how Janie conforms to the ideology her grandmother instilled in her. And although Janie conforms, she continues to question inwardly about love.
Mental Illness affects an immense amount of individuals no matter their race, culture or age. It is everywhere we go, yet still an issue some choose to ignore; whether it is the person facing the illness or those around them. People handle their sickness in a variety of ways. Some by using violence as their only answer, others run away from their issue and majority choose to accept and make the best of it. After reading the novel The Secret Life of Bees, it would be easy to think that the main theme is discrimination or family, but in reality it is actually focused on the toll that mental illness takes on a family.
It makes the image all the more powerful; the irony of the children finding comfort in their mother’s embrace and presence is defeated by the mother’s uneasiness about their present situation. The children do not see the mother’s distressed look, which makes the coziness they feel even sadder. A mother is turned to in times of distress, as evidenced by this portrait, but whom does a mother turn to when she is burdened and overworked? I have turned to my mother many times seeking comfort when problems have arisen in my life, and she has always been there to be that comforting outlet.