Lily's Bees Symbolism

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Throughout the novel, the symbolism shown through the bees is an essential part of understanding the journey Lily completes and her path the maturity. Lily’s character completes a very significant change and without the help of the bees to guide her, she could not have done it. Not only do the bees guide her in that way, but they provide a sense of emotional connection and stability for her. The bees are the one thing that Lily is able to relate to. Similarly, the bees also help the reader by being a parallel to Lily in their wanting for loving, nurturing, and freedom. By looking at the symbolism shown through the bees, one can see that the bees represent Lily and her deep wanting for love, freedom, and maturity, which is important because…show more content…
When Lily is contemplating her life with T.Ray at the start of the novel, she states, “I heard a voice say, Lily Melissa Owens, your jar is open” (Kidd 41). This shows a direct correlation between Lily and the bees; when she opened their jar, they were finally able to be free, which is what she wished for as well. Lily’s jar being open meant that she was finally able to leave T.Ray. This required her to acquire the sense of maturity, which again connects her to the bees.
In this situation, Lily learned to grow up and become a young women by gaining maturity from the bees. Lily feels a strong connection to them from the start of the novel, which helps her tremendously. Bees in general represent a sense a life and rebirth and in the novel, they symbolize a type of angel to guide Lily on her journey to maturing and becoming a women. The bees represent a coming of age and a sense of maturity through becoming a woman. Lily has many stops on this journey and it does not all occur at once. An initial point of maturing is when Lily finally musters up enough strength to leave T. Ray. This was a prominent point of maturity for Lily because previously, she was terrified of T. Ray and allowed him to treat her unfairly. For example, when T. Ray punishes Lily for being outside at night, she states, “My knees
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Other than a desire for freedom and a journey to reach maturity, Lily and the bees both also show a strong need to be loved. The novel explicitly states that the bees need to be sent love. But, although August directs this towards the bees initially, she intends to say that everything needs love. She says, “Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved” (Kidd 92). This quote shows that the bees need love, but so does Lily. The misinterpretation is that Lily feels that she must gain this affection from her mother, but through the bees’ guidance and the help of August, she comes to realize that all she needs is to accept and love herself and accept the love she receives from others (which also helps along in her journey to become a young woman, as previously mentioned). Lily is able to realize this through the guidance of supporting characters. One quote from the novel is, “And when you get down to it, Lily, that is the only purpose grand enough for a human life. Not just to love but to persist in love” (289). Throughout the whole novel, this is what she is searching for: love. She has no mother, and her father is not at all kind, so Lily’s journey is searching for the mother figure who can provide her with the love every young girl wants. Finally, she finds this in not one, but a whole community of women. And when she finally sees this, she is able to comprehend the fact that she does not need her mother to be there because she has a
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