Literary Realism In The Secret Life Of Bees

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Progressively in my opinion, the inherent value of literature as being genuine and sincere portrayals of societal ideas has been dilapidated, as the novels, which appeal to the modern-day generation, are more fueled and driven by action rather than the ideas themselves. It is, thus, rare to encounter literary works which have a degree of literary realism and contain the inherent value that comes with literature. And, hence, it is satisfying to people, whose are eyes are opened to the value of literature, when such a literary work is found. New York Times bestseller, The Secret Life of Bees, is one of these rare works of literary art as it serves its main purpose to enlighten us of the ideals and beliefs which people held during the era of…show more content…
Upon a closer examination and glance of these characters’ personality, there is much to be gained; we may find that they symbolise certain qualities such as hope, courage, determination central to the text, which can contribute to our overall, holistic comprehension of the key ideas which underpin a text. In the case of The Secret Life of Bees, August Boatwright - a black woman in possession of a farm - is a character (through her portrayal) which supplements our understanding of the key idea in the text. In 1960s America, black people were perceived as being inferior individuals characterised by their illiteracy and impoverished lifestyles. They were treated poorly and unjustly by society based on these preconceived notions and, in essence, because of their skin colour. August was an interesting character in that she contradicts all of these notions stated above. In the novel, August is introduced to us as a successful business owner specialising in the production of honey/beeswax. She is unique in that she possesses vast amounts of land and property, is educated and most of all, does not exhibit feelings of bitterness towards the protagonist , Lily (a white runaway teenager) who seeks refuge in her home. As the novel progresses, August even goes to the extent as to act as Lily’s mother; comforting Lily when she laments on her past and empowering her to overcome her sorrow and pain. In a sense, August…show more content…
The best works of literature are indubitably those that entice our intellectual capacities, enrich our understanding of the human condition, and broaden our comprehension of the ideas which underpin society. Indeed, The Secret Life of Bees, is a prime example of one of these distinguished works of literature as the messages presented to us in the text only serve to broaden our perceptions on key societal ideas and issues. Furthermore, the messages and ideas presented in the text are very much applicable to today’s society. One of these ideas, which was discussed explicitly, is the irrationality of racism. With the progression of time, (as aforementioned in my previous entries) racism has been substantially reduced through increased awareness of this key social issue. However, its presence in the world is still felt as some individuals refuse to ‘open their eyes to reality’ and, thus, they continue to be deluded into a false reality. On that note, one can be sure that any form of prejudice will continue to be in existence, whether in the form of race, class, sex, age or religion. So long as there is one individual that holds some form of false beliefs, the cycle of prejudice will continue indefinitely. Nevertheless, it should not mean that we should succumb to prejudice and all become prejudiced ourselves because it will only lead to more complications and problems - which our society has had its fair
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