Mental Illness In The Secret Life Of Bees

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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. The protagonist of this novel, Lily Owens, has always had a troublesome life. Both her parents, Terrence Owens, also known as T. Ray, and Deborah Fontanel are ridden with illness, sadly caused from each other. Lily also meets a new family in this novel after running away from her cruel father who abuses her. This family is also dealing with mental illness. August Boatwright is a member of this family and has been surrounded by this sickness for more than half of her life. Two of her sisters have this problem and it has genuinely affected August for better or worse.
Lily’s father, T-Ray, deals with his mental illness by using violence and taking his anger out on Lily because of what happened with his wife Deborah. This causes Lily to feel unloved by her father. In the beginning of the story, Lily runs away from home to escape her tragic life with T. Ray. She finds herself in a small town called Tiburon in South Carolina, living with August Boatwright who was once her mother’s maid. After staying in Tiburon for a while, Lily calls her father, curious if he knows what her favourite colour is. They only spoke for a short period of …show more content…

The one person that was mainly influenced by this tragedy would be Lily because she had to suffer the pain of growing up without a

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