Secret Life Of Bees Character Analysis

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The author of the Secret Life of Bees chose to use Lily, the young white female protagonist on the precipice of adulthood, in order to better tell this story. Lily serves the role as narrator, and we see the story through her eyes – providing a unique insight that no other character in the story would give, being an outsider in Tiburon, as well as her journey of self-discovery that is at the core of this book. Several passages of the book would have been changed through a different perspective, such as when Lily overhears June and August arguing over her arrival. By changing the point of view away from Lily, you lose her confusion and “righteous indignation” over being turned away due to “being white” (Bees 87), something that she has never…show more content…
The author chose a protagonist who specifically didn’t grasp the whole meaning of this arrest or the greater significance with the societal upheaval of this period of time. Lily wonders “why couldn’t [Rosaleen] just apologize” about dumping the snuff juice on Franklin Posey (Bees 46). While she does admit that what the men did was horrible, wanting “those men to die in hell begging for ice water,” she still hasn’t fully grasped the extent of what Rosaleen’s actions mean in terms of her rebellion. From Rosaleen’s point of view, the events would have taken on an additional meaning of defiance that Lily doesn’t quite understand. Lily’s ignorance, however, is important to the story as a whole. Over the course of the story Lily begins to acknowledge her own biases, such as when she is surprised that “August is so intelligent, so cultured,” and admits that this is a sign she still has some “prejudice buried inside” (Bees 103). These admissions are proof of her character growth, showing that Lily is growing to understand the problems around her and in herself, something that we would lose most if not all through an alternate
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