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The Secret Life Of Bees Lily Owens Character Analysis Essay

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Almost every child has thought about running away from home at least once in their life, if not more. Although this usually is an empty threat, for Lily Owens, the protagonist in The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, it was a milestone. The summer of 1964 marked the year she finally realized there was nothing holding her back from escaping her abusive father. As she leaves home for her journey, she takes her African American, motherlike housekeeper with her, who was in jail for insulting some racists. Together, they find their way to three beekeeping sisters, one of which helps Lily to finally understand what happened to her late mother. Lily begins helpless and afraid, but as she makes her way through the segregated South, she finds self…show more content…
August helps Lily develop this by teaching her how to take care of the bees, in which Lily finds a passion she describes as “a fullness in [her]” (Kidd 167). Beekeeping not only gives Lily a sense of purpose, but a feeling of confidence in herself and her talent. She learns to fight her father’s power from August as well. As she repeatedly hears August say, “‘If you need something from somebody, always give that person a way to hand it to you’” (Kidd 298). Lily uses this technique to stand up to her father in the end of the novel, where she assuredly states that she is staying with the sisters, and not leaving with him. Additionally, the black Mary inspires Lily and teaches her that strength stems from overcoming hardships. When Lily feels weak, she places her hand on Mary’s heart to receive “‘strength and consolation and rescue, and all the other things we need to get through life’” (Kidd 288). August tells her that she can place her hand “‘right here on [her] own heart’” (Kidd 288) to obtain what she lacks. As a result of these factors and figures of courage, Lily conquers her old and timid self to grow into a strong and powerful young
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