The Secret Life of Bees delineates an inspirational story in which the community, friendship and faith guide the human spirit to overcome anything. The story follows Lily Owens, a 14 year old girl who desperately wants to discover the cause of her mothers death. Her father T. Ray gives her no answers, which leads their maid, Rosaleen, to act as her guardian. Together, Lily and Rosaleen run away to Tiburon, South Carolina and find a welcoming community.
It is in Tiburon that Lily learns many life lessons, including many about herself. In her novel The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd explores a theme of spiritual growth through Lily’s search for home as well as a maternal figure.The bees symbolize Lily’s unspoken guides throughout the novel. Kidd’s constant reference to the bees indicate that Lily eventually understands the importance of female power in the bee community, which she connects to her own life. When Lily initially sees the bees in her room, Rosaleen warns her that they can sting her if she tries to catch them, but Lily ignores her and continues to trap them, thus asserting her determination. Later, the bees reveal the message to Lily that she should leave her father.Order now
Kidd notes that one bee landed on Lily’s state map that she kept tacked on the wall, foreshadowing Lily and Rosaleen’s journey to Tiburon (10). The bees also symbolize the secret life that Lily lives as she hides her secret of running away from home. The hive represents society while the bees represent all of the humans inside. August tells Lily about the hives and announces, “Most people don’t have any idea about all the complicated life going on inside a hive. Bees have a secret life we don’t know anything about” (Kidd 148). The beehive cannot sur.
.614=2.1=land18748=r=LitRC=w=e367f8026fdb5ac19a609bfe31d5e3a4>.Ruth, Elizabeth. “The Secret Life of Bees Traces the Growth of Lily’s Social Consciousness.” Coming of Age in Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees.
Ed. Dedria Bryfonski. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2013. 63-65. Print. Social Issues in Literature.
Rpt. of “Secret Life of Bees.” The Globe and Mail 2 Mar. 2002: n. pag.Scott, A.
O. “A Golden Dollop of Motherly Comfort.” NY Times. N.p., n.
d. Web. 1 May 2014. html?_r=0>.Zaleski, Jeff. “Review of The Secret Life of Bees.” Publishers Weekly 12 Nov. 2001: 33. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Detroit: Gale, 2009. N. pag. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. 1=land18748=r=LitRC=w=775821cc9547f6a36eba16112748b201>.
html?_r=0>.Zaleski, Jeff. “Review of The Secret Life of Bees.” Publishers Weekly 12 Nov. 2001: 33. Rpt.
in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Detroit: Gale, 2009. N. pag. Literature Resource Center. Web.
9 Apr. 2014. 1=land18748=r=LitRC=w=775821cc9547f6a36eba16112748b201>.