Within the novel, The Secret Lives of Bees, every character develops different stages in their personality. T. Ray’s personality isn’t easy to interpret considering he doesn’t change a lot throughout the novel. T. Ray demonstrates anger, abuse, and a little bit of caring. In the beginning of the novel, T. Ray was very rude and sometimes had an abusive way of speaking, sometimes acting. He cursed and yelled at everything she did. To state another example, “you wake me up again, Lily, and I’ll get out the Martha Whites, you hear me? ” (pg. 5). He would us vulgar language towards Lily, for example, “you act no better than a slut,” (pg. ).
Lily’s passion was reading and writing, but T. Ray refused to allow her to pursue it (pg. 15,16). He would punish Lily and force her to kneel on grits, which was known as Martha Whites (pg 24). Towards the middle, T. Ray still hasn’t chanced too much. Although, he hasn’t been so aggressive with his actions, just words. Lily left T. Ray and called him collect to tell him she was all right, but he was mad that she made a collect call. He doesn’t care that Lily’s getting older, he’s still strict with her. “You tell me where you are right now, do you hear me? ” (pg. 159). He doesn’t know anything about her.
He ignores Lily’s question when she asked, “I was just wondering, do you know what my favorite color is? ” (pg. 160). I believe at this time T. Ray cares, but he has trouble confessing it and expresses his feelings by anger. By the end of the novel, T. Ray cleaned up a lot more than how he acted in the beginning. He cleaned up physically and emotionally, but it doesn’t mean he stopped being mean. He’s expressing how much he cares, still out of anger, but a little more promising. The way he begins to worry when Lily mentions who has the pin he gave Lily’s mother. “You tell me right now how did this August women get it? pg 292).
He started to breakdown and say things like, “I looked for her everywhere I could think. And she was right here. Jesus Christ, she was right here. ” (pg 293). I think he began to realize how lonely he is without either Lily or his wife and it gets him more angry. T. Ray didn’t change a whole lot, but as the chapters went on he expressed his feelings in an aggressive manner that showed a little heart in different ways. He laid off the abusive actions towards the end, but never gave up those hurtful words with such caring questions. The best thing he did for Lily was to let her live with August.