Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life Of Bees

1734 Words 7 Pages
Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees is an exemplary novel which reveals the racism, sexism, and overall discrimination that unfolded in the south. The Secret Life of Bees transports the reader to the year of 1964 in South Carolina, where racial tensions were almost as high as the temperatures and people were surrounded by oppression. During this humid summer a young girl named Lily Owens runs away from her abusive father T. Ray, in search of her mother's past and the truth behind her tragic death. After a scuffle breaks out between her housekeeper Rosaleen and some choleric white men, Lily decides to take her along for the ride as they head towards Tiburon S.C.; the location written on the back of a picture of black Mary. Lily and Rosaleen soon find a jar of honey with this elusive picture and locate the women who make it, here they find out the truth behind what Lily has grown up knowing: Lily shot her mother when she was just two years old. Sue Monk Kidd effectively uses a female presence throughout the novel to guide Lily along the way as she matures into womanhood.
From the beginning, Kidd has used Rosaleen as a caring “mother figure” to help raise and supervise Lily as she grows from child to adolescent. As milestones passed for Lily,
…show more content…
Sue Monk Kidd uses the female presence of Rosaleen, Deborah, Black Mary, and August to show to show that the lack of a mother in the hive can be filled by anyone who cares (Rosaleen), forgives (Mary), teaches (August), and ultimately loves them unconditionally (Deborah). Through the use of each mother figure in Lily’s life Sue Monk Kidd shows that each mother brings forth a different aspect of being a mother. By doing this Kidd allows the reader to see that a female presence is crucial in the development of a young girl. Ultimately showing that by being guided along the way any female can mature into womanhood with

Related Documents