The Secret Life Of Bees Analysis

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Sue Monk Kidd's first novel The Secret Life of Bees belongs to the bildungsroman genre of literature that portrays the journey of its young protagonist, Lily Owens to selfhood in the company of her black caregiver Rosaleen. Kidd through her narrative piece, reveals the power of black women, not only Rosaleen but also a group of beekeeping sisters and a Black Mary to construct a safe haven where Lily can survive amidst her crumbled life, eventually developing psychologically into a self actualized lady. Thus the novel follows Lily Owen's moral, intellectual and psychological growth to maturity. The story follows the description of a motherless fourteen year old Lily Owens who had lost her mother when she was just four years old. Raised by a …show more content…
The journey starts, accompanied by Rosaleen, a large African American women having no children of her own, so for the last ten years, Lily had “been her pet guinea pig”( Kidd 2). Set in South Carolina, The Secret Life of Bees frame the turbulent time period of 1964. The civil rights movement is in progress. Kidd draws from her memories the emotional and political turmoil of 1964 civil rights in her novel. With the passing of the act, Rosaleen like all other blacks have now a legal right to vote. On her way to register herself for the vote, Rosaleen is taunted by trio of white men. Outrageous, she pours the contents of her snuff jar on their feet. As a result, she is beaten, taken to jail and later to hospital. The protagonist Lily Owens too is fed up of her father's cruelty, so she decides to run away and take Rosaleen with her. They move towards Tiburon, South Carolina, the only town Lily believes will unfold her the past of her mother. Tiburon is thus, an answer to Lily about her mother who died in a horrible gun accident. Lily chooses Tiburon because its name was written on the back of a picture of Black Madonna in Lily's mother's belongings. In Tiburon, she comes in contact with the owner of the Black Madonna honey, the beekeeper August Boatwright and her two sisters, May and June. Lily and Rosaleen thus take refuge …show more content…
Through the narration of Lily, Kidd herself embarks upon the journey to find who she was, how valuable she was and what is her desires in life. What Lily and Kidd demand in the course of their journey is, utmost love and human existence. Residing in Boatwrights house, both Lily and Rosaleen look at their form of worshipping and praying. They pray together before a statue of “Black Mary”, which was a figurehead from the bow of an ancient ship. The Black Mary however stands for the guiding support and strength that provides solace to all women. It was a ritual to pray in Boatwrights house and Lily desperately wanted to indulge in it. One night, all alone she touched Mary’s heart and

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