Analysis: The Secret Life Of Bees

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“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and to be loved” (George Sands). The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd takes place in the summer of 1964 in South Carolina. The story follows a white fourteen-year-old girl from Sylvan, SC, named Lily Melissa Owens. Lily lost her mother at the age of four and has an abusive father. After Lily’s colored stand-in-mother, Rosaleen is arrested for trying to vote, Lily breaks her out of jail, and they both run off to Tiburon, SC. Lily tries to learn more about her mother by going to Tiburon where her mother briefly stayed. Once in Tiburon, Lily and Rosaleen stay with the Boatwright sisters who have the key to unlocking the mystery in which Lily’s mother is shrouded in. The loss of Lily’s parents…show more content…
Only after T. Ray tries to kill the chick that Rosaleen brings for Lily when she is eight, and Rosaleen stands up to T-Ray, does Lily realize Rosaleen really loves her: “I thought, she loves me, and it was the first time such a far-fetched idea had occurred to me” (Kidd 12). While in Tiburon, South Carolina, Lily encounters many people who love her. At the Boatwright sister’s residence Lily finds herself a family who love her very much and bring much needed joy into her life. The eldest Boatwright sister, August, welcomes Lily with wide arms and is a mentor to Lily who has acquired a lot of wisdom. June Boatwright, the younger sister of August, is a little hesitant about letting Lily stay at their house, but eventually warms up to her. Shortly after her stay Lily starts a beekeeper apprenticeship with August and soon meets Zachary Taylor, August’s godson, with whom she becomes very close to. After telling Zach about her passion of writing, Zach gives Lily a notebook in which she can write down her stories. “That’s when I knew I would never find a better friend than Zachary Taylor” (Kidd 135). Zach not only brings joy to her, but also friendship and love. Early on in the novel, Lily states that without a mother she had a hard time making friends. Zach giving Lily his friendship is giving Lily something…show more content…
Lily gives Rosaleen a sense of purpose that means a lot to Rosaleen. Before Lily’s mother’s death, Rosaleen is just a lonely peach picker, but after she becomes a mother-figure for Lily and tries to give her the love and joy she deserves. Rosaleen never had children of her own, but Lily makes her feels like a mother, therefore giving Rosaleen a purpose filled with love and responsibility. August helps, trains, and advises Lily to become a stronger person. When T. Ray comes to get Lily, August tries to convince T. Ray to let Lily stay with them: “I made her my apprentice beekeeper, and she’s learning the whole business and helping us out with all her hard work. We love Lily, and we’ll take care of her, I promise you that” (Kidd 298). Lily gives August a renewed sense of purpose, not only is August her mentor, but also a confident. August previously had lots of purpose whether it be the care taker of her sisters or being a bee keeper. Lily, however gives August more purpose than she already has by making August train her as an apprentice bee keeper. Zach aspires to become an “ass-busting” lawyer. After being wrongly accused and jailed, Zach’s ambition to be a lawyer significantly increases and he says: “‘When this year is over, nothing can keep me from leaving here and going to college’” (Kidd 231). Zach’s romantic feelings for Lily

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