Sue Monk Kidd's novel, The Secret Lives Of Bees, Lily Owens
Described by critics as a must have guide for women in matters of love and self-liberation, Sue Monk Kidd's novel The Secret Lives Of Bees, tells the narrative of a motherless fourteen year old girl Lily Owens, desperately yearning for love, yet trapped by her father's cruelty. Lily remains restless and unsure of herself until she breaks the cruel shackles that bound her, and journeys into the unknown in search of her true identity, inner peace and more so love. Through Lily's interactions with other characters in the novel, she learns vital life lessons of love, forgiveness and independence that transform her into a whole new being. This essay, through Lily Owens' metamorphosis, explores the power of love and forgiveness in providing self-balance within an individual.
The story introduces us to Lily, a lonely girl living with her father, Terrance, and their house help, Rosaleen. Lily's main personal struggle is coming to terms with her missing mother and developing as an independent woman. She has no friends and partly blames herself for her mother, Deborah's death. Her lack of friends and her guilt riddled conscience has made her develop self esteem issues. Despite the fact that these feelings are common to youngest women coming from all situations, Lily has nowhere to turn to give these insecurities. She could not turn to her father and the very fact that she cannot call him Daddy' but instead refers to him as T. Ray, shows how much distant their relationship as father and daughter are. Furthermore, she describes him as a man lost in his bitterness who has constantly failed to offer love and understanding. This struggle is what serves as an essential element in Lily's development throughout the story.
[...] "Literary Criticism of The Secret Life of Bees." NewMakers for Students (2006): 232-250. Print. Monteith, Sharon. Advancing Sisterhood? Interracial Friendships in Contemporary Print. [...]
[...] When she tells him can tell you: the globe is a great big log thrown in the fires of love” (Kidd). We see that she has come to an understanding that the same love that brings two people together can send them apart. When Lily eventually learns the truth that her mother had abandoned her, she initially reacted angrily to the news. However, later on she can confront these feelings and in the end we see that Lily is mature enough no to fall back into self-pity and can forgive and continue loving her mother despite all her flaws and complex nature. [...]
[...] However, the most important indication of Lily's maturation is when Lily gains the courage and confidence to confront her father, a final sign of how she has changed and developed showing the world that indeed she has stood up to the world she left behind and come out a new person, a strong liberated woman. Bibliography Hebert, Joy A. Critical Study of Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret." English Theses. 2011.Print. Kidd, Sue Monk. The Secret Life of Bees. 2002.Print. Marie, Anne. [...]
[...] Their influence on Lily's life is seen when August asks her what she loves, and she list bees on top of the list. The bees can guide, accompany and even drive her forward. It is through the bees that Lily was able to realize that she was in love with Zach when she licked honey off his fingers, and it is also through the same bees that she realized that she loved August. Their industrious nature and their ability to work together inspires her and their reliance of the female community, the worker bees, and her reliance on the bees community help Lily learn the value of the human community. [...]
[...] Lily's discovery of the bees in her room provides another important step in her journey to self-discovery. As suggested by the title, the bees represent a central motif in the novel. They signify guide and guidance and demonstrate the power of the female community. In disregard to Rosaleen's warning, Lily continues to capture them and through her actions she gives us the first glimpse of her determination, and willingness to expose herself to danger. It is through these bees that Lily realizes that her happiness will ultimately depend on her. [...]
using our reader.