Secret Life of Bees

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In the coming-of-age story of The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd tells the story of fourteen-year-old Lily Owens. Lily lives on a peach farm in Sylvan, South Carolina, with her semi-abusive father, T. Ray, and her colored nanny, Rosaleen. Her whole existence has been formed around the indistinct memory of the day her mother died. Lily so desperately seeks redemption and truth about her mother, but gets no answers from her father. After Rosaleen crosses three of their town’s sternest racists, Lily and Rosaleen run away to Tiburon, South Carolina- a town which holds a secret about her mother’s past. There, Lily and Rosaleen aide the Boatwright sisters in their beekeeping business and caring for the household, where Lily gains the knowledge she longed for for so long. In this moving story, Kidd addresses a powerful theme and uses rhetoric and tone to create a heart-touching tale about a young girl and her quest for deliverance. The major theme of this story is ignorance versus knowledge. At the beginning of the story, Lily is ignorant about her family, her past, and the potential of life beyond her hometown of Sylvan, South Carolina, but she does not realize that gaining knowledge is sometimes hidden for a reason and can bring great sorrow. She is a young girl who believes she will never amount to much, and experiences routinely abuse from her cruel father. But she has an incessant thirst for knowledge about her world and her past, and an utmost desire for understanding about her mother. All Lily knows about her mother’s life is what happened the day she died. As time progresses, her father reveals to her that her mother had left them both, which greatly upsets Lily and angers her deeply. So, when the opportunity presents itself, Lily flees to Tiburon in hopes of learning more about her mother. Yet, when she gains said knowledge, and learns that her mother had, indeed, left her and her father, it is potentially more than she can handle, and is bothered by the...
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