Secret Life of Bees

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‘The Secret Life of Bee’s’ written by Sue Monk Kidd, takes readers into an enchanted world of symbolism. Symbols take the form of objects, words and sounds to communicate ideas and/or beliefs. In this instance, Sue Monk Kidd uses crafted symbols such as Bees, Beehives, Honey, and Black Mary to convey the idea of ‘always needing a mother figure in life.’ Lily Owens from the start of the novel is portrayed as a tragic character. Her father T-ray piles her with guilt and responsibility of the death of her mother, leaving her with many unanswered questions of her beloved mother. Readers are drawn to have sympathy for her character as she deals with the cruelty of her father, the constant changing world, and the longing of her mother’s love and intimacy. One of the symbols used to display her desperation for a mother’s love, was the use of Beehives, and Bee’s. “The queen, for her part, is the unifying force of the community; if she is removed from the hive, the workers quickly sense her absence…they show unmistakeable signs of queenlessness.” This represents Lily’s situation precisely; the fact that she has no mother figure or Queen present in her life, makes her seem lost and incomplete, with no mother or mother-figure Lily lacks motivation to live life as every 14 year old teen would. Lily keeps bees in a jar next to her bed, beside her window, they were described as ‘poor creatures...barely moving and pining away for flight’, these bee’s represented the course of Lily’s life, as she was trapped in the isolating world of T-Ray, the more her curiosity allows her to gain more knowledge, the more she gains motivation to ‘pine away’ and begin her own ‘flight’.

In every Beehive, without a Queen Bee, the colony not only becomes dysfunctional but it then starts to be incapable of continuing on without her. A good quality queen bee means that the bee hive will be just as good. The loss of Lily’s Queen very early in her life meant that as she grew, Lily’s Beehive...
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