Secret Life of Bees Benefit of Hatred

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Throughout maturity, women commonly experience hatred towards a number of different parts of life. Society sets high expectations for everyone, and when humans experience something against their morals they are often flooded with hatred. However, one must learn to hate in order to feel the true warmth of love. Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens; a girl who lives with her abusive father, T.Ray. Due to Lily’s discomfort around her father, she runs away to discover the truth about her dead mother, accompanied by her African American housekeeper, Rosaleen. They are led to the Boatwright sisters, Lily’s only link to her mother. Along the way she discovers the sad truth outlining society’s outlook on racism and learns things about her mother that she may not have wanted to know. Lily is affected by hatred within multiple events throughout the novel. She experiences hate towards T.Ray and the way she is treated by him. Lily also recognizes hate towards the thought of her mother leaving her. Lastly, she shows hatred towards racism and the way it affects her life as a white teenage girl.

Over the course of Lily’s life, she is constantly the victim of T. Ray’s abuse. Lily fails to see T. Ray as a father figure, due to their nonexistent relationship. She knows never to expect much from him and has become accustomed to his “sharp smacks”. There’s no affection on either end of their relationship. Lily feels that he shows more acknowledgement towards the dog than he does to her. Lily’s hate towards T. Ray leads her to take an unexpected yet necessary journey to discover things she longs to know. After Lily is released from jail, an argument arises between her and T. Ray regarding her mother. “When he swung, I turned my face. It was a clean miss…’Your mother?’ His face was bright red. ‘You think that goddamn woman gave a shit about you?’” (Kidd 38) During this argument, T. Ray’s inconsideration drives Lily to her breaking point. His...
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