The Secret Life of Bees Essay

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The Secret Life of Bees

In Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees there is a psychological allegory present, which is proven by the characters in the story. The psychological allegory is based on the theory by Sigmund Freud, this theory states that in the human brain there is three major psychological portions, the id, the ego, and the super ego. The id is the portion that induces selfishness and hatred and other “bad” actions, the super ego is the opposite of the id, putting others before ones self and caring for others, the ego is the perfect balance between the two and is almost always the psyche portrayed be the protagonist. In this novel it is T. Ray who illustrates the id, through his bad treatment of Lily, his lack of commitment to Rosaleen, and his selfishness when Lily is gone. May Boatwright is the character who illustrates the super ego by her innocence, her caring and by her need for perfection. The ego is portrayed be Lily, through her good decision making, her panning abilities, and by the way she stands up to her father. All of these characters are uniquely important to proving the psychological allegory that can be found in this novel.

In this story it is the character T. Ray who fills the role of the id in the psychological allegory, T. Ray fills this role by the way he treats Lily, the way he doesn’t care about his worker; Rosaleen, and by the way he only thinks of himself during lily’s absence. T. Ray’s only family left to him is his daughter Lily, yet he still treats her poorly. T. Ray finds Lily outside in the dark and without any proof of misbehaviour he punishes her rather severely “He poured a mound of grits the size of an anthill onto the pine floor “Get over here and kneel down” (p24) T. Ray seems to almost enjoy punishing Lily, perhaps because he still blames her for his wife’s death. This is a trait which fits the id portion of the psyche. T. Ray does not seem to care about the only other adult in the house he lives...
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