English Honors 1
30 April 2012
The Secrets Behind The Secret Life of Bees
Novelist Sue Monk Kidd in her book The Secret Life of Bees illustrates Lily Owens’ journey as she overcomes the irrationalities of racism, discovers the power of the female community, and defines the importance of storytelling. Kidd’s purpose is to convey that even though society might drag a person down, the person still has someone who believes in them. She also wants people to be able to understand how real racism and loneliness is, what one can do to rise above it, and how not to put all of ones’ dreams into one belief. Kidd uses vivid imagery, poetic devices and a unique dialogue to assist making the point of views on racism in the 1960’s, Lily’s journey to finding a true role model, and the truth she craves so deeply, clear. Kidd uses a unique display of the southern vernacular in her novel, to stress the racism that occurs in the setting of the book. To exemplify the racism in the story, the characters in the novel talk in slang. When Rosaleen, Lily Owen’s companion and maid, pours tobacco juice on a white man’s shoe, Lily defines how bad the situation is because the man Rosaleen poured “snuff juice” on was “the biggest nigger-hater in Sylvan” (37-38). This makes the racism towards Rosaleen clear by the use of the derogatory word “nigger” in the dialogue. Use of this word creates a feeling of anger within the reader. Another example of how Kidd uses dialogue in the novel to enhance racism is near the end of the novel when Lily and Becca, sit at the tables in school. Lily is speaking to the reader and explaining how she and Becca “have reputations as “nigger lovers,” (301) because they hang around and stand up for Zach, Lily’s African-American crush. This displays one of the many irrationalities of racism by demonstrating how people can stereotype those who hang around colored people. Kidd also uses dialogue as an amazing device to express the mood and tone of the...
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