Secret Life Of Bees Theme Essay

On By In 1

Strength And Racism In “The Secret Life Of Bees”

Martin Luther King once said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees fully embodies his idea of equality, by introducing the story of a fourteen-year-old white girl named Lily Owens, who lives during the time of the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina. Lily’s mother was killed in an accident when Lily is a little girl. Ever since, she lives with her father T-Ray, and her black surrogate mother, Rosaleen, in Sylvan, South Carolina. Soon after her fourteenth birthday, Lily escapes to the Boatwright sisters’ house in Tiburon, South Carolina, with Rosaleen, who is arrested for assaulting a white man. Upon her arrival, Lily faces different racist situations and meets her first love, a handsome black boy named Zach. The novel The Secret Life of Bees demonstrates that although racism has a negative impact on everyday life, it also influences Zach and Lily’s development in a positive manner.
The segregation in South Carolina happens everywhere and every day. Indeed, racism is manifested through the media, the law, which legitimizes segregation, and the perceptions that white and black people have of each other. Because of the laws against colored people, Rosaleen, as a black woman, lives with constraints in her life. For example, she cannot live in a house with white people (Kidd, p.8), she cannot represent Lily at the charm school (Kidd, p.19), or even to travel with a car with white people (Kidd, p.76). The media is also influenced by racism, and constantly shows news about segregation such as the case of Martin Luther King, who is arrested because he wants to eat in a restaurant (Kidd, p.35), the “man in Mississippi was killed for registering to vote” (Kidd, p.44), and the motel in Jackson, that closes, because the owners don’t want to rent rooms to black people (Kidd, p.99). These events are so normal, that the violence becomes predictable even by youngsters as Lily, who knows “inside” that Rosaleen can be killed by the white man in the jail (Kidd, 59), and it does not bother her at all. In sum, racism negatively influences all aspects of life such as media, law and even the people’s perceptions which causes segregation.
Despite...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Lily's fulfillment of the "Heroic Journey" in Secret life of the Bees

3633 words - 15 pages The classic tale of the hero's journey can be recognized in almost every situation. It is not only apparent through daily life and historical events, but in this circumstance, a fictional novel, as well. As an epic voyage, it can be recognized in the vast majority of books throughout the course of history. One specific example where it is carefully and intricately exhibited is in Sue...

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

1107 words - 4 pages Racism: Then and Now. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a book discussing the internal strife of a young white girl, in a very racist 1960’s south. The main character, Lily Owens, faces many problems she must overcome, including her personal dilemma of killing her own mother in an accident. Sue Monk Kidd accurately displays the irrationality of racism in the South during mid- 1960's not only by using beautiful language, but very...

"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd

852 words - 3 pages Becoming a Queen BeeComing of age is one of the most difficult tasks in anyone's life; it requires understanding oneself, growing immensely as an individual and as a member of society, and experiencing life-changing events and coming out the better from them. Many coming-of-age stories have been written throughout the history of literature, some of the most famous including: The

"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd

1372 words - 5 pages In The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd makes this evident through her protagonist, Lily Owens. Lily grows up in South Carolina during...

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

1451 words - 6 pages The Quest Pattern theory states that during adolescence a youth is looking for their identity. This individual will look for a place where they are accepted. The quest fits a loose pattern; the first step is determined by fate, destiney provides a troubling situation before the individual can embark on their journey. Then the initial change happens, or the event that sets the quest in motion. Next is the unchartered territory, in this stage the...

A Metaphysical Comparison between "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd and "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce

1543 words - 6 pages The Development of the ArtistArtists come in many forms, shapes, and sizes, but all artists start out as children. It is often through experiences acquired while growing up that one has topics and inspiration for creating later in life. Lily Owens, the protagonist of

Living a Lie in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Lady With The Dog

895 words - 4 pages It is very difficult for someone to live a lie, pretending to be happy with the way things are when in all actuality they are not. Sometimes people feel helpless to change the things that are happening around them in their private lives so they seek a way out . These people often live secret lives, this is an escape route from the every day reality that they have grown to hate. In this paper I will attempt to illustrate how this hopeless reality...

Comparison of Mitty in real life and in his dreams: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber.

738 words - 3 pages Life is harsh and unfair and living through it may seem to be an endless torment. Even beloved people can sometimes create our deepest engraves. Therefore surviving through it requires dreaming beyond life and its sufferings. Some people daydream to enter their perfect world and others daydream to escape the bleakness of reality. In the short story "

The Strength of Dilsey in The Sound and the Fury

794 words - 3 pages The Strength of Dilsey in The Sound and the Fury In The Sound and the Fury, the fated Compson family is a portrayal of both the declining old South and the new South that rose demonically out of its ruins. Through the Compsons, Faulkner personifies at once the mournful self-pity of a fallen gentry, and in Jason, the embittered rage and resentment of those who come after the fall. Throughout the novel, Dilsey is the one quiet...

The Secret Life Of Hubie Harrzel

531 words - 2 pages THE SECRET LIFE OF HUBIE HARRZEL By Susan Rowan Masters This book is about Hubie Claude Hartzel, and he likes to dream. In class he likes to draw funny pictures of his fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Bunch. Hubie is the victim of the fifth grade bully, Ralph Marruci. Marruci had always made a laughing stock out of Hubie. Hubie has a cat named Fred Ferkle that is 16 years old....

The Secret Life Of Great White Sharks

2184 words - 9 pages Great White Sharks are greatly misinterpreted as vicious man-eaters because of the media, movies, and people’s imaginations, but they are actually large fish who mistake people for seals and other marine life. What is a great white shark? The great white, among the least understood of Earth’s creatures, is an apex predator, meaning that it is at the top of the food chain with no natural predators. This means great whites have their pick of food...

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd Essay

896 Words4 Pages

Racism: Then and Now. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a book discussing the internal strife of a young white girl, in a very racist 1960’s south. The main character, Lily Owens, faces many problems she must overcome, including her personal dilemma of killing her own mother in an accident. Sue Monk Kidd accurately displays the irrationality of racism in the South during mid- 1960's not only by using beautiful language, but very thoroughly developed plot and character development. Kidd shows the irrationality of racism through the characters in her book, The Secret Life of Bees and shows that even during that time period, some unique people, were able to see beyond the heavy curtain of racism that separated people from each…show more content…

Lily shows her non-racist side in the very beginning of the book, after Rosaleen has been put in jail for spitting on a very racist white man’s shoe. She willingly sneaks into jail and attempts to free Rosaleen, but gets sent home with the racist and mean father, T. Ray. She once again tries to free Rosaleen, and this time sneaks into a hospital to free her. Lily is successful this time, and runs away with Rosaleen. Many quotes from the Secret Life of Bees express the views of different characters on racism. ” She was black as could be, twisted like driftwood from being out in the weather, her face a map of all the storms and journeys she’d been through. Her right arm was raised as if she was pointing the way, except her fingers were closed in a fist. It gave her a serious look, like she could straighten you out if necessary.” In this quote, Lily describes the Black Virgin Mary, the lord of the Sisters of Mary, and later learns the significance of this statue, which is to look within yourself to find your true, hidden self. When Lily has her earlier conversations with Zach, she has a slight edge of racism in her voice. When Zach tells Lily that he want to be a lawyer, she says: “I’ve just never heard of a Negro lawyer, that’s all. You’ve got to hear of these things before you can imagine them.” However, despite this fact, she supports Zach’s

Show More

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *