Literary Analysis: Secret Life Of Bees

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Travis Greenwell AP Literature Mr. Goodlett September 14, 2009 Lily Owens: girl to young woman During the time of the civil rights movement, racism was at its peak in America. However, the journey of a determined 14-year old girl named Lily Owens takes center stage in the novel The Secret Life of Bees when she escapes from her abusive father in search of what happened to her deceased mother. She ends up in the household of three African American women who teach her key principles that contribute to success in life. Throughout this novel, Lily’s determination drives her to discover the truth about her mother while maturing in the Boatwright household. In this story, the main focus is on Lily’s journey to find everything she can about her mother and her longing for motherly love. She finds her opportunity to take this journey when Rosaleen, her African American nanny, stands up to a group of racist white men. This moment gives Lily the confidence she needs to escape from her abusive father and carry on the search for her mother’s past. Without a real mother, Lily has grown up needing to be loved. This need drives Lily to Tiburon, South Carolina where there is one last possible link to her mother. As a result of her deep longing for motherly love and who her mother was, Lily acquires a great determination. Her determination to find out more about her mother is first noticed when she breaks Rosaleen out of jail to go along with her on her journey to the one possible link to her mother. This scene shows that Lily is willing to risk anything, including her life, to have a chance to know more about her mother. Later on in the story, her determination continues to carry her when she decides to stay with three African American women who later fulfill Lily’s longing for motherly love. As Lily’s journey progresses, she

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