Secret Life of Bees

687 Words3 Pages
Sue Monk Kidd’s novel, “Secret Life of Bees,” based in South Carolina in the 1960s, explores a number of confronting and major issues, such as forgiveness and feminine power. It also explores the history of racism in America at this time, and the impacts and implications this had on the way many “coloured” people lived their lives. The story follows the life of Lily, a pre-adolescent girl, who has been through a lot after the death of her mother. This is mostly due to her father, whom she called T.Ray, ‘as daddy’ didn’t suit him. Rosaleen, Lily’s nanny is also a key character in this book, as she too escapes with Lily, as they attempt to escape from the hatred they have experienced. In the “Secret Life of Bees” Kidd presents a strong message about racism. The novel is set in 1964, which is right after the Civil Rights Act in South Carolina, Tiburon. African American people still experienced racism; they do not have the right to vote even though the Civil Rights Act has already occurred. Lily’s African American nanny and also her only friend, Rosaleen was trying to vote, but the police put her in jail. In jail Rosaleen was beaten up badly by the white police officers. Monk Kidd illustrated the many truthful hardships African Americans had to endure during this time, and constantly drew comparisons between ‘white’ and ‘black’ lifestyles. As Monk Kidd repeated the colloquial slang such as “nigger” and “negro”, it became very vivid to the reader the way in which people saw clear divides in the society, and the ways in which they were willing to judge and torment these people, due to race. “The Secret Life of Bees” explores the importance of forgiveness. Kidd wants her readers to realize how hard it is to forgive the painful truth. Lily’s heart fills with sorrow when she finds out her mother left her with her brutal father T.Ray to run away to Tiburon. Lily is
Open Document