The Secret Life Of Bees Essay

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Over the summer, incoming high school freshmen were required to read Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees. Set in South Carolina in 1964, fourteen year-old Lily Owens lives with her abusive and vulgar father, T. Ray, plagued with the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother, Deborah, died. When Rosaleen, T. Ray’s housekeeper and Lily’s lovable “stand-in mother” (2), gets in deep trouble with the meanest racists in town, consequentially going to jail, Lily busts Rosaleen out, freeing her, and together they run from Sylvan, away from Lily’s mentally and physically violent father and away from Rosaleen’s troubles. She and Rosaleen make their way to Tiburon in hopes to shed light on her mother’s past, guided only by a few of her mother’s possessions including a photograph of Black Mary and the words, Tiburon, South Carolina, written on the back. In Tiburon, they fortuitously come across the Boatwright sisters’ pink house. They meet one of the Boatwright sisters, August, who welcomes them with open arms. As the lazy days of summer slowly unravel, August teaches Lily valuable life skills as well as the Black Madonna, and secrets about bees. Lily sees herself finding a real home after years of staying at T. Ray’s hostile house, as well as clues to her mother’s mysterious past. She learns about the authority of female power through the Daughters of Mary. After a couple of months, Lily confesses the truth and confides to August about her true identity and is shocked to discover that August already knows and loves her for who she is. A role model is someone in the position to influence others, who are usually younger. Lily is surrounded by various role models. T. Ray is a terrible role model whereas August is a superb

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