The Secret Life of Bees Essay

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Anya Ragnhildstveit The Secret Life of Bees As humans the repercussions of our past can taunt our present existence. Whether it is our faults, failures, or the damage caused by others, everyone is vulnerable to the same occurrences, and it’s up to ourselves to learn from it. This is the case in The Secret Life of Bees when Lily’s recollection of her mother’s death is one she cannot escape. Sue Monk Kidd illustrates Lily Owen’s desperate search for answers about her mother leading to the discovery of how powerful love can transcend through a prevailing female community. Lily’s experiences and trials throughout the novel allows readers to share the importance of truth and accepting the realities of life. Sue Monk Kidd also explores the importance of forgiveness, racism and maternal love. Alone, exposing her to lies, distrust, and secrecy Lily’s father raised her. Since her mother’s death Lily’s father turned malicious, punishing Lily for irrational errors by kneeling on grits. The constant mental neglect along with lies created doubt in Lily’s mind, never forgiving herself nor her father for the death of her mother. Lily blamed herself for an act that at her premature age could not comprehend. Instead she treasures the knowledge she retains of her mother Deborah, deciding to run away to find the truth. Lily throughout the novel struggles with the guilt of having killed her mother and trying to accept responsibility. At the same time, Lily's mother showed herself to be subject to a moment of irresponsibility when she ran away without her daughter. As a result despite her feelings, Lily drives toward forgiving both Deborah and herself. Lastly, Lily is able to achieve forgives near the end of the novel, “In the photograph by my bed my mother is perpetually smiling at me. I guess I have forgiven us both, although sometimes in the night my dreams will take me back to

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