The Secret Life of Bees The Secret life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a powerful novel about a young white girl at the age of fourteen that experiences life through a variety of ways. Lily Owens is this young girl that travels alongside her dearest friend Rosaleen. The novel offers a variety terms that play a significant role in the novel, those terms being, foreshadowing, mood, symbolism, and finally the theme. Foreshadowing is hinting towards something that will happen in the future. The novel shows many forms of this term.
In the beginning of the novel, it hints at Lily running away. Page twenty-four of the novel proclaims that she hates where she is currently living and no longer wants to live there. “l expect this out of boys, Lily – you can’t blame them – but I expect more out of you. You act no better than a slut. ‘ ‘HE poured a mound of grits the size of an anthill onto the pine floor. ‘ ‘Get over here and kneel down. “. This shows that Lily is in a fairly abusive household and does not respect her father T-Ray. That is a strong foreshadow of her running away.
Also her friend Rosaleen gets arrested and Lily breaking her out somewhat pushes forward them running away. Towards the middle of the novel, it foreshadows that one of the Boatwright sisters are going to commit suicide. This sister is May, since April killed herself; May had always been on edge and had a mourning wall. She eventually does kill herself confirming the foreshadow. Although it is an unfortunate event it plays a pretty key role in the novel. She wants June to marry Neil, and many other things that seem to make everyone a little bit happier.
Although she is dead she wouldn’t be remembered for negative things only positive. Nearing the end of the novel, you can foreshadow that she stays. Because T-Ray finds out and the Boatwright sisters know all about what’s going on, you can foreshadow that they will push for her to stay. This all happens, thus confirming the foreshadow that she will stay. Mood plays a very important part in The Secret Life of Bees; this is because the mood changes in three sections of the novel. The beginning, middle, and end. In the beginning of the novel it starts out very unhappy.
As previously stated, Lily is very unhappy with where she lives and knows of the death of her mother. What makes it even sadder is that she blames herself for the death of her mother. Once she runs away, things start to look a bit brighter, unfortunately there is quite a bit of sadness still present in the novel. For example, once Lily and Rosaleen reach the Boatwright house, they find out that June doesn’t accept them and how one of them committed suicide. Also that one of them is basically on suicide watch due to instability in her mental health.
May, the one with unstable mental health, eventually does kill herself adding both a form of sadness, happiness, and relief to the novel. The sadness is obvious that she is dead; the happiness is that she left a note saying all the right reasons for them to go on living happy lives, and relief that May no longer has to feel the pain inside of her unstable mental health. On a happier note, Lily is in the safety of the Boatwright house and that alone is a step up form where she was. The ending of the novel is probably the happiest part of the entire thing.
This is mainly because undred seventy-four, “Oh yeah, Deborah Fontanel, She stayed out there in the honey house. She was the sweetest thing”. That sentence is probably the climax of the entire novel. Also it is very happy because the Boatwright sisters, Rosaleen, and most importantly Lily are able to convince T-Ray, that the honey farm is in fact her home. Symbolism in the novel is a fairly simple concept. Bees, they are a part of the novel from start to finish. From page one to page three hundred and two.
In the beginning the bees are flying around Lilys room and she catches them, showing an immediate ove for bees. Yet they symbolize hope in this case for Lily, because Just like them, at that time they are trapped. Towards the middle of the novel, the bees have a slightly different meaning. The bees mean care, Lily is now a bee farmer, and she cares for the bees Just like the Boatwright sisters are currently caring for Lily. Finally at the end of the novel on page one hundred sixty-seven, she becomes a true beekeeper, symbolizing accomplishment and acceptance.
Finally the theme of The Secret Life of Bees Is not to Judge someone based on their kin color, but to Judge someone based on who they are as a person. Lily undergoes this change throughout the novel. In the beginning she basically refers to Rosaleen as far below her because of her skin color and her Job. As the novel progresses, it is seen that as they travel together Lily is more accepted as too who Rosaleen is as a person and not what color she is. Eventually becoming her best friend. Once they reach the Boatwright house Lily is accepted into an all-black house.
June one of the sister’s doesn’t want her there solely because she’s white. Although as they spend more time together she slowly learns to love her as a person and not because of what skin color she is. Lily eventually generates a love interest with a young black boy named Zach, showing that by the end of the novel; possibly all of her racial prejudice is gone. Another novel that appears to have the same theme and a lot of the same events in it is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. The novels offer a similar theme of learning to love that people are people not what their skin color say they are.
In conclusion, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a very powerful novel full of laughter and love. The novel is an excellent example of many things and how life was with racial prejudice on “Both sides of the ball”. The novel has an excellent view of foreshadowing, beautiful changes in mood that can really make the reader feel as if it is happening to them, amazing symbolism that ties into the book in every which way, and finally a theme that is similar to Huck Finn yet has its own twist on life and how people need to be viewed as people and not by their skin color.