This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Strength And Racism In “The Secret Life Of Bees”

782 words - 3 pages

Martin Luther King once said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees fully embodies his idea of equality, by introducing the story of a fourteen-year-old white girl named Lily Owens, who lives during the time of the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina. Lily’s mother was killed in an accident when Lily is a little girl. Ever since, she lives with her father T-Ray, and her black surrogate mother, Rosaleen, in Sylvan, South Carolina. Soon after her fourteenth birthday, Lily escapes to the Boatwright sisters’ house in Tiburon, South Carolina, with Rosaleen, who is arrested for assaulting a white man. Upon her arrival, Lily faces different racist situations and meets her first love, a handsome black boy named Zach. The novel The Secret Life of Bees demonstrates that although racism has a negative impact on everyday life, it also influences Zach and Lily’s development in a positive manner.
The segregation in South Carolina happens everywhere and every day. Indeed, racism is manifested through the media, the law, which legitimizes segregation, and the perceptions that white and black people have of each other. Because of the laws against colored people, Rosaleen, as a black woman, lives with constraints in her life. For example, she cannot live in a house with white people (Kidd, p.8), she cannot represent Lily at the charm school (Kidd, p.19), or even to travel with a car with white people (Kidd, p.76). The media is also influenced by racism, and constantly shows news about segregation such as the case of Martin Luther King, who is arrested because he wants to eat in a restaurant (Kidd, p.35), the “man in Mississippi was killed for registering to vote” (Kidd, p.44), and the motel in Jackson, that closes, because the owners don’t want to rent rooms to black people (Kidd, p.99). These events are so normal, that the violence becomes predictable even by youngsters as Lily, who knows “inside” that Rosaleen can be killed by the white man in the jail (Kidd, 59), and it does not bother her at all. In sum, racism negatively influences all aspects of life such as media, law and even the people’s perceptions which causes segregation.
Despite...

Find Another Essay On Strength and Racism in “The Secret Life of Bees”

The Secret Life of Bees Essay

813 words - 4 pages The Secret Life of Bees begins in the town of Sylvan, South Carolina and tells the story of 14-year-old Lily Melissa Owens. She lives on a peach orchard with her neglectful and abusive father, T. Ray. They have Black maid named Rosaleen who is a companion and caretaker of Lily. The book opens with Lily's discovery of bees in her bedroom and the story of how she killed her mother. The eve before her birthday Lily sneaks out into the peach orchard

Special Populations in The Secret Life of Bees

721 words - 3 pages There are two special populations portrayed in The Secret Life of Bees: African-Americans and women. August, June, and May Boatwright along with Rosaleen are all African-American women. Other main characters such as Lily Owens and Zach Taylor fit into one special population but not both. As this film is set in South Carolina during 1964 with a largely African-American cast, racism is certain to be a central theme. The Secret Life of Bees

Special Populations in The Secret Life of Bees

1698 words - 7 pages There are two special populations portrayed in The Secret Life of Bees: African Americans and women. August, June, and May Boatwright along with Rosaleen are all African-American women. Other main characters such as Lily Owens and Zach Taylor fit into one special population but not both. As this film is set in South Carolina during 1964 with a largely African-American cast, racism is certain to be a central theme. The Secret Life of Bees

Secret Life of Bees

789 words - 4 pages each other. Sue Monk Kid reveals to us in the, “Secret Life of Bees”, that it’s not easy growing up; everything isn’t going to happen the way you want it to be. You got to be strong and confident in yourself in order to find the answer you’re looking for. You can’t always depend on others for answers because they won’t always have the answers. You got to be a strong, confident, and independent person to show others that you can do anything. But most importantly you got to show others what it is to be love and just care for others and not take life for granted.

Secret Life Of Bees

890 words - 4 pages the hospital after she got beaten. When Lily and Rosaleen join August Boatwright’s house, August is warm and welcoming, and Lily can breathe a sigh of relief now that she found a place to stay. August acts as a second mother to Lily throughout the story, in the end Lily became more understanding, mature and she learned how to have a better control on her life. Lily did help August with taking care of the bees as well as bring out the best in

Bees That Teach a Lesson in The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

1006 words - 5 pages “Lets imagine for a moment that we are tiny enough to follow a bee into a hive. Usually the first thing we would have to ge used to is the darkness”(Kidd 82). The bee is an insect that spends all day working: working to create a home, working to spread pollen and working to create honey. A bee's life and the society of bees can be closely related to the life of humans. In the novel The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, the author conveys

The Secret life of Bees analytical essay

753 words - 4 pages In The Secret Life of Bees, author Sue Monk Kidd, portrays the transformation of Lily Owens from a child burdened with the guilt of her mother's death to a strong and confident young woman, as a result of living with May, Rosaleen, and August. Lily, burdened with the guilt of her mother's death becomes terrified of her father, T. Ray. August and May guide Lily’s growth to a life of faith and devotion while Rosaleen remains as Lily’s constant

The Secret life of Bees analytical essay

738 words - 3 pages In The Secret Life of Bees, author Sue Monk Kidd, portrays the transformation of Lily Owens from a child burdened with the guilt of her mother's death to a strong and confident young woman, as a result of living with May, Rosaleen, and August. Lily, burdened with the guilt of her mother's death becomes terrified of her father, T. Ray. August and May guide Lily’s growth to a life of faith and devotion while Rosaleen remains as Lily’s constant

"I'm going to finish what i started.";Courage in the book thief and the secret life of bees

1024 words - 5 pages Courage is the quality of mind that enables one to face danger with confidence, resolution, and firm control of oneself. This idea of courage is shown in many novels in different ways. The Book Thief, a World War II era based novel by Markus Zusak and The Secret Life of Bees, a civil rights era novel by Sue Monk Kidd both give us interpretations of courage. Zusak, in The Book Thief, shows us that courage gets us through life, even if we are

Love from Mother Figures in The "Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd and Romeo and Juliet

1019 words - 4 pages In literature, young characters need mother figures to rely on to achieve their love needs. If they were ever separated from their mothers, characters would need to search for love somewhere else. In the novel, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Lily loses her mother at a young age, and as a result, she looks to the Boatwright sisters for love and support. Similarly, in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, Lady Capulet is not

Forgiveness in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, and The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

1321 words - 6 pages , during the early 1980’s. In The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Lily was a fourteen-year-old girl who grew up in the 1960’s, a time when racial equality was a struggle. She had an intense desire to learn about her deceased mother. Her nanny, Rosaleen, with whom she grew very close over the years, raised Lily with little help from her abusive father. When her father failed to help Rosaleen after three white men hospitalized her, Lily was

Similar Essays

The Impact Of Racism In Sue Monk Kidds' The Secret Life Of Bees

1051 words - 5 pages In Sue Monk Kidds The Secret Life of Bees, the main character runs away from home, to get away from her father. Her mother died when she was little and she was told she had a part of her death. She finds a picture of her mother and a town name is mentioned on the back of it. This is where she runs off to to find more about her mother. Lily the main character realizes that racism has a big impact in her life through the relationships with

Themes And Symbols In The Secret Life Of Bees

1460 words - 6 pages Written by Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees is about a fourteen-year-old white girl, Lily, who lives with her father after accidentally shooting her mother when she was only four years old. She is nurtured by her nanny and housekeeper, an African American named Rosaleen. Lily lives with the guilt of killing her mother. After times in Sylvan, South Carolina get tough, having to deal with Lily’s evil father and the horrible racism, Lily and

The Secret Life Of Bees Essay

838 words - 3 pages Jay Riches11 EnglishWord Count: 822The Secret Life of Bees EssaySue Monk Kidd uses many techniques to shape character and explore themes in The Secret Life of Bees. The theme and characters in the novel illustrate the distinct change of character throughout the text, the change of personalities and the development of new information in characters, past and future. Sue Monk Kidd uses techniques such as use of narrative point of view to shape

The Secret Life Of Bees Essay

975 words - 4 pages 'The Secret Life of Bees" author Sue Monk Kidd portrays themes, symbols, motifs, and characterization to demonstrate that everyone regardless of circumstance or color, deserves a relationship in order to grow and evolve.A relationship that took time to evolve in the novel was the relationship between Lily and August. "I grew so quiet how could I be mad at her? I had done the same thing. Held back what I knew and my reasons were not the least bit