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Secret Life of Bees

Essay Topic:

1. Coming of age: A coming of age novel is a novel in which shows the transition of the protagonist from childhood to adulthood through a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual journey. The Secret Life of Bees is a coming of age novel for Lily because she matures and loses her innocence.

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For example in chapter two Lily makes a mature decision to leave home because she finally realizes that how T. Ray is treating her is vile and un-fatherly. (Kidd 39-43). When Lily comes to the bee farm, she finds that there is goodness in the world.

When she finds this goodness she grows up a little more and adds more experience to her somewhat small view of the world. 2. Literary Allusions: A literary allusion is something in the text that references to something that the audience would recognize. For example the book references Moses delivering God’s people out of Egypt, and the other uses that allusion to tie together how the bees are the one’s that delivered Lily away T. Ray. Lily says that the bees “were sent as a special plague for T. Ray. God saying, Let my daughter go, and maybe that’s exactly what they’d been, a plague that released me. ” (Kidd 151).

This allusion is tied to the plot because she is referencing the bees to the classic story of Moses, and also talks about how the bees were her escape from T. Ray. 3. The bees are important to the story because they are the ones who have appeared to guide Lily throughout the entire book. In the beginning of the book she traps a few bees in a jar but feels guilty about leaving them in a jar so she opens the jar to let them free, but the bees don’t leave right away, it takes them awhile to finally leave (Kidd 27-28). The bees continue to be a motif because they signify how each bee has a purpose, just like each character has a purpose.

This is important to May’s death because if one bee leaves the hive things go crazy and so May was the bee that left and this left the entire hive in a fury (Kidd 192-214). The bees are also a motif in the title because in the beehive Lily has this big secret that she continues to keep from everyone and this is where the title The Secret Life of Bees has most likely came from. 4. The river is relevant to Lily’s coming of age because with this river Lily sees death and this probably reminds her of her mother’s death. Also Lily gets a more clear understanding of death because of the river taking the life of May.

The river is also symbolic because the river makes up the stones that make the Wailing Wall and so Lily finds the sadness in the wall and finds out about May’s pain and sadness (Kidd 80-83). With this information Lily is able to grow up and figure out more about the world itself outside the beehive. 5. Setting: The setting is essential to the story because with the time period first of all if it took place in modern time Rosaleen wouldn’t have gone to prison, nor would those men have been aloud to beat her up without getting in trouble.

Sadly this was a time when people treated black people poorly as if they were still slaves in a sense. Something else that would have been different is T. Ray wouldn’t have been able to treat Lily the way he had and this is essential to the plot because if T. Ray hadn’t gotten away with being an awful father than Lily probably wouldn’t have run away from home. The time period is important to how this story plays out for if it had been a different time period this story wouldn’t have happened. 6. 7. 8. Foil: In the story it is obvious in short period of time that June is quite different from her older sister August.

While June is cold to people and shuts them out, especially Lily, August is calm, caring, motherly, and the queen bee. June is very protective of her self where August is outgoing and let’s people in no matter who they may be. For example June wants to essentially throw Lily out on the street because she wants to keep things easy, but August says that Lily needs to stay until she is ready to leave (Kidd 86-87). This is one of many times where August and June clash in personalities and this is quite important because it moves the plot along.