“I thought about August’s words. People can start out one way, and by the time life gets through with them they end up completely different” (Kidd, 293). Although it may seem as if this quote has a negative viewpoint, in relation to Lily, it represents how her life took a turn for the better and how she developed on the knowledge she obtained. In the novel The Secret Life of Bees’ Lily’s decision to leave her home allowed her to learn and grow. To begin, Lily learns that she can care for yourself and create your own happiness.
Additionally, Lily learned that who you are affects your life, including your internal struggles and ecision-making skills. As well Lily learned to look at the world with positivity and treat everyone with respect. All these reasons show how Lily grew throughout the novel. To start off, Lily learns that she only needs herself and that she is her own happiness. First of all, in the end of the novel Lily was putting away her mother’s things when she finds a pile of mouse bones.
Lily cleaned them and started to carry them around, she said “every day I carried them around in my pocket and could not imagine why I was doing it” (Kidd, 278). She thought about them when waking up and made a connection between the ones and her deceased mother. As the book went on Lily came to realize she no longer needed them, she noted “I decided sometimes you just need to nurse something, that’s all” (Kidd, 285). In a way Lily took care of the bones the way she wished her mother could, but she found out she no longer needed someone to care for her.
Furthermore, Lily began on her journey to self happiness from her ‘stand-in mother’ August, who told Lily “Our Lady is not some magical being out there somewhere, like a fairy godmother. She’s not the statue in the parlor. She’s something inside of you” (Kidd, 288). August had to ell Lily this for her to realize that she herself has strength, comfort and many more capabilities. She doesn’t need anyone for that because all of it is inside of herself, August just had to remind Lily of this.
Lastly, Lily has to deal will many terrible moments in her life from her mother’s death, her abusive father and the issues of the time period, but through it all she finds happiness and her life can relate to the bees, by the quote “a worker [bee] is just over a centimeter long and weighs only about sixty milligrams; nevertheless, she can fly with a load heavier than herself” (Kidd, 257). Through the adventure of her ife and the ups and downs; Lily realizes she is strong, she can deal with anything life throws at her and she learns to ‘fly’.
Correspondingly, Lily learned that who you are affects your life, including your internal struggles and decision-making skills. In the first place, Lily first started to understand how life can alter and change people when T. Ray came to take Lily back. In the line, “Deborah, I heard him mumble. You’re not leaving me again” (Kidd, 294), Lily registers that her father saw her as her mother Deborah. Life got through to T. Ray and because of Deborah originally leaving and then being killed it affected him nd caused him to take his pain out on Lily.
Not only this but the fact that Lily resembled Deborah so much also had an effect on T. Ray. We find this out when August tells Lily “The first day you showed up, I took one look at you and all I could see was Deborah” (Kidd, 293). Likewise, Lily had her own struggles and prejudices that were influenced from who she was and where she lived. On Sue Monk Kidd’s website site it is said that “Sue Monk Kidd was raised in the small town of Sylvester, Georgia, a place that deeply influenced the writing of her first novel The Secret Life of Bees” (Web, Sue).
It is important to acknowledge hat the place where Lily grew up, because different races were separated by both law and people’s attitudes. Lily had learned to believe blacks are unimportant citizens, by the people around her and most importantly her father, who didn’t think coloured women were smart. Lily’s attitude began to change when she met the Boatwright sisters – who were strong black women with a profession, an education, and a positive religious community. It further occurs to Lily that prejudice can work both ways when June reacts to Lily’s whiteness with disrespect.
Finding out how prejudice feels, Lily begins to understand that he person on the inside is more important than skin color on the outside. Lastly, the main difficulty that Lily dealt with through the course of the novel was her belief that she no longer had a mother. Ever since her mother’s passing, Lily had been on a certain type of quest to find motherly love. Lily felt as if she no longer had a mother-daughter connection until the line “I go back to that one moment when I stood in the driveway with small rocks and clumps of dirt around my feet and looked back at the porch.
And there they were. All these mothers. I have more mothers than any eight girls of the street. They are the moons shining over me” (Kidd, 302). From this point Lily ultimately recognizes she indeed does have a mother, more than one to be exact and they have been by her side since her adventure to Tiburon. As a final point, Lily learned to look at the world with positivity and treat everyone with respect. To begin, the Calendar Sisters, Rosaleen and the Daughters of Mary each loved Lily very much.
These women were Lily’s role models, they were the ones who showed her she was lovable and they taught her to be positive and respectful. In the end of the book, T. Ray comes to take Lily ack, but all of these women stand up for Lily and she is so grateful, thinking “all these women, all this love, waiting” (Kidd, 299). The women that come in to Lily’s life are the ones who help her to grow and mature. They are the ones who set Lily on the right path and granted Lily with a better way of living.
Similarly, when August first introduces beekeeping she shows Lily how to treat the bees right. August taught Lily that “the world was really one big bee yard, and the same rules worked fine in both places: Don’t be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don’t be an idiot; wear long sleeves and long ants. Don’t swat. Don’t even think about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates, while whistling melts a bee’s temper. Act like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t. Above all, send the bees love” (Kidd, 92).
Being able to take care of bees and see a mini-little world allowed Lily to see that her actions do have an effect on the things around her. In the end, coming to live with the Boatwrights helped Lily overcome her prejudices. Originally, Lily thought “they could be smart, but not as smart as me, me being white” (Kidd, 78). Until she meets the Boatwright sisters and all she can think is “August is so ntelligent, so cultured, and I was surprised by this” (Kidd, 78). At first Lily is shocked but eventually this allows her to realize the truth about the wrongfulness of racism and she learns to overcome racial stereotypes.
Also later in the book, Lily is faced with another prejudices when she begins to develop romantic feelings for Zach. When she was in school she learned from other students that black boys could not possibly be handsome, because the features of their faces were so different from those of white boys. She realizes this is not the case with Zach or anyone and also realizes that her thought process on race was wrong. To summarize, people of all ages can all take away something from The Secret Life of Bees’ and hopefully readers can learn a thing or two from this book.
All in all, these are many of the significant life lessons Lily discovers, she learns that she can care for yourself and create your own happiness. Additionally, she learned that who you are affects your life, including your internal struggles and decision-making skills. Lastly, Lily learned to look at the world with positivity and treat everyone with respect. In conclusion, in the novel The Secret Life of Bees’ Lily’s decision to leave her home allowed her to learn and grow.