How Lily’s Journey Teaches Her Irreplacable Lessons

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kaatiebaaker
Words 1152
Pages 5
The Secret Life of Bees, a beautiful coming of age novel written by Sue Monk Kidd, teaches its readers powerful lessons that touch the heart. Lily’s decision to run away enlightens her perspectives on life and helps her discover herself and her values. The journey that she makes results in a better understanding of the true meaning of family, the faults of her society, and what being happy really consists of.
The first Lesson Lily learns is about family. Lily’s family life when she was living at home lacked the love and affection she needed. After running away, she makes several important discoveries about what family really is, and where it is found. The first, and most prominent, example of this in the novel is Lily’s mother. After accidentally killing her mother when she was young, Lily has to live with the unfortunate realities of only having one parent. It is clear that Lily feels the absence of her mother. “The queen, for her part, is the unifying force of the community; if she is removed from the hive, the workers very quickly sense her absence. After a few hours, or even less, they show unmistakable signs of queenlessness” (7). This passage is directly talking about bees, but indirectly referring to Lily and her mother.
After she leaves her home in Sylvan, South Carolina and ends up in a house surrounded by black women, Lily realizes that a “mother” is not necessarily what it is defined to be. At the end of the novel, Lily finds that, in fact, she has adopted multiple mothers; a mother is not someone who gives birth to you, but someone who raises, helps, cares for, and loves you. “And there they were. All these mothers. I have more mothers than any eight girls off the street. They are the moons shining over me” (343). By understanding this, Lily comes to forgive herself and is able to let Rosaleen, August, and the other Daughters of Mary fill the empty…...

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