The Secret Life of Bees

How does Lily determine a sign?

Chapter 3

The secret life of bees

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In Chapter Nine, Lily decides that she needs a sign. Her plan is to take nine steps and look up. Her eyes land on a crop duster, which provides little assistance.

Lily is depicted as a very thoughtful and introspective girl throughout the novel, and in this section her depth of thought is shown through her creation and interpretation of metaphors in the world around her. For example, when Lily takes nine steps and looks up for a sign, she is confused about which part of the scene above her represents her. She could either be the rescued plants, the murdered bugs, or the airplane.