The Secret Life of Bees

How does the TITLE relate to the content of the work?

How would it relate? I can't figure it out please help

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I think the bees are a metaphor for people. The bees that are tended serve as a personification of order or chaos that humans live in but most hardly notice or see. That's my take!

The author uses symbolically uses bees in many ways throughout the course of the novel, but nowhere is the symbolism more evident than the quotes used to open each chapter of the novel.

The beginning of the novel focuses on a quote that claims that if a queen bee is taken from its hive, the state of the hive becomes immediately obvious. No Queen........... it means complete chaos. Lily is introduced to us as a motherless orphan, and the fact that there were no mother figures in her life was apparent from the get go.

Later, another quote cites that if a bee is removed from its sisters it will surely die. This symbolizes May's feelings of hopelessness and eventual suicide.

Finally we have the title's significance in terms of the character Lily. Her life is her own, she clings to her past and holds it secret from those she feels will judge her. She holds herself within a hive of her own making; she's unique........... and she stays in and values her hive until those around her help her to leave it. It's her safe place.


The Secret Life of Bees

Also the bees (as a motif) labour and work hard despite overwhelming odds. Some die but most survive through the hardships and labour. This sense of survival and community inspires Lily.