The Secret Life of Bees

In chapter 13 the celebration of the assumption of Mary is included in this chapter. What do the women do to the lady in chains? Hoe does August explain this?

Secret life of bees 

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As the ceremony continues, Neil and Zach carry the Our Lady statue out of the honey house, and August reads Mary’s words from the Bible. August explains that the celebration commemorates Mary rising to heaven. She also emphasizes that Mary was always able to break the chains that have bound her. As a group, the Daughters and others begin removing the chains from Mary. August announces that Mary cannot be cast down, and neither can her daughters.

August then opens a jar of Black Madonna Honey and pours it over the head of the Our Lady statue. The Daughters begin rubbing the honey into the statue, and soon Lily joins in as well. The Daughters explain that churches bathe their statues in holy water, but the Daughters use honey. Honey, as a preservative, symbolizes how Mary’s spirit will be preserved in the hearts of the Daughters. All of the women fall into a rhythm of massaging honey into Our Lady. Lily realizes that this is the first time since she learned the truth about her mother that she has felt content doing anything. After the washing, Lily lays down on a cot attempting not to think.