The Secret Life of Bees

Secret Life of bees chapter 8

Lily states, “…I loved the idea of bees having a secret life, just like the one I was living.” (Pg. 148) What is the major difference between the secret life of bees and the secret life of Lily?

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Bees symbolize Lily's mother in a number of instances throughout the novel. In Sylvan, Lily feels her mother's presence when swarms of bees enter her room. Her mother's name, Deborah, literally translates as "bee." She follows the path of her mother to Tiburon and finds herself on a honey farm.

b) Bees model human society. Once Lily begins her beekeeper training with August, she quickly learns the ways in which a beehive models the human world. Lily learns to send the bees love, to act like she knows what she's doing, and to avoid angry outbursts--all reasonably good lessons for life.

c) Bees, like Lily, need a queen or a mother figure in order to function. At the beginning of the novel, Lily uses the memory of her mother as this figure. Lily sometimes depends on Rosaleen to fulfill this role, and once in Tiburon, Lily mainly counts on August. Eventually, she turns to all eight of her Tiburon "mothers" to fulfill this need in her life.

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