The Secret Life of Bees

What are two examples of the theme "Resilience of the human spirit" being shown within the novel?

What are two examples?


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Throughout the novel, all of the characters are forced to cope and be resilient. They cope with grief, discrimination, abuse, and physical pain. They all use different methods to cope, and no two characters take the same approach.

May takes the most outward approach to coping. Her singing of “Oh Susannah” and leaving the room to go to her wailing wall are clear signals to everyone else that she is disturbed. This is a significant contrast to Lily’s efforts at coping, which typically involve her lying down and avoiding her feelings. Ultimately, she takes out her bottled anger in a raging tantrum, destroying the interior.

Zach copes with being jailed by taking a new, somewhat vengeful interest in race relations and civil rights. He almost exclusively discusses topics such as civil rights and the KKK. As for August, she allows her true fire to show after Zach’s jailing, exhibiting a new passion in her eyes.

T. Ray coped with Deborah’s death by turning to anger and becoming bitter towards Lily. This bitterness becomes apparent at the end of the novel, when T. Ray calls Lily Deborah. Deborah, for her part, coped with her unhappy life with T. Ray by escaping to the Boatwrights’ home, even if she had to leave her baby behind to do so.