The Secret Life of Bees

Mother Figures in The Secret Life of Bees 10th Grade

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is an intriguing novel written in the perspective of young Lily Owens. Lily’s story begins while she is at her home with T Ray, her evil father who despises her. She runs away with her nanny, Rosaleen, after a short scuffle with the law. She and Rosaleen hitchhike their way to Tiburon, South Carolina where they meet the Boatwright sisters who will change their lives for the better. These women take them in and treat them as if they are family even though they have just met. The women in the novel portray considerable amounts of sympathy to Rosaline and Lilly. Through the characters of June, Rosaleen, and August, Lily’s quest for maternal values is fulfilled when she finds out that these personas portray the motherly qualities of forgiveness, caring, and wisdom.

In the novel, June’s character fluctuates from the initial idea of hatred of Lily to when she loves her, which unveils the nurturing quality of forgiveness that is within her. In the beginning chapters of the book, June has a kind of hostility towards Lily that is uneasily overlooked; however, Lily soon figures out that June actually loves her. During the water fight scene, Lily is walking over the ladies and...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1189 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9184 literature essays, 2395 sample college application essays, 405 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in