The Secret Life of Bees

Lily and May

In chapter ten, right when they found May's dead body, Lily makes a connection with May and the Lady of Chains.

     "When they laid her down on the bank, water gushed from her mouth and nostrils. I though, this is the way our lady came washing up on the river near Charleston. I though,  look at her finger, her hands. They are so precous."

My question is what's significant about the connection Lily makes between May and Our Lady?

I would really appriciate the help, I have answered 129 other questions (this is the last one) on this book and my mind is litteraly done with all of the questions. So if you could please help me I would be so thankful.

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Lily sees salvation for May's pain through Mary. The "Lady in Chains" provides a sense of respite for Lily when she thinks about May. May becomes a symbol of suffering and resurrection: a Christ-figure of sorts through the mercy of Mary. Below is an explanation of the daughters of Mary by GradeSaver.

The Daughters of Mary, as a group of black women in the South in the 1960s, have clearly been exposed to their share of discrimination. The Boatwright sisters have attended college, but they have not really been able to find appropriate jobs outside of the black community, except for domestic positions within white households. The women feel the societal chains that bind them to a specific status position. The story of Our Lady provides women with hope for advancing their lives regardless of the "chains" that hold them down. Rather, they realize their ability to harness their internal power to enhance their lives.