"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd

Essay by selenebloodlustCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 2007

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Becoming a Queen BeeComing of age is one of the most difficult tasks in anyone's life; it requires understanding oneself, growing immensely as an individual and as a member of society, and experiencing life-changing events and coming out the better from them. Many coming-of-age stories have been written throughout the history of literature, some of the most famous including: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. One aspect that all of these novels have in common is that they are coming-of-age stories of white males - the dominant anchors of western society. Few have dared to show the trials and tribulations of growing up through the eyes of a female - let alone through the eyes of a motherless white girl living in the home of three black women in the bigoted south - and this is exactly what Sue Monk Kidd does in her debut novel.

In The Secret Life of Bees, a female coming-of-age story set in the Post-Civil Rights Act South, Kidd demonstrates that growing up female is just as (if not more) difficult as growing up male due to the separate viewpoint and set of experiences that are singularly feminine.

The bond between a mother and a daughter can be very strong, and some would argue stronger than any other relationship due to the maternal connection shared between them. From the beginning of the book, Lily Owens, the protagonist, is motherless and left under the sole care of her angry and abusive father who she addresses as T. Ray instead of "dad". As a female, Lily is more emotionally susceptible to her abusive encounters with her father and has no mother to comfort her outside of Rosaleen, her black caretaker; Lily...