The Secret Life of Bees: Coming of Age
What is growing up? Growing up is accepting responsibilities of adulthood. In the novel “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd illustrate a theme related to the transition from childhood to adulthood. Lily matures through her experiences of running away from home, breaking her stereotype about African Americans, and losing her innocence seeing May’s death.
In the beginning when Lily is abused by her father, she is angry when T.Ray says that her mom left her. Lily then gained courage from Rosaline when she kept her head up in front of the white men bullying her. She wants to find her independence so she breaks Rosaline from jail and escapes to Tiburon. “I realized for the first time in my life; there is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don’t even know it”(Kidd 63). After leaving T.Ray, Lily has the opportunity to see how other people live. This quote shows her realization that everyone has pain but not everyone sees it. Her running away shows how she matures because she is far away from the place that she is familiar with.
Throughout the novel, though Lily is not racist but she is a little stereotypical. She thinks that African Americans could be smart but not as smart as her since she is white because that’s what T.Ray has taught her. Then, when she sees how smart August Boatwright is she says
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“Lying on the cot in the honeyhouse, though, all I could think was August is so intelligent, so cultured, and I was surprised by this. That’s what let me know I have some prejudice buried inside me”(Kidd 78). Lily is shocked and acknowledges her bias thoughts. This quote shows her growth because now she has seen it herself and has her own idea different from what her father taught her.
Towards the end May commits suicide