Elements of Writing. Incorporating Quotes and Using Transitions.
Incorporating Quotes and Using Transitions
How would it be if a fourteen-year-old girl was living as a fugitive, running away from the law? Lily Owens, the protagonist in Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, experienced this first-hand when she escapes her abusive father’s control and runs away with her maid and confidante Rosaleen. She makes a quick decision to lie about everything in life, for self-preservation, she changes her names, and she becomes Lily Williams. She uses her made-up story to hide behind, similar to the way bees live secretly with their hives, for protection against everything happening around her, in hopes for her dream world to become a reality.
Throughout the novel, Lily Owens continues to build up her lie of who she really is and why she ran away in order to keep people from being suspicious or questioning her. She struggles to concoct explanations to questions that she and August both know she cannot answer. Symbolically, Lily is climbing deeper and deeper into the honeycombs of the hive, or digging further into her hole. “It’s your secret,” Rosaleen said. “You do what you want with it” (Kidd 79). Everyone at the house knows that Lily is hiding something; however, they do not push her to tell the truth. Instead, the Boatwright sisters accept that she would reveal the truth when she was ready. Lily had to find her own way out of the “hive” and deal with reality.
Not only does Lily Owens hide from the truth, but she also tries to protect herself from what she will not accept as real. She refuses to deal with her problems and continues living in a make-believe world she created for herself. To Lily, “The first week at August’s was a consolation, a pure relief” (Kidd 82). As Lily describes the comfort of the Boatwrights’ home, she works to block out any thoughts or realizations of T. Ray or the police coming to look for her and drag her back to that man and that life. Lily jumped every time she heard a siren or saw a strange car, fearing that she would be found out and taken away. She refuses to talk to August about the truth, wanting to preserve and protect her time staying with the Calendar Sisters where she was sure she was safe. Just like in a honeybee’s nest, the bees work together as one unit exhibiting unity and protection. Lily felt that with August, May, June, and her dearest Rosaleen and was not ready to have that world destroyed by the truth.
This gnawing fear of losing the people that she now feels is family and being taken from the only place she truly feels is her home keeps Lily’s secret hidden in the dark while she continues to create this falsehood of a life she never led by a girl she never has been. “What’s wrong with living in a dream world? And Rosaleen would say, you have to wake up” (Kidd 125). While staying at the Boatwright house, Lily continued to implant the belief that she belonged there, and that everything was just fine. WhenRosaleen would tell Lily to wake up and face reality, she refused to confront the inevitable. Instead of answering August’s questions, she would avoid them and ask August hundreds of inquiries to protect herself.However, just like August knows about the secret lives bees have inside the hive, she knew that Lily was buried under her own hive of lies. “Most people don’t have any idea about all the complicated life going on inside a hive,” August states, revealing that she understands Lily has issues in her own life Lily does not want others knowing about, not, at least, until she can figure out a way to accept knowing the truth will mean for her (Kidd 148).
Through Lily’s counterfeit life that she created for herself, she is able to hide and protect herself from reality and build a fantasy world where everything is in the right place. However, as the novel concludes, she learns not only to tell the truth, but also to grow up, to forgive, and to forget. Hidden deep in the hive are the secret lives of bees, and as Lily had to learn, these secrets are eventually revealed, either by choice or unforeseen circumstances. When she accepts the reality of her situation, she is able to sort everything out and reveal the secrets of her hidden life.Conclusion Paragraph