TheSecret Life of Bees:Journey from Guilt to Acceptance
TheSecret Life of Beesis the narration of Lily, a girl aged fourteen years, who escapesfrom her unloving father to look for the secrets of the past of herdead mother. Kidd, the author of the novel, addresses the agonizingdivide between generations and races through a tapestry of spiritualsymbolism (Van Kirk 4). The novel focuses on the role that Lilyplayed in the death of her mother which made her quilt of heractions. The narrator of the book is captured by her personal pastactions that led to the death of her mother giving her the quilt thatshe is unable to overcome. The novel explains the exploration of thepath that results in religious maturity and helps Lily to acquire herinner core on which to depend. The focus of this story is on Lily’sjourney from guilt to acceptance.
Lily’sComplex Relationship to Her Dead Mother
Thesearch for acceptance and personal inner core standing for a motherlyfigure is a significant mission for the narrator. Lily Owens, thenovel’s major character, was fourteen years old when all thisevents happened, but her attention frequently goes back to heractions ten years before her mother`s death. She understands that shewas the one who unintentionally killed her mother (Van Kirk 5).
Theknowledge of her mother’s death, in addition to her father’shostility and the lack of maternal love is intolerable. The gap leftby her mother needs to be refilled so that the author can find peace.However, it is difficult for this gap to be refilled since her motherplayed a very big role which cannot be compensated. She regrets heraction which she is not in a position to change. Therefore, shedecides to deal with it expressively, as a kind of their tradition.In chapter 1, she states “That night I lay in bed and thought aboutdying and going to be with my mother in paradise. I would meet hersaying, ‘Mother, forgive. Please forgive,’ and she would kiss myskin till it grew chapped and I was not to blame. She would tell methis for the first ten thousand years.” (Van Kirk 6)
Lily’sJourney from Guilt to Acceptance
Thechallenge that Lily faces, such as grief and guilt, is strengthenedby her struggle to find the way forward or the solution to her guilt.Her choice to leave T. Ray appears unprompted and disloyal. However,it is the natural result of the already started transformation. Theconversion continued when Lily met Zach and August who advised heraccordingly, making her perspectives to expand and thus, discoveringher courage and strength which at the end pushed her to forget thepast and live in the present. She was able to understand how theirguidance was helpful. She found out that it was promising to forgiveherself for the actions she could not control or change, and beaccountable for what she could indeed transform. Her self- esteem wasbuilt up by the little victories she faced, and enabled her to havefaith that she was precious of care (Van Kirk 7). Discovering thereality regarding her mother who had left her prior to the definiteunfortunate occurrence is a shocking exposure for Lily. Nevertheless,even if it takes the girl notable time to admit the truth, she is nolonger the same. She gets more independent on her family and her pastand also becomes much stronger. Lily identified herself withcompanions who assisted her to establish her identity. She as wellapprehends that neither criticism nor approval is significant formolding her life (Van Kirk 7).
Functionsof August and Zach as Mentors and Guides in Lily’s Journey
Theimportant thing about Zach and August is that they are an opportunityfor Lily to discover how to establish meaningful relationships withpeople. The girl was devoid of the environment of warmness, trust,and openness before she met the two friends, which made her insecureconcerning who she was. Lily had a new experience of having peoplearound that would give her support. The understanding made her awareof her right and power to choose and develop her personal life. Theexperience is much focused on maturity and also about proactivelycreating oneself instead of unendingly holding responsible theexternal circumstances (Van Kirk 8).
Lily’sUnderstanding on Self- Forgiveness
Theconnection between Lily and departed mother is not ruined but onlytransformed. Her mother’s death and all the misfortune surroundingit, including all the distress and guilt that the girl has toexperience are in reality the essential links in the path toacceptance. Lily’s personal story is important as it shaped her tothe individual she is and gave her the prospective for growth.Therefore, the story should not be rejected. The new surrounding isyet fresh for her as though she was raised to a new stage (Van Kirk9).
Lilyunderstands how to forgive herself before she can find the motherinside herself through the help of her friends August, and Zach. Sheis taught by August how to feel affection for her life and thecreatures of the world. Zach, on the other hand, is from whom thatthe girl acquires the cuteness of romantic love. The understanding ofself- forgiveness for Lily brings about the idea that love isnecessary for existence, and it is as well a practical mechanism toenhancing a secure and stable life (Van Kirk 9). August talks aboutthe bees that when they bump on the forehead of a person, they meanthey got their eyes on the individual, and the person needs to becareful by sending them love and all will be well (Chapter 8).
Thecenter of concentration of TheSecret Life of Beesnovel is more on the religious transformation that the reporterexperiences after meeting Zach and August as well as her sisters. Thestory shows the way people are capable of sparking each other andestablish relationships founded on affection, and how thecomprehension of love can make life more meaningful and secure. Lilytakes a notable amount of time to refuse the guilt perception andgrow up, which was the hindrance on the journey of love. However,acceptance arises which enables her life to be more fulfilling andthus, she concentrates more on the current instances. The previouslife tragedies do not fade away, but they are incorporated into afresh point of view, including optimistic lessons.
VanKirk, Susan. CliffsnotesOn Kidd`s The Secret Life Of Bees.Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. Print.