Secret Life of Bees Outline

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The novel “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd explores the profound influence of love between individuals from diverse racial backgrounds and the strong bond forged through maternal affection. The protagonist embarks on a journey to seek this love, only to discover that it is not readily attainable, irrespective of the path taken.

In Scripture, the term “love” mainly denotes a deliberate dedication to selfless deeds for another person. August educates Lily about the all-encompassing and everlasting love that exists universally, which is actually created by the Virgin Mary. August asserts that in order for Lily to recover the sense of completeness she lost after her mother’s death, she must acknowledge that she is cherished by this Magnificent Universal Mother.

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Every person, regardless of circumstances or skin color, needs a mother. When Lily was four years old, she accidentally shot her mother, an event that profoundly impacts her for the rest of her life. Her father consistently claims that on that fateful day, her mother had only returned to retrieve her belongings and not because she wanted to see Lily herself. Throughout the book, Lily’s main objective is to uncover the true identity of her biological mother. While she may not fully understand what it feels like to have a mother’s presence, she strongly feels the constant absence of her own mother. As she grows up, Lily deeply feels the void left by this lack of a maternal figure in different stages of her life. Even though Rosaleen could potentially serve as a substitute for a maternal figure in Lily’s life, there is still a strong longing within Lily for an authentic bond.

After moving to Tiburon, Lily discovers unexpected motherly love. The Boatwright sisters and the Daughters of Mary all embrace her with their unique approaches, fulfilling her various needs. Above all, August becomes a trusted confidant, allowing Lily to bare her soul and cry, just as she would with a mother.

During the 60’s, inter-racial relationships faced immense challenges. Although segregation was officially abolished around 1964, societal attitudes towards inter-racial love remained segregated. This book, set in 1964, portrays a society in which love between individuals from different races was frowned upon. Despite the gradual progress towards ending segregation, people continued to strive for as much segregation as possible.

Being with Zach allows Lily to gain a deeper insight into society’s perspectives on race. Initially, she struggled to envision herself being attracted to a black man. Despite their profound love for one another, their relationship faces societal disapproval. They make a shared commitment to eventually overcome the current prohibition against interracial dating and be together.

Zach gives Lily his dog tags as a symbol of eternal love and a commitment to wait until racial prejudice no longer exists. Eventually, Lily sets out on a journey to find the affection she has always longed for, especially from a motherly figure. This quest leads her to meet the Black Madonna and the three Boatwright sisters, who become sources of nurturing love for her. Along the way, she also experiences a different kind of love from a young man. She realizes that her own racism had previously clouded her perception of black men’s attractiveness. Despite knowing they can never be together due to racial tensions, Lily promises to love him forever.

Introduction – Love is a universal desire that everyone longs for and wants to experience. As a teenager, imagine the hardship of not being able to feel or receive love. It is important to recognize that love knows no boundaries and can be found in various forms, regardless of one’s ethnicity.

In Sue Monk Kidd’s novel “Secret Life of Bees”, the power of love is vividly portrayed through the strong connection between two young teens of different races and a woman who fills the role of a mother figure in the girl’s life. Regardless of race, this woman teaches the girl that love has no limits.

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Secret Life of Bees Outline. (2016, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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