Quest to Find Her Mother in The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Decent Essays

The novel The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is centered around the main character, Lily, and her quest to find a mother like figure. Lily runs away from home in order to escape for former life of oppression, and to try and find herself. She met and was taken in by the Boatwright sisters who introduced her to a whole new world. Symbolism plays a major part in the book and is used by the author to uncover parts of the plot that were not clearly stated. The characters Rosaleen, Lily, and May all change a great deal throughout the course of the book and these changes are shown through the presence of water. The author repeatedly uses the symbol water to show a clense or renewal of characters which marks the beginning of the character’s evolution.
For the first character, Rosaleen, water appears every time she changes during the course of her journey. For example, one of the first interactions with water was after Rosaleen and Lily had been fighting during their walk to South Carolina. They stopped at a creek for the night where Lily says, “I followed the sound and found Rosaleen in the middle of the creek, not a stitch of clothes on her body. Water beaded across her shoulders, shining like drops of milk, and her breasts swayed in the currents. It was the kind of vision you never really get over”(75). Lily describes Rosaleen in the water as serene and at peace which symbolizes the relief that overcame her once she had realized they were free of Sylvan. A little while

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