Secret Life of Bees

1284 WordsOct 7, 20096 Pages
Finding Her Queen "New beekeepers are told that the way to find the elusive queen is by first locating her circle of attendants." (57) This quote is at the beginning of chapter three and not only foreshadows many things to come, but within the quote, two of the novel’s main metaphors are mentioned, bees and the queen, which is referring to society and a mother figure. Although this quote is largely interpreted as a metaphor for Lily looking for a new queen or mother figure, and perhaps August being that mother, I believe that it has another meaning as well. I believe that the Black Madonna also serves as a “queen” and mother figure to all the women in “The Secret Life of Bees.” Chapter three begins with Lily waking up…show more content…
Ironically, Lily, who gets no sustenance from the church in Sylvan, finds healing in the Catholic sect of the Black Madonna, precisely because its members, in stark contrast, touch her - they reach out to her, provide for her needs, and love her unconditionally. There are also religious overtones in Rosaleen’s dream. Although it could be that Rosaleen feels that Reverend King would be proud of that she stood up for herself and her rights, I think the dream has religious symbolism, and the color red is prominent in the dream, as well. In a biblical sense, it is similar to the story of Jesus washing his disciple's feet. The color red and religious tone could also symbolize that Rosaleen has a premonition of Reverend King's coming death. However, the most intriguing religious metaphor has to center around the Black Madonna. The Black Madonna has different meanings for different people. Lily sees it as the link to finding her mother or information about her mother. On the other hand, for Rosaleen and the other women, it gives them the will and the strength to keep going on, even when life brings them down. At the same time it is symbolic to Lily and Rosaleen in the same importance because the Black Madonna is
Open Document