The Importance Of Motherhood In The Secret Life Of Bees

2073 WordsSep 29, 20179 Pages
The essence of the relationship between a mother and child is a mutual ascendency in regards to identity. Children are subject to an instinctive longing for a mother. It is the mother’s influence that guides them in their process of discovering all the realities the world posses and in that processing discerning their identity. Conversely when a woman becomes a mother the presence of her child causes her to evaluate and develop her identity under the pretense of motherhood. Paula Nicolson touches on the value of both these scenarios in her article “Motherhood and Women’s Lives” where she expresses how the mother child relationship gives the pretense for both parties to find their authentic identities (Nicolson). Sue Monk Kidd evaluates the…show more content…
She views herself as responsible for them, therefore her actions are independent of the needs of her society, but instead focus around the needs of her children. This means that Anna, a widow with children, is much more of an independent woman than her peers, simply because of the fact that she can combat societal oppression by letting her actions be led by the needs of her children. Yet soon after the beginning of the novel Anna’s life completely shifts; the plague takes over the village and Anna’s children are killed by it, rendering Anna a childless mother. Without children Anna loses a piece of identity; this is seen as she becomes more reliant on her peers, and more in tune with the stereotypes inflicted by her society. Anna does not regain her independence and reestablish her identity until she once again becomes a mother when she adopts a bastard child. Ultimately both Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees and Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders use their main characters to establish the premise of what it means to be a mother or a child, and express the ascendency of their relationship in regards to the development of identity. In Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, the main character Lily feels misplaced in society because of her lack of a relationship with her mother. Whilst reflecting about her life after the death of her mother Lily expresses “I was worried so much about how I looked and whether I was doing things right, I felt half the time I was
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