Secret Life of Bees Essay

1273 Words Oct 21st, 2009 6 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…
Before heading to August’s house, they buy a paper and are thankful to see that the news of Lily breaking Rosaleen out of jail and running away hasn’t been reported. It is interesting how Sue Monk Kidd has used religious themes in her book. The protagonist’s name is Lily and the lily is the flower that is the symbol of the Virgin Mary. In chapter one, Lily is fascinated by the arrival of bees and even imagines that they are swarming in her room as she lies awake in bed at night. Lily notes, “[The bees] showed up like the angel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary. I know it’s forward to compare my small life to hers, but I have good reason to believe she wouldn’t mind.” (2) This reference to the Annunciation when Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to the son of God shows the wiser-beyond-her-years Lily has an inkling that her life will forever change in the near future, a change that will bring her new life. At the beginning of the chapter three Lily talks about her lack of knowledge about Catholicism. By including this information the author provides elements of foreshadowing and dramatic irony, pointing out the hypocrisy of the church in which Lily has grown up, in a way that sets the stage for the contrast between the two religions that will be developed later in the story. The Methodist Church in Sylvan, whose deacons "locked arms across the church steps" to turn away Negroes who might come to worship

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