The Secret Life of Bees The Secret Life of Bees question


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Secret Life of Bees discussion question
Miranda Miranda Oct 27, 2011 06:10AM
Did Lily's feelings about her mother change from the beginning to the end of the book?



It's hard when you come to find out that your parents are human beings and not just your parents. That they have or had problems too. That they make mistakes. That they don't know everything. It's something that most people have to face. And it's very easy to idealize someone who isn't there anymore. So I think that part changed for Lily. Her mother wasn't the person she thought that she was, the person she dreamed her up to be in her head, but she still loved her. You can still love someone even if they disappoint you or make you sad, etc. And that's what happened I think. So naturally, her feelings changed. But the love didn't go away. She just had a more realistic view of things, which can still hurt nonetheless.


I think she felt betrayed in the middle of the book, but by the end she had learned the truth and come to accept it without judgement.


Yeah, I don't see how they couldn't. She first thinks of her as saintly. The perfect picture of motherly love. She later learns that her mother actually did leave her behind when she left. Lily gets a more realistic and human view of her mother.


but she also learned of her mother's depression and when August explains it to Lily I believe that Lily comes to understand that her mother was dealing with that depression.


Even though Lily's situation is not the same as everyone's, it comes a moment when you discover your parents' own faults (A coming-of-age characteristic).

I also passed through the same situation (and I was in my earlier twenties) where I felt betrayed by my mother, she did something that until now it's for me very difficult to recover myself from although it had already passed. Bad news are that I don't trust her like before, the good news are that I don't depend on her very much and on her approval like before to be happy. She has put others (including me) in a bad light while she has put herself in a pedestal, but that's over for me.

Maybe Lily got angry, sad and felt betrayed because she had the hope that her mother was more motherly, more unselfish.

Despite this, love is still there.


I think that while her feelings towards her mother didn't necessarily change (she still loved her), she still wound up seeing her mother as a more earthly being. As such, I don't think she really viewed her mother as a saviour figure anymore, because Rosaleen took that role.

F 25x33
Angie Saviour figure, yes, that's the right phrase. But not only Rosaleen took the role, August took it as well as the Black Madonna. However, August told h ...more
Mar 18, 2012 08:29AM · flag

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