Secret Life of Bees

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Secret Life of Bees by Mind Map: Secret Life of Bees

1. Theme

1.1. The Irrationality of Racism:

1.1.1. irrationality of racism by not only portraying black and white characters with dignity and humanity but by also demonstrating how Lily struggles with—and ultimately overcomes—her own racism.


1.2.1. Lily loves to read, and she recognizes the importance of storytelling as a way to escape or transcend one’s circumstances.


1.3.1. Lily longs for her mother and cherishes the few possessions Deborah left behind. She demonstrates an awareness of her femininity and laments that she has missed out on certain female lessons because her mother is dead. For example, she clings to a pair of white gloves that used to belong to Deborah. But although Lily lacks a mother, she does have female companionship.

2. Conflicts

2.1. Major conflict

2.1.1. Motherless Lily has been living an unhappy life with her father, who claims Lily killed her mother when she was four.

3. Symbolism


3.1.1. beehives serves as a symbolic parallel to the community August has created in the pink house. Bees live, work, and produce honey in beehives. As in August’s community, female bees dominate the beehive, and the queen bee rules over everything. The queen bee is the mother of every single other bee, just as, according to August, the Virgin Mary is the mother of all the women she is close to, whom she calls the Daughters of Mary


3.2.1. Lily only has one photograph of her mother, but when she looks at this photograph she sees her mother’s lost potential and her own possible potential, which may or may not be fulfilled over the course of her life.


3.3.1. The black Mary serves several functions in the novel. As the picture, it symbolizes mothers and mother surrogates. Lily carries around a wooden picture of the black Mary, which she found among some objects that once belonged to her mother.

4. Characters

4.1. August

4.1.1. August breaks the stereotype of back women in the South during this book. Even though she was the housekeeper of Lily's mother, she graduated from college and became a high school teacher. August didn't get married, cause it may take away some of her independence.

4.1.2. August is the most important person in this novel. She helps Lily on her way to maturity and acceptance of herself as a person.

4.1.3. August helps shelter May from her worst fears as possible.

4.1.4. Doesn't tell June about herself

4.2. May

4.2.1. May is a pivotal character.

4.2.2. May tells Lily that her mother did live with them once. She also gives advice to June that convinces her to marry Neil.

4.2.3. Suffers with depression. Also mainly oversensitive to the sadness of the world.

4.3. June

4.3.1. She is the closes antagonist in Lily's life for most part of her life.

4.3.2. June is unhappy that a white girl is staying with them.

4.3.3. June is afraid to love again because she was left at the altar years earlier.

4.4. Lily

4.4.1. main character

4.4.2. When you first read about her, she is beaten down, abused and misused by her father.

4.4.3. Lily killed her mother but not knowing when she was four.

4.4.4. she forgiven herself and the ones around her

4.5. Rosaleen

4.5.1. A mother figure to Lily

4.5.2. She has an amazing spirit and courage which sometimes ends her up in trouble.

4.5.3. She could never hurt Lily, she loves her and cares for her.

4.5.4. She fit right in with the Boatwright sister and became great friends with May

4.5.5. A mother figure to Lily

4.6. T-Ray

4.6.1. Lily's father, who didnt care about lily

4.6.2. With everything that happened to his wife, he takes his anger out on Lily